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Scholarship Applications and Impostor Syndrome

If you have stumbled upon the about section of this website, you would be aware that I am currently in the market for a Masters. Well, honestly, the most challenging part of this goal has been getting a scholarship since it appears I am hell-bent on going anywhere that requires me to cross a large body of water. I did well at school, so the applications to most schools have been relatively painless. Where I have been taking and continue to take my fair share of rejections is at the scholarship applications.

There are a variety of scholarships; Chevening, Commonwealth and its variations, Erasmus Mundus, Rhodes, Fulbright and so on. They are multiple. I have mostly mentioned the fully funded and highly competitive ones, but they are numerous and varied. They all have in common the essays you have to write to prove your alignment with the goals of the scholarship providers and the countries they are in. Sometimes even demonstrate your alignment with the mission of the University you want to attend.

I have so far applied for some of these over the last three years. I have had to and continue to wrestle with the altruism part of the essays. I consider myself as someone with a healthy amount of altruism. Unfortunately, when you start these particular essays, the daunting feeling of impostor syndrome seems to descend on you; if not, it rams you straight in the chest. I can't help but feel like I am set to fail because what I am doing may not be enough.

Impostor syndrome involves feelings of self-doubt and personal incompetence that persist despite your education, experience, and accomplishments.

I have been a part of Financial Literacy Trust (FLT) for what feels like decades, and we as an organisation make me very proud. Our fearless leader has always been an understanding and strong woman whose gentleness with people is one I admire and aspire to. I have hosted seminars in their difference, been the lead for others in sub-committees and been door-to-door at different organisations to get the FLT name out there. Even with this, I feel like I am masquerading as a "wholesome" person. This is just one example I am usually excited to speak about. However, it is not the only example of this kind, which is a good thing if I am determined to get one of these scholarships.

Reminder: You didn't come this far to only come this far!

Kutlo Modie is an engineer, bullet journal enthusiast and an aspiring Master’s student. She is currently working to get a fully-funded Master’s scholarship for Engineering Management.

Blackout wishes Kutlo all the best in her scholarship applications.

Please visit Kutlo's website for more on her Master's journey.


Check out these interesting articles and papers on impostor syndrome in academic spaces and how to overcome it.

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