Congratulations! If you’ve made it here, you’re already on your journey towards success. My name is Christine Ha, I study Civil Engineering and Computer Science at UNSW and in 2019, I received the WSP Women in Engineering Scholarship.

A scholarship is an incredible achievement. It represents your hard work, talent and potential as an individual, and is an investment into your future. The application and interview process can be a little daunting, especially in midst of assignments and exams. So, if you need some extra motivation and convincing, here’s 5 reasons why you should apply.

1. Financial support

At its core, a scholarship gives you money, which provides you the means to do so much more with it. For me, that meant going on a year-long exchange to Switzerland (one of the most expensive places in the world!) to experience other cultures, learn outside of my comfort zone and more importantly, travel! This would not have been even remotely possible without my scholarship. For you, the money might mean you get to move to a new city for university, or don’t have to work as much to support yourself and can instead spend your valuable time elsewhere, which leads to…

2. Time

With that extra time, you can now say “yes” wholeheartedly to more opportunities that you’re passionate about. Whether that means playing sports, socialising with friends, volunteering, or grinding to get those high marks to keep your parents happy, a scholarship gives you more time to pursue your interests without stressing about working.

3. Confidence

Ever doubted your skills and talents, or never felt good enough? You might be experiencing “imposter syndrome”. I can’t promise you that a scholarship will remove this feeling entirely, but it is definitely a sign that you’re on the right track and should keep going! A scholarship gives you the confidence to believe in yourself and your amazing potential. It means that you are special, that someone believes in you so much so that they are willing to invest in you financially to allow you to follow your dreams. That’s incredible! Who wouldn’t want to feel that way?

4. Work experience

There are three types of Women in Engineering Scholarships; industry sponsored, donor sponsored, and university sponsored. Depending on the scholarship you're awarded, you might have the opportunity to get some degree-related work experience. Finding a job is hard already, so having an industry-sponsored scholarship can definitely help kickstart your career. Working in industry whilst studying also gives you valuable insights into the workforce and enhances your learning outside of the classroom.

5. Represent UNSW

Lastly, receiving a scholarship gives you the opportunity to represent UNSW at various functions and events. At these, you get the chance to give back to others by inspiring them to love and pursue engineering too! And ultimately make your mark on the world.

Hopefully, this has given you insights into what receiving a scholarship may be like and why you should apply. Understanding the “why” is important because it will motivate you as you go through the process (if you’re curious about the “why”, watch this TED Talk here by Simon Sinek).

The great thing about the UNSW Women in Engineering Scholarship is that it’s open to anyone that meets the eligibility criteria. You don’t need to have a stacked resume to be successful. You just need to be able to articulate the experiences that you have had with strong personal awareness, reflection and depth. Don’t compare yourselves to others. Remember, you are on your own journey and have your own strengths, weaknesses and talents. That also means don’t discredit yourself before even applying – just apply and let us decide the rest!

Yes, the application and interview process can feel daunting. But I promise you that it is truly worth it as a learning experience. I hope this blogpost has given you some positive encouragement to apply.

The UNSW Women in Engineering Scholarship applications close on 29 September, 2023 – pencil this date in your diary to not forget! If you are keen to understand more on how to succeed, check out the other blogposts here including general informationapplication tips, and interview tips.

Good luck with your application - you've got this!

And here are my top tips to help you get through the process!

  • Prep early
    • My tip: Make sure to check out the website early so you have time to go through it carefully and ensure you know what is available to you.
  • Use STAR to structure your responses
  • Review, review and review again
    • Get others to review your application too.
  • Save your application so you can go back to it
  • Do not do any prep the day before the interview
    • Trust that everything you need has been internalised and let your natural confidence and personality shine on the day.
    • You’re interviewing them as much as they’re interviewing you.
  • Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, just have fun and enjoy it!
    • Take it as a learning experience to get to know more about UNSW too and engineering and your potential career path.