by ROBYN BARDGETT
Being prepared as early as possible can help students stand out when applying for scholarships. The Department of Workforce Development is available to help guide students through the process so they can take the necessary steps to be scholarship ready for both local and international bursaries and awards.
The Department of Workforce Development provides various scholarships, as well as training and career development workshops, seminars, webinars, and youth development programmes and initiatives. Together, along with other community stakeholders, they are working to ensure there is no lack of resources for students looking to prepare in advance for scholarship applications and those needing extra confidence to apply successfully.
“Students can begin by registering with the Department of Workforce Development and making themselves known to the Officers,” explains Dr Patricia Chapman, Training Manager at the Department. Along with providing scholarship opportunities, Workforce Development also provides career development support and summer internship and employment programmes for students to gain on-the-job experience.
Sharpening Your Skills
“Through speaking with a Training and Career Development Officer at the Department of Workforce Development, students can obtain mentorship and a better understanding of the application process. They can also partake in mock interviews, sharpen their resume and personal statement writing, and participate in scholarship application workshops. The department also works in collaboration with school career counsellors and advisors,” she adds.
Along with the practical approach to preparing for scholarship applications, students should also ensure they have the documents required and in order before applying. Documents that might be necessary for the application process include official transcripts, reference letters, community service information, banking information, proof of scholarship acceptance letter, and verification of information, Dr Chapman advises.
It’s also imperative that students “adhere to application deadlines and follow directions for applying through the bermudascholarships.com website,” she says.
Going Above and Beyond
Aside from being well-prepared, Dr Chapman says that scholarship committees are often looking for students who “demonstrate perseverance, foresight, independence, maturity and the commitment to contribute to the community.”
Other factors include a GPA above 2.70, a field of study in high-demand occupations, a level of community service and volunteerism, plus being overall well-rounded.
“Students wishing to stand out against their peers and other scholarship candidates should prepare by getting involved in their community,” says Dr Chapman. That level of commitment can be incredibly appealing to a scholarship committee, but can also continue to create opportunities throughout a student’s education and career prospects. Throughout the scholarship preparation journey, students will also learn valuable information that will give them an advantage as they prepare for the future.
“Attending career development and training workshops and webinars allows students to gain insight, exposure, and workforce-related experience,” says Dr Chapman. “Seeking the information and requirements for qualifications, designations, and certifications in specific occupations of interest will raise awareness of what is needed in those occupations. And then, obtaining them will lead to marketable and transferable skills required for current and future careers and employment opportunities.” n
Students can schedule a virtual, in-person or phone appointment with someone from the Department of Workforce Development by calling 297-7714.