Winners: The BELCO 2012-13 scholarship and education award recipients. Back row, from left, Gary Smith, Benjamin Groves, Jainero Watts, David (Vince) Hunt, Jonathan Cox. Middle row, from left, Jamar Dill, Emily Dunne, Rebecca Sharpe, Kumar Grant, Hunter Pitcher, Shane Antonition. Front row, from left, Michelle Dixon, Jessica Binns (writer), BELCO president Andrew Parsons, Gerri Landy. Absent recipients were Kahnae Bean, Jonathan Pedro, Catherine Wight and Matthew Tavares. *Photo supplied
Winners: The BELCO 2012-13 scholarship and education award recipients. Back row, from left, Gary Smith, Benjamin Groves, Jainero Watts, David (Vince) Hunt, Jonathan Cox. Middle row, from left, Jamar Dill, Emily Dunne, Rebecca Sharpe, Kumar Grant, Hunter Pitcher, Shane Antonition. Front row, from left, Michelle Dixon, Jessica Binns (writer), BELCO president Andrew Parsons, Gerri Landy. Absent recipients were Kahnae Bean, Jonathan Pedro, Catherine Wight and Matthew Tavares. *Photo supplied

Applying for scholarships can be quite stressful. As an applicant, you worry about how you compare with others and whether your application is up to standard.

As most scholarships require roughly the same criteria, it can also be difficult to determine and deliver what a scholarship committee is specifically looking for.

To clarify what interviewers and committee members seek, Roger Todd, Linda Smith and Jocene Wade-Harmon from the BELCO Scholarship Committee offer some advice.

“First and foremost, because this is a scholarship, we are looking for scholars,” said Mr Todd, Assistant Vice President, Engineering.

Academic success

Not only are interviewers looking for academic accomplishment, but also for indicators of continuing academic success, such as maintaining a 3.0 GPA (Grade Point Average).

Furthermore, your application must be of sound quality and complete.

As a (soon-to-be) student seeking funding and support, you need to convince the scholarship committee to invest in your development.

Therefore, you must be clear about why you are applying for the scholarship and how it will relate to your development, goals and career aspirations.

“We are looking for people who are going to come back and make a significant contribution within the company and the community,” said Ms Wade-Harmon, Vice President, Human Resources.

Although they may not be required, you should include documents such as your resume, and mention any awards or extracurricular activities.

These help to demonstrate balance and paint a more complete picture of the applicant.

In addition to balance, interviewers and committee members also select applicants who show evidence of leadership, because studying abroad requires you to take initiative and to be independent.

As you complete your application, it is important to remember that scholarships are about more than just money. They are also relationship opportunities that allow you to make yourself known within the company and its industry.

Moreover, they can grant you the opportunity to work in a field related to your course of study.

Once submitting your application, if you are chosen for an interview, it is important that you come prepared.

Learn about the company and inform yourself about the origins of the scholarship. Look for synergies between what you are doing, your aspirations and what the scholarship is about. However, don’t stretch it to make it happen.

In addition to preparing for the interview, it is important that you come properly dressed.

Smart business dress is what you are expected to wear. You don’t have to wear a business suit, but do not show up in flip-flops or jeans.

Instead of arriving on time, arrive early. Being late or improperly dressed is a huge turn-off for interviewers. It demonstrates to them that you do not take this opportunity seriously and, therefore, they won’t take you seriously. 

During the interview, it is essential that you carry yourself well.

“Attitude is super important,” said Linda Smith, Senior Vice President, Corporate Relations.

Do not be complacent. The BELCO scholarship committee and interviewers are looking for hard-working individuals with a passion for what they are doing. Furthermore, being able to express that passion and commitment is vital.

BELCO offers the following awards for students: The Llewellyn Vorley Scholarship and Educational Awards for engineering; the C. Eugene Cox Postgraduate Engineering Scholarship; the Alfred T. Oughton Postgraduate Scholarship in fields other than engineering; and the BELCO Internal Scholarship.

The awards are made for the academic year, and so to continue receiving funds, students must apply each school year. The amount of each award varies.

For more information on BELCO scholarships and bursaries, see www.belco.bm.

Jessica Binns is a BELCO summer student and an Alfred T. Oughton Scholarship recipient. She is studying for a Master of Arts degree in public relations and corporate communication at Barry University, Miami, Florida.

Scholarship Recipients 2012