If you’re aiming for a scholarship, Samantha says preparation is key.
“Read the scholarship multiple times. Make sure you know what they’re actually assessing. If you can target what they’re targeting, your chances increase a lot.
“I think people who are prepared and have the answers to the questions that the scholarship board is asking get the closest to receiving it,” Samantha says.
Do the groundwork
Take your preparation a step further by getting the experience to match your ambitions.
“I think it helps to volunteer. It looks really good on your résumé and you build connections that you can use as references for the scholarship, as well as later on in your study or your career,” Samantha says.
“And keep doing it while you study. Being out in the field is so beneficial. It re-enthuses you to study and gives you that extra motivation because it makes you feel like, yes, what I’m studying toward is something that I actually want to be doing with my life.
Samantha has experienced how valuable a network can be.
“So many opportunities come from just approaching someone and making a connection with them. Heaps of the volunteer stuff that I’ve done has come from other people that I met through volunteering,” Samantha says.
“Like I said before, you can have all of this really valuable research, but if you can’t connect with someone or know how to get your research out there, it has no impact. Sharpening your communication skills is the most important thing you can do for your career, no matter what field you’re in.”
Embrace the challenge
University study isn’t always a walk in the park. Samantha says that letting your passion be the wind in your sails can keep you moving towards your goals.
“Don’t get overwhelmed too much. Take it as a challenge. Remind yourself why you’re studying. You have to know your motivation,” Samantha says. “When you know why you’re studying and you have a reason for it or a passion for it, you’ll want to keep going even when it’s hard.”
For Samantha, her study journey can be summarised in one word: exciting.
“Marine science is something I’ve been so passionate about ever since being a kid. To get to go to university, do the work that I’ve done and see all of the opportunities ahead of me, it’s really exciting. I’m just excited to see what’s in the future.”
Interested in the opportunities a scholarship can give you? Check out JCU Scholarships.