Dreams do turn into reality, provided one puts in his or her every effort into realizing them. March 28th, 2013 marked another transition of my life. It was the day in which I was informed that Maxis has selected me as one of their scholars. The moment I knew I was awarded the Maxis Scholarship for Excellence (MSEA), one of which I have been eyeing for in a very long time, I sighed with relief. Unlike what most other people might have done, that is scream for joy, I just smiled to myself. It was not because I wasn't contented with what I have been blessed with, rather it was more of like a heavy burden lifted off my shoulders. The financial burden. It wasn't like my parents couldn't afford to pay for my education, it was just me. I am self-driven. I have always strived to achieve greater heights in my life, especially in my education. A year ago, I was offered a place in the Psychology program of 6 universities, 5 from the UK and 1 from HK. Unfortunately, financial constraints have deterred me from pursuing my studies abroad. So, I have settled for IMU. Despite all that, I have never given up on my dream of obtaining a scholarship to ease my parents' burden. I have always worked hard in academics and also not omitting the ECAs in order gain different experiences outside classroom. Thus, this scholarship definitely serves as a recognition for all the effort I have put into my academics. This scholarship is even more meaningful to me with it being a merit-based scholarship. Here, I would like to share the experiences of my journey towards securing the MSEA with all aspiring Maxis scholars.
The first interview is always deemed as a casual get-to-know-you interview. The first stage interview was a 2 to 1 interview which lasted for 30 minutes. Two Maxis staffs were my interviewers. They were quite friendly in a serious way. For my case, in fact for this year's first interview (according to other candidates I talked to), the questions were quite challenging as they were asked with a purpose of knowing your leadership skills in terms of how you deal with different situations/challenges. The questions were more specific and requires some thinking. Basically, candidates have to be prepared in providing detailed descriptions/explanations for your experience. Being detailed shows that you are speaking from your real experience and you reflect on what you have been through. So, be wary of what you say or write on your CV as you may be asked to explain in detail your experience.
The second interview was a 3 to 1 interview with an interviewer from the external panel. Something I would never have forgotten is the awkward moment before I
entered the interview room. The door (unlike any other ordinary doors)
was so difficult to be pushed open. I struggled to open the door despite
trying to push the door from both sides. It was not until one of the
interviewers inside told me to push harder that I managed to enter the
room, almost losing my balance as the door was so heavy! This time's interview which lasted for about 25 to 30 minutes (shorter than others who were in the same slot as me) was slightly easier for me. I wonder if it was just me or this applies to others as well. I guess it was because I was more prepared this time as the questions revolved around my ambition or future career. But there were some questions which I felt my answers were quite vague but I still managed to convey them in a calm manner. The questions posed will also base on what you present in your introduction. I ended my intro by mentioning about my ambition. Hence, the whole interview was about my ambition. One thing to note is that interviewer from the external panel was particularly nice, I felt at ease when I spoke to her as she was always acknowledging my answers, giving a slight boost to my confidence. Generally, conduct a thorough research on your field of study and express interest in contributing to the nation. I was told by my mom (who is also a scholarship interviewer) that second round interviews are usually meant to confirm whether you are the right candidate for the scholarship, instead of compete with other candidates in terms of who is the best fit for the scholarship.
Overall, both interviews have different levels of difficulties and this varies according to individuals. My advice is to maintain your calm and be humble by not being too confident in your answers. However, substantial confidence is a key to eliminate nervous feelings.
That's all about MSEA.
I just came back from Ching Ming and I seriously need some rest to deal with assignments and activities in the next few weeks. Goodnight, world!
To all aspiring scholars out there, realize dreams by imagination and then execution.