Missed our Haile Fellowship Application Training? No worries. We've got your back! While the Swedish Fish and other treats from the evening are long gone, we did put together a list of tips to help you make your application the best it can be. Read on.
1. Make it Feasible.
We're not looking for $20M ideas; we're looking for $100K ideas. Sure, laying down a high-speed rail line from Cincinnati to Dayton would be cool; but can you do it within a year? We doubt you can do it in a year (and with just 100k). Make sure you come to us with a solid idea that has a legitimate shot at being completed within our budgetary and calendar limits.
So, what if you want to take on something really, really big—something that couldn’t possibly be finished in a year—does that mean you can’t apply? Not exactly.
Try cutting that bigger project into digestible pieces. If we use the high-speed rail idea as an example, maybe the project goal would be to rent a charter bus for a year, along with insurance and gas. Drive that bus back and forth between the two cities and interview riders afterwards. By then, you might have enough community support to convince both city governments that the rail system would be a worthwhile investment. Or not...
(NOTE: We aren’t necessarily saying the above idea is a good one—but you get the idea.)
2. Start Early.
If you haven’t looked at the application yet, do it! There are quite a few moving parts, so starting two days prior to the application deadline definitely isn’t in your best interest. In fact, we suggest creating a timeline around when different sections should be completed. Our application is conducive to this drawn out approach, too; just create a profile and you’ll be able to log-in and tweak your application up until the date you submit it.
3. Know Your Story. Be Concise (But Don’t be Modest).
The narrative section of the application is an important one. We suggest you make your story as creative, and simple as possible. You’ll be asked to describe the issue you are addressing and the solution you are bringing to the table. Be concise here—try writing three sentences for each question. If there is confusion around what you’re fixing or how you’re fixing it, the project probably won’t end up in our top two.
We’ll also ask for your personal story (in 250 words or less). Don’t be modest. We need to know how you are uniquely positioned to make this project a success—if you don’t believe you can do it, how can we?
4. Get Feedback
Have your friends and co-workers read different parts of your application before you submit it— small errors can be distracting! Not only will your work get to us (likely) error-free, it will probably be clearer and better-organized as well. Friends are likely to get hung-up on similar things the panel will, so getting feedback will allow you to identify the weak points of your application.
For easy sharing to others, you might want to consider using different online apps, like Evernote or Googledocs, to draft your responses. Once they're finished, just copy and paste into the submittable application. Easy
5. Meet the Deadline
In case you were wondering, yes October 13, 2014 is a hard deadline. Make sure your applications are submitted by 11:59 pm EST or you won’t be eligible for the Haile Fellowship. No exceptions! Now...start thinking. And apply!