Looking inside to get ahead

28 August 2013

Who reads your scholarship application? What's a merit scholarship? How do you create a memorable snapshot of yourself in 250 words?

These questions and more were on the table when students from Dubbo Senior College met University of Sydney staff in July to plan for the future. Year 12 students took time off from preparing for HSC trial exams to come to the Compass program's 'Promote Yourself' workshop, which is designed to demystify the application process for early offer and undergraduate scholarship programs. By examining the leadership skills and qualities they have developed in high school and thinking about what has driven them to succeed, students learn how to craft competitive applications.

What do students do in the workshop?

  • Read and analyse questions and draft notes for answers.
  • Analyse writing samples and examine content, style, diction and effect.
  • Practise reflecting on and writing about themselves and their accomplishments, and how they plan to apply their skills in the future.

What do students think of the workshop?

  • There's a lot more to think about than they anticipated!
  • The information was clear and helpful.
  • Most of all, students really enjoyed and found great worth in writing about themselves. For many, it's an unfamiliar process, but ultimately a valuable one, "as it taught me things about myself that I hadn't realised."

The Compass team thanks Fleur Mara, Caroline Watts and all the staff at Dubbo Senior College for their warm hospitality and their continuing partnership with us. We look forward to welcoming their students back to our campus soon.

The University of Sydney's E12: Early Offer program is accepting applications until 6 September. The Promote Yourself workshops have also run in seven Sydney schools over the last two weeks to support potential applicants.