Today, we review question 6, the final question in the Mandela Washington Fellowship 2018 application process with the kind contributions of the following fellows:
Patience N. Agwenjang – Cameroon
Lucinda Mary Athieno – Uganda
Witika Mk (Bwalya Maketo)- Zambia
Helina Stiphanos – Ethiopia
Adepeju Jaiyeoba – Nigeria
Esther Mark – Nigeria
Owolabi Tobi Isaiah – Nigeria
Tola Oni– Nigeria
Janet Gbam– Nigeria
Question 6
What skills and knowledge do you hope to gain from the fellowship? How will this impact your activities when you return home? What contributions do you envision making in your country within the next 5 years? (250 words)
Question Components
1. Skills and knowledge you hope to gain from the fellowship.
2. How it will impact your activities when you return home.
3. Contributions you envision to make in your country within the next 5 year
Your response:
1. This question wants to know whether the work you do is sustainable and gives you a chance to explain how much you know about where you are going, how the MWF can help you get there and what exactly will change for you. Again, the overall goal here is to show that you have plans to continue with what you are doing now as well as disclose how you think the Mandela Washington Fellowship can help you reach that goal.
Ask yourself WHY you really want to be a part of this fellowship. Are you just carried away with the idea of traveling to the US? Are you simply interested in showing off pictures on social media and earn bragging rights? Or do you really want to go, learn and seeks ways to collaborate and do better work with peers and other organizations? Do you want to make an impact?
Question your why and reveal your response to your reviewer. What do you think you would do differently and can learn differently, if given the opportunity to travel on this fellowship?
Have a clear understanding of your short term (fellowship specific) and long term (beyond the fellowship) goals as well as and the specific contributions the fellowship can make in your personal and professional development.
It doesn’t even have to be a new skill you are seeking to build, it could simply be you seeking to sharpen an old skill.
Be careful to avoid general skills/knowledge such as leadership or management. Be specific by saying volunteer recruitment and management , using data to drive advocacy, marketing to low income earners. It is also important to highlight how you hope to learn from other fellows things that have worked in their settings.
2. Its not just enough to want to travel to the US. When you’ve gone and returned, what will you do differently? How will this knowledge influence your activities back home? What do you plan to do and how do you plan to do these?
You have to establish a relationship between what you want to learn, and how you will apply this knowledge into your work. Bear in mind that this is not a vacation trip but a study trip. With the various site visits and other lectures, you will be equipped with a whole lot. How do you transfer this knowledge to your work?
Don’t also forget that this section allows you to connect the skills and knowledge that you hope to gain to what you are doing in your country. This is your chance to continue to connect the dots from all your previous responses. Write down why you are doing what you are doing now and where it is leading you to. What is the end goal?
If you believe it will increase the reach and impact of your work, be specific to describe how the knowledge will help you achieve this. For example the knowledge acquired might help you to coordinate your outreach to policy makers to improve your advocacy on education or help you attract and define partnerships for increased investment and promotion of your business.
3. This is the time to tell the reviewer what your goals for the next 5 years are. It should be measurable. Not just stating long term goals that cannot be measured. It is important for your goals to align with what you do now. Don’t bring abstract plans. Remember, you need to be able to connect the dots. So talk about these goals and how you are gradually on the journey to getting there through what you do at present.
Be ambitious with your answer but not unrealistic. It is important to demonstrate growth that will have impact on your community and institutions.
There you go Friends!
We’ve come to the end of the 2018 Mandela Washington Fellowship Application review process. I sincerely hope we have been of help to you during this process. Our commitment as reviewers was to help ensure that many more Africans like us across the continent are able to access more skill building opportunities like the MWF and I hope we succeeded in hitting our goal.
Thank you so much for following and all the very best with your application.
We love you 

Compiled by Adepeju Jaiyeoba, Founder, Mothers Delivery Kit and Brown Button Foundation.

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