Are you planning to study abroad? Obtaining a scholarship will help you achieve this dream for free, but you will first have to clear a hurdle: the scholarship trial. Leadership skills are a common selection criteria for many scholarships, so it’s essential that you know how to provide examples of leadership that would help you land a coveted award.
So how can you wow the admissions committee with a winning scholarship essay? Here are some examples of leadership skills that you can demonstrate in your master’s level scholarship application.
5 examples of leadership skills to highlight in your scholarship essay
Highlight the extent of your leadership
Using the STAR (situation, task, action, result) method to demonstrate your leadership skills can help substantiate your ability to drive change or lead.
Here is a TL; DR of what the STAR method entails:
- Situation: briefly describe a context
- Task: Describe your task
- Action: what action did you take?
- Outcome: What was the positive outcome
For example, were you a student ambassador who worked with a wide variety of people? Are you an active volunteer able to solve problems and identify needs as they arise? Think of an example from your life and summarize it using the STAR method.
State reasons for getting involved in a leadership role
Are you leading a community project? Are you a manager in the company you work for? What inspired you to get involved in a leadership role?
Have you always gravitated toward a position of leadership and consistently made an impact?
This is important to emphasize to scholarship decision makers to assess your sincerity and passion in the desired pursuit.
Indicate the obstacles you encountered and how you overcame them
Have you participated in a community project or outreach program? Have you organized or participated in a fundraising project? Think back to a time when you got involved in trying to alleviate or lessen problems facing your community, school, or family and the ideas and actions you took to achieve those goals.
Be sure to describe the actions taken to mitigate the issues you have identified. For example, you may have noticed that there is disappointing female student participation in STEM-related courses at your local university.
You identify this as an issue that you can leverage to encourage women’s participation in STEM fields. Your next course of action would be to write a letter to your college admissions team suggesting that you would like to start a club or organization focused on female empowerment and participation in STEM fields.
The barrier is getting female students on campus to participate in these programs. This can be done by championing women engineers, scientists and those involved in the technology sector today, which encourages female students to see a bright prospect in their future if they follow in the footsteps of other influential women in STEM fields.
This is just a hypothetical example of how you can show leadership by addressing obstacles and showing examples of how you overcome them. It is important that you demonstrate strong evidence of your leadership qualities along with relevant examples.
Alison’s essay for the Women in Leadership MBA Scholarship competition looked at parenthood and how changing careers for men can actually help women’s careers, and so she received a partial scholarship! To read it, visit: https://t.co/uP1qgmf3yv pic.twitter.com/D0Vw9lLRnT
— Henley Business School (@HenleyBSchool) March 31, 2022
How have your leadership skills helped you grow as a person and a leader?
Some believe leaders are born and not created, while others believe the opposite.
In your scholarship essay, it would be helpful to explain how your leadership roles have helped you grow as a person, from teaching you new lessons to presenting many opportunities for personal growth.
Be sure to demonstrate a genuine understanding of leadership. For example, you lead by your actions and not by the title you have been given. You lead by working alongside others to create change and not by simply barking orders at people.
Someone once asked me to give them a #leadership title for people to listen to. Don’t you think that’s thinking backwards? Earn the trust and respect of others first, then you will be a natural leader. You don’t need a title for that #respect #credibility #trust #authenticity
— Dr. Verna Yiu (@dryiu_verna) April 25, 2022
How will your leadership skills impact your future?
The admissions committee will likely be looking for a candidate who is a future leader and influencer in their respective countries.
It is helpful to reflect on the leadership roles you have held and how they have, for example, changed your outlook on life, the way you interact with people, or even galvanized you to create positive change in your life. your community, which can affect your long-term career goals.
In QS, Hayley Capp, winner of the 2013 QS Leadership Scholarship, also encourages students to tell the judges if they plan to continue to be involved in their particular leadership activity in the future.