Writing your story
It’s Saturday night, and after a long day of doing homework and completing assignments in advance, I’ve taken the time to think a little bit about my story.
What exactly is my story?
Not too long ago, I attended an informational session held at North Central on a couple of Fulbright programs, specifically, the full research grant and the English Teaching Assistantship grant. Professor Perry Hamalis from the Office of Academic Opportunities led the session and presented attendees of the event with facts and resources related to the programs and how to put together a successful application.
Nevertheless, the point Hamalis emphasized the most was conveying your story in the application. One example he used was of Claudia Chlebek, ’09, who received a full research grant to study the impact of the Visa Waiver Program on a number of dimensions. While at North Central, Chlebek’s campus involvement included work with Students in Free Enterprise and the Entrepreneurship and International Business Organization. She also studied abroad multiple times and received two Richter Grants to conduct undergraduate research abroad.
Another North Central student, Weien Wang, ’12, is currently working on his Fulbright research grant application. In attendance at the information session, Wang told other attendees of his story and previous research he conducted in China also through funding by Richter Grants.
After hearing the stories of those students, I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of story I would write for myself. An evaluation of my progress (i.e. involvement, work, etc.) through being a spring-term, second-year student seems to demonstrate that I am passionate about sports and communications. The saga of my story continues this summer with an internship with the U.S. Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs, Colo.
I know I have a lot of work to do in terms of writing my story. However, after thinking about the stories other people have written for themselves, I would like you to consider at least one thing as you write your story.
Find your passion(s). It’s true when people say that when you immerse yourself in an activity you are passionate about, there’s no stopping you. When you are doing something you care about, you do it with zeal, and you tend to approach the activity with care so as to do it the justice you believe it deserves. In pursuing an activity you are passionate about, you can keep it moving forward, which not only benefits you but also the rest of the world.
I strongly encourage you to think about your passions and work on writing your story. Whether you wish to apply for a Fulbright grant or simply get a job out of college, people on the other side (i.e. application reviewers, employers, etc.) can see and appreciate the good a passionate person can bring to the table.