It has been 12 days since applications went in and the review board started the process of going through 700 passionate, hopeful packets.
“As we go through the applications, we are blown away by the caliber and the passion of the applicants. You all are amazing.” Hi-SEAS Facebook Page
I’m beyond happy to hear about all of the interest and passion that others have for this project. At the same time, I’m naturally nervous about my chances of being selected for the next round. I wonder how many women applied? How many biologists? How many ambitious, fun-loving, algae growers? Did I properly convey my passion, skill set, research proposal, etc? Gulp.
It’s so easy to start doubting yourself when you know that someone is judging you through a spattering of words in a few essays and a CV or resume. There’s plenty more you could have included to convince reviewers that you are the one they’ve been waiting for. It may even be nerve-wracking enough to think you shouldn’t even bother to apply.
Hopefully, you don’t let your fears dictate your decisions. Putting yourself out there for people to see is a part of life that we must embrace. College. Jobs. Internships. Travel opportunities. Contests. Rewards certainly outweigh any nervousness or concerns. This is one of those many situations where practice makes perfect. The more eyes you invite to gaze upon your drafts, the more opportunity you have to learn from the experience of others.
I once nearly didn’t apply for a interesting program. The deadline was a day away. I was jetlagged from returning from an internship. I didn’t think I’d be selected. But, I pushed through, determined and feeling a little silly from lack of sleep, and three months later I was in Thailand with Malibu Rum and Reef Check as a ‘beach intern’ getting my island on. If you are a doubter, just ask yourself ‘what if?’.
I’m proud and confidant in my Hi-SEAS application. I worked hard, finished in time for editing and revisions, and infused humor and voice into my essays. However, I believe no matter how hard you work, there will always be things you remember afterwards that would’ve improved it even more. So here are my Top 5 Would’ve Could’ve Should’ve’s:
What Would I have Done Differently to my Application with just One More Sol (Martian Day)
|Microalgae requires much less US
cropland than other sources.
- Sneak in the names of all Mars exploration programs, rovers, and orbiters, past and present. (I kinda got stuck on Mariner.)
- Emphasize the importance and viability of algae biofuel compared to other biofuel sources (Table 1).
- Add more college service commitments to my CV (how did these sneak off my CV during its many, many iterations?)
- Started this blog earlier so that I could have focused on it within my Online Activity essay.
- Have my ol’ college chum, Sara Ferguson, look over my CV.
Questions of the Day:
What will you be applying to next? Are you nervous?
Fellow applicants, what would you change/add to/remove from your application?