From the moment I applied for my undergraduate degree in landscape architecture, I knew I wanted to pursue a master’s degree. After gaining two year experience in a private firm, I decided to apply for Chevening.
The first task I decided to tackle was the Chevening essays. I began writing points down as answers to each question and later connected them to an essay structure. Once I finished the first draft I asked my former English professor to have a look and comment . I then adjusted the essays and gave them to family members to go through. By letting others read the essays I was able to gain valuable feedback and elevate them (how lucky you are that we now have Primrose Consulting to help with this!)
My next challenge was applying to my three course choices. Though not necessary at this point, I looked at it as an advantage in case I get shortlisted for an interview. And it paid off! I applied and was accepted for all three choices and it lifted my spirit and made me feel accomplished.
At the same time, I also approached my referees and asked for them to start writing their letters. It is always good to give them plenty of time to do this, as in many cases they are very busy and you want them to write your reference calmly and have time to give them feedback and change things if needed.
My final task was the English test. I booked the test and decided to study independently from a book I borrowed from a friend. For me, this was mainly a financial decision as preparation courses can be quite costly, on top of the price for the actual test.
There are three things I would urge any aspiring students to consider with the Chevening application process:
It can change from year to year, so, while learning from others is important, make sure you read through the official guidelines before you apply. For instance, when I applied it was mandatory to supply references before the interview shortlisting process. In the last few years, this has changed.
It is a long process and has its highs and lows. It can take months between each of the application stages, which can cause stress, confusion and anxiety, however, keep hanging in there, it is totally worth it!
Don’t give up - I met many Cheveners and alumni who did not make it on their first try. Learn from your mistakes, consult with otters and apply again.
Image depicts me (left) and another scholar during our congratulatory departure lunch at the British Ambassador’s house, 2016
The writer is a Chevening alumnus and this blog depict her personal experience