Have you ever dreamed about studying at Oxford University? Pursuing advanced research at MIT? Where will you go after your studies conclude here? Is there a Rhodes, Fulbright, or Truman in your future?
Merit based prestigious scholarships and fellowships enable select students the opportunity to undertake undergraduate or graduate studies or research experiences, either domestically or abroad. Candidates who are awarded these scholarships have achieved meaningful recognition and experiences of life-long significance. For a list of opportunities, visit UD’s Prestigious Scholarships and Fellowships website. The road to earning these nationally competitive awards is rigorous and personally challenging. And while preparing an application for one of these awards can seem daunting, the Office of Personal Career Development and the designated faculty advisors for each award are here to help. “OPCD can also give you information about which scholarships and fellowships are available and give you advice on the application process,” said Gaby Martin, Prestigious Scholarships and Fellowships Advisor. Deadlines for these awards vary, and staying on top of what is due when is a crucial step in the application process. While the major fellowships and scholarships such as Rhodes, Fulbright, and Truman require a school nomination, many others do not. For those, as well as the nominated scholarships, seek assistance from the specific scholarship/fellowship’s advisor, as well as from faculty in your area of study, your academic advisor, the Academic Success Office, and Ms. Martin from OPCD. This will ensure that each application is representative of your best work.
Although OPCD and faculty advisors will work with well-qualified individuals, it is ultimately up to you to submit a well-written application and to get the supporting documents in order to be nominated.
OK, we know summer’s not all about snow cones, flip flops and lounging around the pool. And although you’re probably busy working, interning or taking classes, summer is the perfect time to start thinking about and planning for your future. Here are some tips for taking advantage of your time away from campus.
Ask your relatives and your parents’ friends for informational interviews. An informational interview is really just a conversation during which you can learn about a career field or particular company. Speaking with someone one-on-one about what he or she does every day is a great way to learn more about what a job is really like. And while an informational is not an actual job interview, it is not an informal setting. You should behave professionally and come prepared with thoughtful questions. The UD alumni network and friends that have already graduated are also great resources for informational interviews.
Research internships—know the deadlines and use your time off to work on your resume and cover letter. Not only will an internship provide you with hands-on experience that can help you land a job after graduation, but it can also show the kind of day-to-day experience you can expect in a particular career field. Internships are an important step in the discernment process—you might leave an internship knowing exactly what you don’t want to do.
Start thinking about next summer’s research opportunities. If you’re a science major, conducting research is crucial to your success. The best REUs and summer research opportunities are highly competitive and will require a thoughtful application. Spend some time over your summer break researching these opportunities and preparing your application.
If you have a competitive GPA, check out UD’sPrestigious Scholarships and Fellowships page to see if you qualify for any opportunities. Review the requirements and deadlines for each award and begin work on your personal statement. Gaby Martin at the OPCD can guide you through the application process.
Look for volunteer opportunities. Not only will you be giving back to the community, you can gain experience that many employers will value. If you line up a volunteer opportunity for the fall semester, you may be able to receive course credit for approved community service.
Explore avenues to present your work to the public if you’ve written an exceptional paper or conducted in-depth research in your field. This could mean making a presentation during a campus event or sharing your work with an organization tied to your area of research. Many scientific, literary, and educational societies welcome student participation. You can apply for a University of Dallas Experience Award funding to offset your travel expenses.
Make an appointment with an OPCD career counselor if you are around DFW during the summer. We can also work with you via email and phone. We can help you fine-tune your resume and cover letter, research internship opportunities, and apply for prestigious scholarships and fellowships. Make time now, before your new classes begin.