Chevening is looking for individuals who 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: 100 words, maximum word count: 500 words)
To lead, is to serve. For the most part of my life, I have had the privilege to occupy and experience leadership roles. And for me, leadership is not about rank. It is about character and how you influence decisions to have a positive impact. Every situation requires leadership, it only takes an initiative to realize it. I have gained useful leadership experiences working with industrial research teams, being on teams for class presentations, holding leading roles on student boards and being an elder child in my family. My most treasured leadership experience was leading a team of five to conduct the first Animal Biotechnology research at the Faculty of Agriculture, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). Being the first of its kind, this project presented several challenges but the achievements were rewarding. That research has been a land mark event at the Faculty of Agriculture. I am proud to have led the only team that finished their research project before the deadline and the only team to have presented our research findings to the Ghana Science Association. Any student board I have been a member of, I make sure I contribute to discussions. The ‘leadership package’ comes with being outspoken and a problem solver. I supervised the introduction of the paperless system when I chaired the electoral commission. As a member of the 2016/17 KNUST SRC Policy Research Team, I was influential in decision making. I am pleased to have contributed to the implementation of a bus policy that eased the transport challenges on campus. In my leadership experiences I have picked up the skill of being a good team player, a better listener, resilient and assertive. My communication skills improved as I was daily conversing and interacting with people. As a leader, to accept and work on constructive criticism is as important as any other thing. Experiencing setbacks as a leader gave me a different perspective of things. I now realize when things do not go your way, it is no reason to give up, you only must plan to do better in the next challenge. By listening to my peers and by learning from my mistakes I have overcome many obstacles. Each time I am part of a team, I encourage people to speak up by creating an atmosphere of shared problem solving. When I read about Martin Luther and the reformation, I know I must be ready to make sacrifices if I must lead. As a leader, Desmond Mpilo Tutu teaches me to be a moral example and a servant if I want to lead. The economic and social change supervised by Queen Victoria, gives me hope that I can impact the Ghanaian economy. The humanitarian achievement of Florence Nightingale inspires my dream of leaving a legacy for posterity. Each story of leadership I have read encourages me to develop myself to become a great leader.
Chevening is looking for individuals with strong professional relationship building skills, who will engage with the Chevening community and influence and lead others in their chosen profession. Please explain how you build and maintain relationships in a professional capacity, using clear examples of how you currently do this, and outline how you hope to use these skills in the future. (minimum word count: 100 words; maximum word count: 500 words)
The success of a team, thrives on how comfortable people are during interactions. Which also depends on the working relationship available. Allowing people to express themselves brings a lot of ideas to work with. When people realize you respect their views, they are willing to put in the efforts necessary to do a task. To build such an environment requires effective communication and tolerance.
As an Agricultural Extension Officer, effective communication has been useful in my interaction with farmers. My attitude has been one that inspires farmers not to have an inferiority complex. I often visit them in their homes to pep-talk and share a meal. I have been able to build the kind of trust that makes them adopt new technologies I introduce to them. Even with the ‘late adopters’, I listen to the concerns they have and then explain the complex issues to them. By creating an atmosphere of shared ideas, we all get to the point of accepting the best alternative. When I gained admission to study at Achimota School, I joined the social clubs on campus to develop my interpersonal skills. I also stood for election as the class prefect all in the bid to develop my skills. As the class prefect, I developed the ability to speak to large crowds and people in authority. The exposure helped me overcome my anti-social attitude. My experience talking with school authorities and peer’s, taught me the importance of social networking. I learned to build positive working relationships through my interaction with the staff.
Also, as an intern at the Animal Research Institute, building relationships with my superiors was a great asset. I benefited from their worth of experience and I still have some senior research scientist acting as my mentors. I still have that working relationship with the staff. In college, the habit of speaking positively was helpful in managing the teams I worked with. In a team, it is important to accept and provide support, it enhances relationship building. I leverage the support I provide to get teams to finish tasks on schedule.
In my quest to become a Chevening scholar, the skills I have learned over the years will be useful in my interactions with the team. My experience so far has made me realize, providing support, builds trust and allows people to showcase their potential. When I join the 2019 Chevening Scholars, I will create an advising environment where fellow scholars will be willing to help each other. I will do this through the creation of a social platform with fellow Chevening Scholars. As a scholar, I will show respect for all, avoid the blame game and share credits. I would help fellow scholars to unearth their abilities by encouraging the team. I will use the skills I learned in my Conflict Management course in resolving potential conflicts that may arise. I will ask fellow scholars to take time out to listen to fellow scholars, this will help us bridge the cultural and social differences.
Outline why you have selected your chosen three university courses, and explain how this relates to your previous academic or professional experience and your plans for the future. Please do not duplicate the information you have entered on the work experience and education section of this form (minimum word count: 100 words, maximum word count: 500 words)
I considered several factors during my college search for postgraduate study. Factors included the course content, the values of the university and the location. Another important factor, was the cost of tuition and cost of living in the University community. I wanted Universities with fees within the limits of potential sponsors and still access quality education. I chose Universities with good rankings on the Times Higher Education and the QS rating. I chose the Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), not just because it is a member of the prestigious Russell Group. Looking through the course content of the MSc. Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, I realized it aligned with my career aspirations. With my background in Biotechnology, I find this course to be a buildup on my previous education. Also, QUB provides students with career guidance, academic skills and personal development. QUB’s world-class research facilities and Bio-entrepreneurship module of the course promises to be useful as I plan to start a research enterprise upon completion. The 3-month summer research training will help me build my research capabilities to an international level. From the testimonies of alumni, its high standards of teaching and worth of academic staff, promises to be the right place to pursue my dreams. The estimated cost of living and housing in Belfast is affordable. QUB’s equality and diversity policy, inspires hope as an international student. With a high student satisfaction and teaching score, Aberystwyth University was my next favorite. Promising a multidisciplinary approach to studying and exploring avenues with industry players. The MSc. Animal Science was my choicest course at Aberystwyth. With over 97% of its research world acclaimed, this course will sharpen my research skills. The course content allows me to specialize in an area of interest and conduct a dissertation at the world class laboratories on campus. The course fees are the lowest I have come across and the ‘Wales experience’ shared by an alumnus is exciting enough to try. Aber, will give me a solid foundation in Biological research and practical farming experience. My values and goals, are in line with Aber’s motto ‘Nid Byd, Byd Heb Wybodaeth’ which translates ‘A world without knowledge is no world at all’. Aber, does not only boast about its facilities, it has notable alumni in the likes of the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles. The academic and social life at University of Leeds will prepare me for a balanced life. With assessment methods to help students develop independent thinking and practical abilities, the MSc. in Plant Science and Biotechnology will give me a solid foundation to run in the corporate world. The course also entails training in Professional and Career Development. Fees and charges at University of Leeds are moderate. The CPS research center makes learning this course worthwhile.
Chevening is looking for individuals who have a clear post-study career plan. Please outline your immediate plans upon returning home and your longer-term career goals. You may wish to consider how these relate to what the UK government is doing in your country. (minimum word count: 100 words, maximum word count: 500 words)
Ever since the question of what contribution I can make to humanity crossed my mind, I have made it my priority to be remembered for something that humanity will treasure. My enthusiasm for research started in high school, laboratory sessions always made an impression on me, the fascinating experience of solving challenges always thrilled me. This enthusiasm led me to pursue an undergraduate degree that was dominated with lab coursework, with a research thesis being an essential determinant for the award of a degree in Agricultural Biotechnology. The knowledge acquired from my undergraduate study has been very useful in assisting farmers within the Ga West zone. My interaction with these farmers on their farms allowed me to identify surmountable challenges, and it is my dream to use the knowledge I would be acquire from my postgraduate study to solve these challenges. In the next five years, I look forward to expanding my knowledge on cellular activity, and using this knowledge to alleviate the troubles in crop and animal production. For the one year that I will be studying MSc Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at Queen’s University, I would want to tackle two major issues; the first is developing methods to improve the feed utilization efficiency in poultry and the second is on breeding crops with enhanced nutrients that will require that when consumed in small quantity will still meet the body requirements for the specific nutrients. This, when done, will reduce the cost of feed which will in-turn reduce the cost of production; a major reason why Ghana is unable to meet the quantity demands of consumers. I look forward to starting a commercial farm and private research station whose focus will be on using biotechnological tools in the advancement of agriculture whilst looking at the environmental footprints from the activities of farming. I have already designed a business proposal and prepared research proposals to guide me in this regard. I am hopeful that after obtaining the knowledge and skills I seek through this Chevening Scholarship I will be able to accomplish my goals and be a Chevener that Chevening will boast about. I find nothing better than using my passion to assist the goal of making the world a better place; alleviating the problem of pollution and famine. Biotechnology does not only offer solution to agriculture, it tackles global energy crisis and health.