How To Win Scholarships? Classify your Interests

Classification is one of the easiest ways to narrow down your research projects or goals. Although it can also be a complex process considering that we have never ending options.  Knowing that you are an 18 or 19-year-old undergraduate student or even if you are a master student, there is no classification which could be complex because you have enough time if you use it wisely.

I am pretty sure that you have a wide range of ideas but are not able to find or choose the best one for you. If the whole thing is a mess, pick one goddamn thing and execute on it by reading, watching or practicing the thing with the best available resources. This will help you to identify your likes and dislikes appropriately.

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Let`s talk about academics either scientific or non-scientific.

You can classify your interests by keeping yourself updated with the scientific and social development projects that you can find in excess in various digital platforms completely free. Keeping an eye on incoming funded projects in your university could lead you to follow the idea in detail by discussing the possibilities with the supervisor or leader of the project. This information can be attained easily from your administration department or webpage of the department.

Since you have spent significant hours in reading and listening to the stuff that you think you might like, try to choose your much-loved topics which should be broad enough rather than specific for ex: food, energy, management, family or transportation. Selecting a problem right now does not mean that you will work or conduct research in this area for your next 20 years.

The next step should be finding your potential supervisor or laboratory where you can learn the process of working in a laboratory. Mentors and senior students will help you define your ideas into experiments or essential objectives.  Looking for a supervisor in a department you are studying is the best place to start as you have many chances to interact with your professors during your day to day premises.

You can also contact the possible supervisors via email, and I tell you that most of them will happily attend you and listen to your proposal especially if you are from the same University.  But make sure that you have conducted an in-depth study of your proposition. The whole talk will be more productive if you are aware of the supervisor work and how you are going to link prospects in his/her team. And even if you don’t have any planned ideas, you can always propose your curiosity to join the team. This is where you sow the seed of your project

As Tibetan Buddhist Master Chogyam said, “ There is no such thing as talent, only awareness” if you have developed the habit of being aware and reading, you will always be driven to work while traveling in trains or any possible free time slots to increase the maximum output with maximum joy. The undergraduate years are indeed critical, and it will yield positive results if you invest your time strategically and try to maximize the output.

There are other university proposed courses or events such as term paper, internships or secondary research project which are the golden opportunities to design your project and improvise on skills where you are lacking.  The best strategy will be to work in 4 different projects or different disciplines to explore maximum domains of research in your undergraduate years.

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How To Win Scholarships? Enjoy The Process

It is in continuation of my last blog where I am sharing the detailed importance of conducting independent research projects in your University.

How To Win Scholarships? Undergraduate Research Experience 1

The broader goal is to maximize your learning and try different ideas in your School or University years. The technology and science are developing so fast that you cannot stick with just one plan and one strategy. But instead it should be one idea and multiple strategies or multiple ideas and numerous strategies. Undergraduate school is the best time to try your random ideas which will later help you to find your research interest or innovative venture which could either be academic or non-academic.

But ideas always stay as ideas if you do not execute on them. Therefore, you should plan your daily goals and work with a mindset to extract the maximum from the present moment according to the availability of resources.

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Talking about the resources, I realized while I was interacting with students from around the world that undergraduate research is promoted mainly through long-term research internships or research-based course structure. Not only this, but they also have the right amount of funds for undergraduate students in terms of research, exchange semesters or travel grants. But how students from developing nations can get involved in undergraduate research with limited time and resources?

There are specific competitive summer research programs which have a limited number of seats with a tough selection process.

Although things have changed a lot with the rise in digital technologies and free resources that can be exploited to conduct detailed secondary research at the undergraduate level.

Connecting with students from a final year or doctorate program can lead you to the favorable outcome as interaction with last year graduates or PhDs are more frequent than the supervisor. The undergraduate research experience can add a lot to the innovation sector of developing nations which is much needed.

The initial doubts of a student are identifying research interest or approaching the professor. It can be confusing, but it should not be a difficult decision if you are using the Internet the right way. Isn`t it?

The goal is to consume information from research articles and other resources from the broad theme that you enjoy exploring. Everything you can get the hands-on topics that fascinate you and gives you the sheer pleasure of doing it. This step could be a little frustrating if you are already worried about the result. Therefore, you got to stay focused and invest hours in reading blogs, listening to a podcast or any other digital tools where you can extract valuable content. If you have already been pursuing this strategy and narrowed down your interest, it’s better to consume more in-depth scientific content from publications that are available for free. The same thing holds for other undergraduate students who are pursuing other fields either business, sales or marketing. The idea of undergraduate research or developing an independent project is to learn the process without thinking about the final product.

How To Win Scholarships? Undergraduate Research Experience 1

It is a proven fact that most of the students entering primary or middle-high school will find occupations that do not exist today. Therefore, the role of research and adapting to technology will play the central role in there personal as well as professional life. To prepare yourself for the changing economy, the complete system must adjust to the changing world, but it will take time to change the whole system. But you can always change or adapt quickly according to the available resources. Various insights considering the culture, environment, and technology will significantly improve the way of our learning.

Undergraduate students have enough potential to navigate and investigate new ways to find their potential abilities and qualities. The goal is to focus on the skills and competencies that are not the core focus of the regular curriculum in Universities and Schools.

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Did you ever think that you spend almost 1000-1400 days to complete your undergraduate school? The next question will be if you have anything in your mind about the output of these 1000-1400 days. Do you think that the degree or diploma is the ultimate fix? Have you designed any strategy to maximize the production of your undergraduate years to provide you the abilities in addition to theoretical and calculative knowledge?

What should be the short term and mid-term goals in the University which will work together to create a plausible roadmap of your future?

There is no hidden truth that University degree is considered as the gold standard set by a society which is the certificate for your future. But this is an illusion created by your fear and lack of awareness. Millions of students have obtained this golden certificate, but their life is still breaking loose. And most of you will believe that this certificate is going to keep you safe all your lives. This is mostly proving to be the hidden crisis among the millennials. Although, this statement or the fact should not hold mainly in the digital and information age.

Today`s and future candidates must be able to collaborate and communicate in multicultural teams with different stakeholders working in diverse backgrounds. As most of the specific skills will be easily replaced or optimized with machine learning and artificial intelligence tools. Involvement in a critical project requires coordination between different teammates and people management skills. Most of these projects will involve a lot of skills such as reading, writing and discussing new ideas which are the most valuable skill in the future. All these additional learning skills develop with time and are essential to ponder about multiple possibilities and learnings.

Conducting independent research or project in undergraduate school will help you decide the ideal ways to orient your life and career decisions. In addition to orientations, the experience of undergraduate research makes you curious to explore your ideas and expand your integrated learning. To explore your project or vision, it is crucial to listen to your gut feelings which are unfiltered and undisturbed by any other perceptions.

This part of undergraduate research consists of a set of sub-blogs as it is a very important part of this series “HOW TO WIN SCHOLARSHIPS”.

Stay Tuned.

How to Win Scholarship? Attend Conferences 1.1

It was 2013 just in the middle of the 2nd year of undergraduate school when I attended my first International conference. In my last post, I shared the importance of attending conferences How to Win Scholarships? Attend Conferences 1.

In this, I am gonna tell you my personal experience and impression of attending the international conference in Tiruvannamalai in the southern state India, Tamil Nadu.

There is no doubt that our scientific reach has become global and effortlessly collaborative. The community based scientific events such as conferences, talks, workshops or symposiums bring all the stakeholders working in research and development together to explore new dimensions of a specific research theme and strengthen the future outcomes. Events like this, familiarize you to the advancements in the technology and research that is happening around the world. The exciting thing is that the frequency of conferences has increased and are being organized globally across all areas. The group scientific meeting is an excellent place to soak yourself an enormous amount of information and knowledge. In International Conferences, there are researchers from diverse countries and culture who are discussing one topic in an interdisciplinary approach.

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These events have been used for a long time to honor the renowned researchers and promote new ideas and new questions to young and aspiring researchers. It gives you the full window to communicate your science and maximize your networking with the renowned researchers.

Sometimes, it is essential to break the routine and try to do a different activity which is equally productive such as attending these events which also offers incredible food. I must tell you I have never been disappointed with the food and accommodation in all the conferences that I have attended in India.

For those who are stuck in their research or seeking new direction to connect their ideas, scientific meetings are the operative stage. The use of this stage to ask the right questions with a specific intention can nourish and embrace your work. These activities trigger and raise your sharpness or attitude of seeing a thing from a different angle which can work wonders in a research project either academic or industrial.  You learn to interpret your work more profoundly and link their objectives with your overall idea.

It is useful to synchronize your research objectives competently and effectually with the current advances in technology to see the potential impact of your research on human welfare. The real existence of any research output or product depends on the overall strategy of communicating the finding and conclusions with the scientific network. Attending these events are one time shot to meet your potential mentor that can take your career to the next level. It plays a very fundamental role and is indeed critical for the smooth execution and movement of your career curve.

I was fuelled up since the beginning of the conference and attacking any chance to indulge with prominent guest speakers or group discussions. Of a relevance, I remember I could steal a few minutes of one conversation with a renowned scientist aka professor who is now presently working with the US army.  My purpose in this conversation was to get clarity about the subject. The most significant component of scientific progress in an individual journey to learn and unlearn when needed.

Conferences are not merely a platform to present your research; it helps you to convert your networks to sustainable relationships that can recommend you some scholarships or suitable opportunities. Furthermore, I was fortunate enough to meet a few more scientists with whom I inquired for the possibility of short-term research stay or internships. The first experience of my conference was fruitful and full of new skills which pushed me to characterize my research strategy and implement the suggestions that I have received.

My experience was unusual as this act of meeting and greeting everyone in the hall was essential for me to look at things differently. For most of the students in University, there creativity and ideas are usually crushed by the demands of the system and society. But you need to understand the concepts requires input and nourishment in many ways; otherwise, it will only exist in the past but never live the present.

Getting exposure to these events will help you to overcome fears and doubts related to research and development.

It is a complete win situation.

How to Win Scholarships? Attend Conferences 1

Conferences are one of the best platforms to represent and express your ideas to a diverse community. In my last post, I shared the importance of sharing your ideas within your small group, friends or community where you are regularly involved in certain activities as it builds your communication and networking skills significantly. Once you have learned to share your ideas, at a certain point during work or research in University, it is beneficial to present the data in a conference or seminar where you meet like-minded researchers and students with whom you can collaborate or learn different aspects of the project. And there are ample opportunities at national and international level for students to present their work either academic, industrial or non-academic. Participation in these multidisciplinary events improves your public speaking and networking skills. Today more than ever, industries and investors are attending these events mostly who are interested in young people vision with excellent communication skills. Communicating and expressing your ideas well will set you apart in every stage.

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I found one such International conference in Energy and Environment which was the next stepping stone towards in-depth research, improvising speaking and networking skills. In addition to that participating in events represents a good accomplishment and achievement in your CV.   My supervisor was enthusiastic about the conference and asked me to prepare the first draft of the paper.  I was keen to learn two new things; scientific writing and speaking in front of eminent scientists and researchers. Of course, more efforts will be required for this challenge, and at the end of the day, it ensures your satisfaction with research. But you will have to prepare your mind for all the reactions and recommendation that you will receive at the conference. Either positive or negative.

Many believe that undergraduate school is the end and expects everything to go smoothly within the constructed structure of the college. There is limited evidence stating that everything is happy to go lucky after undergraduate years. Only your response or reactions towards difficult situations define your career path.

It might be a little tricky to manage all these activities together which require routine and repetitive actions. It is your responsibility to take these repetitive actions consciously. When the actions are unconscious and uncreative, then the output of work downgrade slowly and ultimately die. It will become the same as the giving exams and completing assignments which is dull and boring after a small period. If you are considering a job or a review with a vision and finishing it with full conscious, it will yield into something productive. But if you are mugging or copying the assignment, then it won`t result in something meaningful.

Consider your project as a mission where every small act is a ritual. The project is productive and meaningful if one engages in the new learning consciously and wholeheartedly. It is wise to know that the failure rate of starting something independently is quite high and happen often. If you don`t believe this, then take any case study of successful people in any field.

I realized this when I had to prepare the manuscript for my conference presentation where I had no escape. The thought of escaping the project will take away the responsibility along with your progress. The student working in an independent project is not solely linked with personal development but also advanced social development.  This demonstrates a sense of responsibility and leadership that directs you towards a better path.

Later, while trying to accomplish the draft manuscript for the conference, I found myself struggling and losing patience. But after rewriting the draft many times and discussing it with my supervisor, an acceptable paper was prepared to be sent.

I was happy because it gave a sense of satisfaction as finally, my efforts were giving some results after one year. I was excited to present my experiments to the scientific community which could bring value to the science and enhances my personal experience of public speaking. The conference was being organized in Tiruvannamalai which have extreme cultural and religious significance in India.

Stay tuned for the next blog where I will share the detailed experience of my FIRST CONFERENCE 

 

How to Win Scholarships? Share your Ideas

Don`t be scared to share your ideas with people especially when you are studying at a University. Testing and trying different things build the attitude of solving problems and makes you sensitive to handle problems effectively.

Most of the students believe that their ideas are not perfect but perfection is a subjective theme. So, don’t use perfection as an excuse.  Proposing and expressing your ideas independently allows you to initiate at a small level to apply the wisdom and experiences of others in multiple ways if you can follow the potential opportunities where you can express your ideas precisely and clearly can contribute hugely in the world along with personal success

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I will share a very small example from my personal experience—

I proposed a few simple experiments to my supervisor which aligned perfectly with the ongoing research in the laboratory.  My supervisor permitted me to execute the idea. The objective of the idea was to replace the standard nutrient or food solution of algae by the cattle waste to reduce the cost of producing algae. If you are a biologist or studying the related field, you might understand it more. Just imagine that you are trying to replace the plastic with bioplastic.

It is usual if you feel a bit anxious in the early stage of research or start-up because of inconsistency and setbacks. You must keep your concentration and consistency in your project where it belongs and learn to respond with a conscious and calm mind. There will be moments when you will think to quit your project which is mostly due to compulsive behavior or desire for quick results. Let them pass as most of the present problems won’t matter in the coming five months. And remind yourself about consistency or any positive experience that you have read will help you overcome the hurdles. These small choices that you will make for your project will be eventful and culture you to become a problem solver. It is your responsibility, but if you quit the project then your responsibility is over, so make your progress. This is why a student should utilize his University time effectively to have that an extra edge among the cream students.

I was learning and unlearning quickly because I was setting up experiments and failing regularly; therefore, I was producing more data and eliminating the things that were not working. Eliminating things in work or research is one of the best ways to increase the efficiency in your decision making and reaching your final professional goal.

Well, the idea of working in a laboratory is different as compared to attending classes as it is not the standard way of learning in the day to day life.  Occasionally, you will have doubts in your strategy as working on a project without any hope of getting a quick reward is not the way the regular school or university teaches you, but it shows you that it takes time to create something new. It will guide you to respect the audacity of your dreams. You will need to strengthen the ideas by diversifying the experiments or conditions.

The experience of undergraduate research will always have a lot to teach you and will give you important questions to think about.

There is always something to learn in every failure which teaches you to create your problem-solving equation. This attitude of working makes you an extended and better version of yourself by developing your planning, long term patients, and communications skills. More importantly, enjoying the experience of science or creating an independent project is the most rewarding feeling. Consistent trying improves your persuading skills which always give you a prejudicial advantage as you will learn to express better.

I made frequent mistakes which caused me to repeat the whole experiment from the starting. Sometimes, it was taking two months to repeat the complete test because of one small error. The results will depend on your efforts and positive mindset to embrace the passion for science and learning from every mistake.

To win scholarships or convince the selection committee, you need to build a strong foundation which will only progress with time and consistent efforts. You need to understand expressing your ideas in words is very critical for your application to be shortlisted for final selection. It gives you the edge over other applicants and increases your success rate in various forms.

Stay tuned. it is about to get more interesting 😉

How to Win Scholarships? Consistent Interaction with scientists, investors or leaders.

In my last blog, I shared the importance of networking in University and high school to build your diverse networks that have Huge impact in your profile to Win INTERNATIONAL SCHOLARSHIPS.

Today, I am going to share one of the important networks that I made in my University time which has helped me in every step of the journey to winning International Scholarships.

Here is the link

https://talkwithnik.com/2019/05/09/how-to-win-scholarships-work-on-your-networking/

Continuing the Journey after the director of the department introduced me to one of the Young Scientist working in the area of Algae Biotechnology.

When I first met the scientist, I didn’t have any clear idea about what I am going to say. So, I explained to her my broad interests and shared the past research projects that I had done in High school. She said that her funding is for a specific project but, I will get to learn everything new. Getting a chance to be a part authentic laboratory is an excellent opportunity. I got introduced to various projects about industrial applications of algae which have now booming industry.  I was ecstatic. My supervisor introduced me to a Ph.D. student who was my instructor in the laboratory. It was just six months past of my 1st year of undergraduate school, and I have already landed an excellent place to work.

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Some of you might call it luck, but It was the constant communication with seniors, professors, and director of the department that led me to this lab. Reaching out all the possible options will increase your overall value and chances of being a part of something bigger than you, and as a result, you will receive far more diverse knowledge than other students. To extract the maximum juice from your university life, you need to acquire more non-cognitive skills in addition to cognitive skills.

The way you interact with all the team members in the laboratory is the way your learning ability and career curve will progress. Since the beginning, I had great relationships with all the members and Ph.D. student who was my guide in the laboratory. She gave me the related reading material to know about the become project in detail. Though I knew that reading hardcore scientific articles will be difficult at that time, but I continued the process to know the right way to develop my scientific reading and writing skills. It was my responsibility to take the personal initiatives by going through various online blogs and magazines which are the best source of interdisciplinary information in any subject which was indeed useful to know more about the renewable energy market and research. In the next few weeks, I started learning new techniques like to grow algae and make biofuels from them. Taking a course which is opposite to regular customs of the university such as exams and assignments will expose you to brilliant ideas and inspire you to think differently.

Ph.D. and other senior students are aware of their responsibilities and daily tasks.  It is an official program where faculty, department and other team members regularly interact to keep track of every aspect of an individual project. The things will be different for an undergraduate student but if the student makes the excellent use of the opportunity both in lab and bench can turn out to be the most fulfilling experience. Students who work in their undergraduate school either scientific or non-scientific by learning new workflows, tools, processing data and formulating further questions.

For much of your school and university life, you are trained to be a right part of the system which is essential for law and order of the society. But if you want to think beyond this single and defined strategy. One must adapt to the change with technology and market to attain a more diverse experience. Undergraduate school is the best time to know if you like the idea of research or if it meets the requirement of your career curve. Getting into the laboratory or even in regular contact with one supervisor working on a secondary research project gives you a broader idea of the scientific world. The working experience in a laboratory or field will teach you additional vital skills that can be incorporated easily in other domains of work such as time and project management. A biologist will experiment either in a laboratory or environment whereas a business student can research the specific market or clients.

One should adapt to use bold strategies in undergraduate school as it expands the profile in many ways which shows the potential of the student. Most of the students have assumed that securing good marks will make them achieve the fulfilling experience or dream project which is the tragic way. Instead, they should expand there horizon by learning from the experience of your supervisors or seniors. One way to do this is to communicate frequently with your supervisor and next immediate senior about your doubts and ideas through email, WhatsApp or any other medium which is acceptable by both parties. Have the presence of mind while communicating with your colleagues. What makes your undergraduate successful is not the efficient completion of monotonous college routine which million other students are doing around the world. But it is the diversity and richness of your experiences that make you unique.

Working with a collaborative mindset increases the efficiency of research in the workplace; therefore, sharing ideas with colleagues and supervisor will bring out the maximum output for the team. It is critical for personal and group success in science or any other venture as it increases both individual and group participation. Furthermore, with positive guidance from your supervisor and team members can strengthen your ideas. It is important to coordinate your ideas between two or more people to achieve the final purpose.

Next blog will be focused on Ideas and expressing your ideas without fear…

Stay tuned 😉