Three reasons to apply for a Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship…even if it scares you

Anna Normyle, Westpac Scholar, 2021 Future Leader

Let’s face it, applications are daunting. But as I found out through my own experience, some unexpected joys and learnings can be taken from putting together a scholarship application. Here are three reasons that I feel make applying for a Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship a really valuable experience.


1. It’s easy to get started


If you’re someone who finds writing about yourself hard, that’s okay. One of the best things about the online Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship application is that it asks simple and short questions about your life experiences that are sure to showcase your unique talents and accomplishments. The selection process is tailored to seeing the ‘authentic you’, so don’t be afraid to be yourself!


2. The experience provides space to reflect


Chances are you’ve already thought about your long-term goals and ambitions but at times you might still feel unsure about the next steps in your career. For me, one of the unexpected benefits of articulating my research plans in the application form and interviews was the opportunity to reflect on why I was ready to embark on my PhD journey, and why ANU was the best place in the world to conduct my research. Writing a budget and research timeline helped manage uncertainties and gave me the confidence to feel that my proposed project was feasible and able to make a positive contribution to our society.


3. It’s great practice


Highlighting your skillsets with humility and answering the big picture questions can seem challenging at first but I found that the Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship application provided a great template to have a go at putting myself out there. Many of the responses are likely to come in handy for future job applications and as a candidate, you’ll have opportunities to meet an amazing selection of past scholars and mentors. Plus, it is a great excuse to ask your supervisor for a reference!


The ANU and Westpac Scholars Trust teams offer amazing support to all candidates at every stage of the application process, and everyone involved is genuinely interested in you and your work.


So, if you’ve read this far and are considering applying, be sure to give it a go… you have to be in it to win it after all!

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