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February 21, 2011 / Brent Sears

Scholarship Advisors – With Different Titles

The people who will be able to help you in your scholarship quest won’t have the title Scholarship Advisor, so I suggest the following:

Treat EVERY person you encounter as if they were the most important person within 1,000 miles.

I suggest this because it is the right thing to do, but understand that in the scholarship game the people who will help you the most usually don’t carry amazing titles. In a later post I will talk about how secretaries are some of the most important connections you will make, because they know (almost) everything!

It is possible to find, apply for, and win scholarships without any help from the outside world, but most likely that won’t happen. You will have to make connections with people you have never met before, which can be scary at first.

Who is important and who isn’t?

What if they don’t like me?

How will I know what to say?

Start easy and start small.  If you have a guidance counselor or academic advisor, go to their office in person and set up a meeting when it is convenient for them…sometime they will see you then and there, so be prepared.  If you have never met the person make sure you don’t wear anything that you would possibly wear to bed.  You can be yourself, but make sure you look like you care and have intentions of making good use of their time.  And put your cell phone completely away…please don’t screw up an important connection because you just received a text.

You job is to go in with whatever information you have and ask if they are aware of any scholarship lists or awards that may be available to you in the coming year.  Ask what other students have done in the past that might fit you.  They may know of something and they may not, but the fact that you made it a point to see them means they will remember you and know you are looking.  Something might come up and they will automatically think of you…this happened to me more than once as a study abroad advisor and the students I knew won serious awards because of it.

Once again, you should already do this, but from the time you walk into the building you are about to have your meeting in, to the time you walk out, make sure that you treat everyone as if they were the most important person within 1,000 miles. This goes for janitors,administrators, professors, other students…anyone with a heartbeat.  You never know who is going to be the person who knows something that you need to.  So be polite!


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