I received an e-mail on the 22nd of April 2014 that I was shortlisted for The Star Education Fund scholarship, that I had an interview to attend on the 5th of May.
Prior to the interview, I went on doing some research on the scholarship and also regarding the interview to prepare myself. I found there weren’t even a handful of blogs giving out specific details of the scholarship and I had to open up different sites and searches just to have some of the simple questions I have answered. And so I’ve decided to blog about my experience, to give you guys a walk-through of how the process goes, in hopes of answering any questions you might have regarding the scholarship, or the interview.
Note: I don’t know how will any of the below answers will change through time, but as of 2014, it is what it is. Also, I’m answering all these based on my own personal experience.
1. Is there any bond to the scholarship?
As far as I’m concerned, no. That’s the best thing about this scholarship, in my opinion, they don’t force you to work for a certain sector, company, or anything like that. Zilch.
2. What does the scholarship cover?
The scholarship covers full tuition fees, in my case. There is no allowance or anything extra like that, but a fully paid tuition fee is good enough for me. Have you seen how much the courses at Nottingham cost?! Anyway, some people said they only cover 50% of their tuition fees, so I guess it depends on the college/university. You have to do your own research on that.
3. How did you know you were shortlisted?
Like I said, I received an e-mail from The Star, but I found out there are people who received a call from them as well, and for some actual, hard copy letters. So it should be in one of those forms.
4. I didn’t receive any news from them throughout April, does that mean I’m not shortlisted?
The shortlisting process is carried out from mid April to end of June, so some people might receive the news earlier, some later. It depends on the college/university you applied.
5. What do I have to bring to the interview?
In the e-mail it states to bring original, relevant documents, but during the interview, neither one of the interviewers asked for any documents. I don’t know if I’ve made a mistake in not showing them what I brought, or if it isn’t necessarily needed, but to be safe, just bring your documents along and present it to them even if they didn’t ask for it.
6. How many people will be interviewing me? Who are they?
In my case, there are 3 people. 1 of them from The Star, and 2 of them from the university.
7. How is the interview conducted?
It is a one on one interview and they’ll take turns asking you questions. They’re all pretty friendly people and they don’t sound/look strict or rigid by any means, you don’t have to worry about any scary interviewers.
8. What questions will they ask?
Basic ones like tell me about yourself, tell me about your family, how can you contribute to the university, how will this scholarship help you, stuff like that. There are no factual stuff, just things related to yourself. Just talk as you would to a friend, except don’t give short answers, don’t talk too long either. In my case, they asked about what books I like and why do I want to study English Literature, because it’s related to my course. So be on the lookout for similar questions related your own course. At the end of the interview, they will allow you to ask them a few questions so come prepared with some, because when I told them I didn’t have any, they looked surprised. It probably wasn’t a good expression… (In my defense, I said I didn’t have any at that time because I had already done my research on the scholarship and also the course, that’s why I couldn’t think of anything to ask. Now that I think about it, I probably should have asked when will I receive the result of my interview, or maybe I should have asked how will the classes be conducted, how many students are there in a class, stuff like that, stuff that cannot be found online.)
9. How long is the interview conducted?
For the person before me, it was about 15 minutes. I didn’t wear a watch and I was too nervous to even think about timing myself that I didn’t see the time on my phone before heading into the room, so I don’t know how long mine went on for.
10. What did you wear?
In the e-mail the dress code there stated “Office Wear”, so that’s basically what I wore. A blouse with a blazer, black pants and flats. I’m a girl by the way. lol. If you’re unsure whether your choice of attire is considered within the dress code, a little Googling will do.
11. How do you know whether or not you passed the interview?
They called me and I was told to head to The Star’s office and they explained all the details there. I think only those who passed the interview will be contacted though.
12. Anything else I should know about?
Yeah, make sure you ask your college/university about the application and registration process for scholarship holders. In my case, the scholarship offer doesn’t automatically mean I can skip application and go straight to registration. I still needed to apply before I could register, and I found out about that pretty late too, so don’t be naive like me. Ask properly.
13. Anything else?
I don’t know. If you still have questions, comment below and I’ll try my best to answer them for you 🙂
P.S. I wrote this post back in 2014 around April/May to August and when it’s finally ready to be posted, I think it’s a bit too late so I’m posting this now instead since the application for the scholarship is near. Good luck 🙂