Chevening scholarship application

Leadership and Influence Essay – Chevening Scholarship Application

Welcome back! Let’s look closely at Leadership and Influence essay.

Another common question that I didn’t mention in the previous blog is “What kinds of awardees is Chevening looking for?” Here is their official answer:

“Whilst there is no ‘typical’ Chevening Scholar, we are looking for the kind of people who have the passion, ideas, and influence to provide the solutions and leadership needed to create a better future.”

I left this question to the end because this is what the essays are all about. The essays are the most important pieces of your application. That’s why I am going to focus on the essays and interview in these blog series. There are four essays in the Chevening application: Leadership and Influence, Networking, Study in the UK, and Career Plans.

In today’s post, I want to share how I answered the first essay Leadership and Influence. Here is the full instruction:

“Chevening is looking for individuals that will be future leaders or influencers in their home countries. Explain how you meet this requirement, using clear examples of your own leadership and influencing skills to support your answer.(Minimum word count: 50 words, maximum word count: 500 words)”

When answering this question, I thought of two of my best achievement where I used my leadership and influencing skills. I then used the STAR approach to write about each achievement. The STAR approach is an effective way to structure my writing. It stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result.


In this part, I described the general situation: what it is, what year, where it happened, and what role I took.


Then, I described what I or the project try to achieve.


In this section, I started to describe how I used my leadership skills to achieve the goal of my project. I tried to be specific by providing vivid examples.


Here I mentioned the improvement that happened in relation to my action.

Have a look at my paragraph example below. Pay attention on the color codes as they match with the STAR description above.

“In 2014, along with my colleagues, I started XXX project, a free English program, around the YYY School, an international school focused on sustainability education. XXX project uses English as a tool to overcome the language barrier between local and international communities so we can solve environmental problems together. At the beginning of the program, I worked with eight local schools and various teachers in the area to recruit 90 motivated students to the program. I invited the selected students and their parents to the school for interviews and scheduling. To help me teach the English classes, I recruited and trained native speaker volunteers. By 2016, XXX has grown to 264 students and 6 teachers. As a result of this project, students are not only more informed about English but also about environmental issues in their community. Most importantly, they can help solve these problems.”

In addition to following the STAR structure, I believe I did three important things in this paragraph:

  • I described the project and the organization that I worked in. This is very important because we can’t assume that readers know what we are talking about.
  • I used active sentences. Active sentences are strong and show involvement of the subject (in this case “myself”)
  • I mentioned numbers to show progress. Including numbers is also an easy way to make a paragraph more vivid.

Whenever I write an essay, I always start the contents. Then I work on the opening and draw a conclusion based on the main contents or reiterate the opening in a different words. I did exactly that for this essay. I described two of my biggest achievements using STAR technique, then continue with the opening and conclusion.

I hope you learn something from my Leadership and Influence essay and best of luck!

Chevening scholarship application

Chevening Application Tips – Common Questions

My name is Soma, and I am a Chevening alumni. I got the Chevening scholarship in 2017 studying a master of Project Management at Anglia Ruskin University.

I often get asked how I got the Chevening Scholarship. Instead of answering the same questions over and over again, I have decided to write a series of blog posts. In this blog post, instead of giving you Chevening application tips, I will share my Chevening application journey, mainly covering: how I wrote my essay and how I answered the interview questions. I hope that what I share here will help you with your future Chevening application. 

Before we get started –  A disclaimer

The views, thoughts, and opinions in these videos belong solely to myself, and not to the Chevening office. I don’t represent any organizations or parties, this is purely my view, based on my knowledge and experience as a Chevening alumni.“

Alright! With that out of the way, let’s get started! In this first blog post, I will answer a few common questions that I often get asked regarding the application process. If you are already familiar with the Chevening scholarship or you’ve applied before, feel free to proceed to the next blog posts.. 

Common questions: 

  1. What is the application timeline? 

You can check the application timeline here.

2. Do I need to have work experience to apply for the Chevening scholarship?

Yes, you do! You need to have at least two years of work experience or equal to 2,800 hours. Other eligibility criteria includes: 

Have a look at the eligibility criteria in detail here

3. Does my work experience need to be related to my Masters course?

No, it doesn’t. As for the requirement any work experience, even an internship, will do. To make your application strong, you need to have a legitimate explanation of why you want to study a different field from your current job. 

4. What does Chevening cover?

The Chevening scholarship covers your tuition fee, flight tickets, visa application and monthly personal living allowance. Read here in detail. 

5. Do I need to get a letter of acceptance (LOA) from a UK university before applying?

No. You don’t need an unconditional LOA or offer letter until you are selected, which is around the 15th of July. However, some universities have different registration dates, so make sure you secure an offer from your favorite university in time. 

6. Can I work whilst studying in the UK?

Yes, you can. But, if you gain an extra income in excess of 3,000 pounds sterling, over a 12 month period, your monthly stipend will be deducted depending on your income amount. Read in more detail here. 

7. Will my application be reviewed if I submit last minute?

Yes, as long as you submit your application before the closing time, your application will be reviewed. I submitted mine three days before the closing date. Keep in mind that their servers can be very busy a few days before the closing date so you might want to give yourself a little leeway for peace of mind!

These all seven most asked questions that I can think of. If you have other general questions that are not on this list, you can find the answers at the Chevening official website here. If not, let’s get started with other schevening application tips or rather chevening scholarship sharing. Continue to these pages below.