Today, we review question 3 of the Mandela Washington Fellowship 2018 application questions with the kind contributions of the following fellows:
Patience N. Agwenjang– Cameroon
Lucinda Mary Athieno– Uganda
Witika Mk(Bwalya Maketo)- Zambia
Helina Stiphanos- Ethiopia
Yacine Faye-Senegal
Adepeju Jaiyeoba– Nigeria
Esther Mark– Nigeria
Owolabi Tobi Isaiah– Nigeria
Tola Oni– Nigeria
Janet Gbam Gbam- Nigeria
1. In responding to this question, think open mindedness, team work, new learnings including the ability to unlearn, learn and relearn, think not only what you can learn but what you can teach as well. You must be flexible and adaptable to situations not only in the US but to even your fellow fellows.
2. If you are used to having your way, forcing people to swallow your opinion, like dominating discussions and express less sensitivity for others by creating and giving them the space to air their views too, this fellowship probably isn’t for you.
3. It is immaterial that you have been to the US before countless times just to buttress the fact that no challenges you may encounter can be new to you.
4. Let your answer flow from your previous responses.
5. Respect for others as well as the views they express, your ability to accommodate others as well as your willingness to learn is important here.
While on the fellowship, you may be exposed to new challenges and experiences such as adapting to a different environment, living without familiar amenities, interacting with new and different types of people (including individuals from the United States and other fellows) and studying intensively among others. If selected, how would you respond to challenges that may arise during your time as a fellow? 150 words
Question’s Key Component
A. Adapting to new environment
B. Living without familiar amenities
C. Interacting with new and different types of people
D. Studying intensively.
E. How you will respond to these challenges
In responding to this question, focus on your leadership qualities, especially those around you exhibiting excellent interpersonal relationship skills while also exhibiting adaptability and flexibility. Remember that one of the basic qualities of a leader is the ability to adapt to new environments and challenges.
Your values, as an individual, will come to play here. Values like patience, teachable spirit, perseverance, are mostly needed.
You could give an example of an instance in your work where you have also had to deal with diverse people of varying background and concern or how you have adjusted to a new culture, people and way of life? Your example doesn’t have to reflect you leaving an uncomfortable place to a comfortable place but could also be you leaving a comfortable place to an uncomfortable place.
Your story can emphasize how you were able to gradually get accustomed to your new host environment while also showing how you intend to fit into the fellowship.
With the idea of collaboration and networking, show the reviewer that you have a goal in mind and see everyone you come across as a new opportunity to learn and meet new people. Talk about the mindset you have, the preparation you have put in place to accommodate individual differences. Conflicts may arise in the course of your interaction with other fellows. How do you intend to solve those conflicts and create an enabling atmosphere for you and others?
Need further help with this question?
1. Highlight solvable Challenges & also show how u will summount them.
Applicants may state their fears and expectations, and state how they will address them to make life more meaningful for themselves, other fellows, partners and US citizens
For example, you may mention that, being in a new and unfamiliar environment may make you anxious initially but will eventually act as a learning ground for you as it will give you a unique opportunity to learn about the culture and way of life of the other fellows, as well as what constitutes their value system. Being able to stir your answer into this direction will help show how adaptable and flexible you are as an individual.
2. Time will be an issue because the program is intensive. Sometimes Saturdays are fully booked. Understand that you are not on vacation. 6 weeks is a short period time so make the best out of your time. Find social activities during your free time to network with fellows or American citizens and learn from them
Don’t forget to talk about how resilient you can be and how you have managed stress in your life.
Remember again as you answer this question that Leaders are people who have mastered the art of diplomacy or at least consciously make efforts to communicate ideas with great respect for the ideas of others.
All the very best with your application.
See you again on Wednesday.

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