“Now in its 15th year, the EWB Fellowship Program exists to develop a cadre of Systems Change Leaders by equipping them with the opportunities, competencies and skills needed to build a more thriving and sustainable world. Being an EWB Fellow is the challenge of a lifetime. Fellows work on highly dynamic placements with multi dimensional goals and a deep commitment to impact. They are pushed to their limits as they work on some of humanity’s most challenging problems” (Engineers without Borders Canada website).
As a newly minted Fellow (Fall 2015), I wanted to share my top three tips for writing your application:
1 – Do some personal reflection. When I first saw the application, I thought, “Wow, this application is tough! Why do I want to do this? Am I actually ready for this?” I really had to think about my personal story. Pull out a piece of paper and draw or write out your story. I made a timeline of moments where I recognized and acted on my passion for social justice.
2 – The Internet is your friend. I found the EWB website and World of EWB to be invaluable in understanding the organization and setting realistic expectations. I’d especially recommend reading the EWB Approach, the work that our ventures do, as well as our Annual and Failure Reports.
3 – Be open and honest. The Fellowship is intended to help you on your journey to becoming a Systems Change Leader. You’re not expected to know everything about international development! I was honest about my fear of failing, hopes, and inexperience in my application. EWB is looking for people who are open to learning and challenging their understanding of the world.
Bonus tip: Talk to a past Fellow. You’ll find the EWB community across Canada! Find a past Fellow and ask to have a conversation. Talking to someone who’s “been there before” helped me to determine if the fellowship was a good fit and to answer any questions.
Best of luck with your application! Maybe we’ll meet in Zambia next? 🙂
Past/present fellows, do you have any tips to add?