(or how did I develop an “I’m gonna change the world” attitude)
I applied for the Anglia Foundation Scholarship advertised at my university where you pitch an idea how you could gain more experience that supports your professional development. Well I always wanted to go to Africa but it was always out-of-reach financially. So I found BRink – Biological Research in the Namibian Kalahari where they do Research Biology courses and volunteering. It is hard to read my application now without frowning: “My admiration for biodiversity and the complex system of small connections between the participants of the great cycle of life has become so sincere that I decided to dedicate my life to it. Study it closely, learn from it, protect it, help it and use it to avoid causing more damage to it. I intend to make a difference.”
And they believed me. I got the scholarship!
This scholarship had a cascade effect on my future applications. Ernest Hemmingway said about writing “Just sit down and bleed”, that is what I think about while writing applications.
I applied for the Winston Churchill Fellowship in Leadership (2015) and I had to tell how I would like to change the world. I was again living a tent and had limited electricity so I kept brainstorming what to write… In the end I ended up writing the following sentence: “I would like to build a research institute from scratch”. This led to the idea of GOES.
I received the same Anglia Foundation Scholarship in this year (2016) after mentioning my new idea of GOES. Receiving it once again literally knocked me down of my chair of happiness and had the opportunity to go to Finland and complete a Boreal and Community Ecology course and participated in an international workshop afterwards.
It boosted my imagination and applied for the Golden Opportunities Scholarship by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science and Soil Science. This scholarship enables me to go to America for their AGM in Phoenix, Arizona in November and enter their mentoring scheme. Pardon my French but when I read the email that I got this scholarship I was work and said ‘Holy sh**t’.
When I received this scholarship I started feeling like I am a fraud. I keep talking about GOES and people seem to believe me.
Now it is my turn to put something down on the table.
You can read the press release and reports of my scholarships here: