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Top tips on applying for a leadership scholarship

27 June 2019
Develop the skills and knowledge to make a difference

Applications for our Leadership Scholarship open soon to all high-calibre students interested in studying engineering, computing or project management in 2020.

Arjun Bhuyan leadership scholarship

The Leadership Scholarship is valued up to $19,000 per year over four years and offers opportunities for global leadership development and a professional experience program at some of Australia’s leading firms.

Scholarship recipients also receive ongoing academic mentorship, access to valuable industry networks and alumni, and undertake project-based units of study.

Global leadership development opportunities may include attending an Engineering Leadership Development Program at Penn State University (USA), and/or networking with other likeminded future leaders at the annual United Nations Youth Assembly.

Opportunities to interact with industry leaders, such as Thomas Global, Abergeldie and Laing O'Rourke, has been the standout feature of the scholarship for current third-year student and recipient Arjun Bhuyan, who is studying a Bachelor of Engineering Honours (Mechanical).

Below, Arjun reflects on his experiences so far as a Leadership Scholarship recipient, in addition to sharing his tips for students considering applying.

What has been the highlight of the Leadership Scholarship so far?

"Opportunities where I have been able to interact with industry representatives firsthand standout for me as highlights of the scholarship," says Arjun.

"For instance, all scholarship recipients are involved in an industry challenge evening, where we are all split into smaller groups and assigned a real-world problem by an industry partner in attendance.

"We're required to brainstorm possible solutions before deciding on the best approach, which we ultimately have to present to industry mentors and university staff.

"These kinds of activities are designed to build-up our skills in leadership, stakeholder and relationship management, teamwork and problem solving.

"On the night, we got to demonstrate all of these skills, as well as network with mentors from companies including Sydney Water and Aurecon."

What is your top tip when applying for the Leadership Scholarship?

"Leadership is much more than just a title or a position – for example, you may volunteer as part of a team and, while you may not be the person in charge, the interpersonal skills required in a situation such as this are central to good leadership.

"Most importantly though, your application should be genuine and demonstrate your personality, since who you are conveys your leadership qualities."

What advice would you tell your Year-12 self today?

"I would tell them to go for it and simply apply," says Arjun.

"I had doubts about not applying for the scholarship and almost convinced myself I didn't have a chance against the competition.

"Even if you have an inkling of interest, throw in your hat and put in an application. It's an amazing opportunity - just make sure you apply early!

"Completing and submitting your applications early means you will have less to stress about as the HSC gets closer.

"Finally, with regards to the HSC, try to avoid stressing out before exams by planning out your work and preparing early. Trust in your preparation to get the results you want."

Applications for the 2020 Leadership Scholarship are now open via the University's Scholarship Office.

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