The Chevening networking essay writing guideline contained in this post comes with specific networking skills examples from a previous networking essay sample. Chevening networking essay samples provide examples for elaborating the tips for writing networking essays.
These will help Chevening scholarship applicants understand what the Chevening scholarship committee expects from international students applying for UK Gov Scholarships under Chevening.
Chevening Scholarship Application Networking Essays
Writing Chevening networking essays is one of the steps of the scholarship application. It also forms part of the four requisite Chevening Scholarship essays that have the potential to secure applicants a Chevening scholarship to study in the UK. The importance of Chevening networking essays is pegged on the fact that networking skills are essential for professionals who wish to speed up the realization of their ambitions.
Networking skills helps professionals to communicate their ideas to other like-minded individuals, recruit them to their cause, and influence them to join hands in working towards a common goal.
When writing Chevening networking essays, students must also show tangible evidence of, not only using their networking skills to build professional relationships, but also maintain them, with an additional requirement to elaborate on how they will use their skills in future (after the Chevening UK Gov scholarship) to influence change as future leaders.
STEP 1: Understanding the Chevening Networking Skills Question
The first thing that an applicant should do, before writing anything, is to make sure that you understand the networking skills essay question.
Chevening Networking Essay Question
“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.”
Looking at the the essay prompt, you will notice that it has six integral parts/requirements.
- Chevening is looking for individuals with strong professional relationship-building skills
- Who will engage
- Lead others
- Maintain professional relationships
- Use networking skills in the future
These are the six major requirements that must be addressed by a good Chevening networking essay.
STEP 2: Picking Suitable Networking Examples
The second step of preparation for writing networking essays is to think of the most convincing and interesting examples of your networking experiences. It is advisable to write a list of the the most appropriate networking examples, and examine each at a time, depending on your own determination of their appropriateness to meet the requirements stated above.
Generating Networking Examples
Examples of people who qualify to be members of your professional network include:
- Workmates, employers, and employees- both from current and previous positions
- Members of Professional bodies or associations
- Former University lecturers, professors, and tutors
- Former classmates
Methods of engaging or maintaining relationships with your networks include:
- Periodic face-to-face meetings with members of professional associations
- Social media interactions e.g. through focus groups on Facebook
- Random meetings with stakeholders Conferences
- Organized discussion forums and seminars
Reflection and Picking Examples of Networking Skills
Chevening Scholarship applicants should consider some of these reflection questions to help them select suitable networking examples that could be used to add weight to their Chevening networking essays.
- Do you have membership to a professional body/ social media network?
- What is the structure and composition of the professional body?
- What is the purpose of the professional body and what does it stand for?
- How has the professional body influencd transformative change in the community/society?
- What is your membership level and role in the professional body?
- How have you benefited from your membership to this professional association?
- Does the association organize meetings, training, conferences, seminars, etc for members?
- Have you met significant professionals, leaders, or persons of influence in those meetings/conferences/seminars?
- Have you been able to establish helpful professional relationships from your interactions with members and other significant people that you’ve met?
- Are you engaged in full-time, or part-time employment? Previous job experiences are also applicable. However, it is recommended that you make use of current or recent examples of networking.
- What is your role and position in your current job?
- How do you interact with workmates-meetings, training-camp?
- How do you build and maintain professional relationships with colleagues internally, and with customers externally?
- How have you used your networking skills, leadership skills and influence to improve the organisation’s performance and operations, or that of your fellow employees?
- Are you engaged in volunteering work?
- What is your role and position?
- How has your volunteering work influenced change or transformation in the community?
- How do you build helpful professional relationships with colleagues and the people you serve?
- How have these interactions been helpful to you and to others?
The TRUE Approach of Picking Suitable Networking Examples
After brainstorming on your networking examples, you should then use the TRUE approach to select the best examples for your Chevening networking essay.
T-True: The examples that you use to illustrate your networking skills in the Chevening essays MUST be true, real-life examples explained in an honest and truthful manner. You should resist the temptation of exerggerating your achievements or giving false accounts of your networking experiences. Remember that, leadership, an integral tenet of the Chevening scholarship is about telling the truth at all times even when lying seems to provide an easier outcome.
R-Relevant/Recent: Your networking examples should be in touch with the theme and purpose of your Chevening networking essay. Moreover, you should mention the most recent examples of your achievements. This helps to paint a clear picture of your current level of personal and professional growth, a factor that is essential for the determination of your suitability for the Chevening scholarship program.
NOTE: Previous experiences, when used as examples, should be accompanied by recent achievements.
U-Unique: Your Chevening networking essay, and other Chevening scholarship essays like the influence/leadership essay and the Career Plan Essay, should be unique. You should avoid duplicating the content of previous networking essay samples and focus on telling on your own story in a creative, persuasive, and innovative manner.
***The four Chevening application essays that you submit to the Chevening scholarship panel should market your unique strengths, abilities, and achievements.
E-Exciting: The examples of your networking skills should be interesting. You should write in a manner that your networking essay creates a captivating imagination in the minds of members of the Chevening scholarship panel, drawing their attention to the uniqueness of your experiences, achievements, and abilities.
Your examples should be easy to understand. Most important is that they should resonate with the theme of influence, leadership and impactfulness.
For example, starting up a volunteering group is more interesting compared to being a class rep in high school.
Settling on Networking Skills Examples
NOTE: The best networking skills examples are those that are most recent, within your current professional practice, and those that are in touch with your selected courses. Considering that the word limit for the networking essay is 500 words, finding a single example that meets the requirements stated above would be ideal. However, getting a single, ideal example may prove difficult for majority of the applicants.
Therefore, I recommend that you select a maximum of three of the most appropriate examples that will answer the questions below;
- Professional relationship-building skills:
How have you or do you build helpful professional networks?
You need to show evidence of building professional networks. Additionally, you should state tangible examples of how you created professional networks, with proof of their benefit to your growth as a professional in a given field or discipline, not personal ones.
How did you or do you engage members of your professional network?
How did you or do you maintain professional relationships with members of your network?
This entails engagement and constant interaction with members using professional modes of communication; with evidence of a personal-level interaction, and an exchange of ideas or information that yields benefit.
Moreover, it is important to note that your Chevening networking essay will give you an ADVANTAGE if it contains evidence, or examples of your ability to network across diverse cultures, social status, ages, professional expertise, etc.
How do you or have you brought influence using or within your professional networks?
How do your networking skills demonstrate leadership or ability to influence others to achieve a desired goal?
- Using networking skills in future:
How will you continue engaging and maintaining existing networks after your Chevening Scholarship?
How will you use current and new networks to influence change?
How will you use your networking skills in future as a leader to bring about a desired outcome in your home country?
NOTE: Chevening scholarship has a strong bias for leadership and influencing change, more so in the host country. It is, therefore, crucial that you elaborate on how you will use your networking skills, not only for your own benefit, but also for the benefit of your community or nation as a future leader or influencer.
You may also want to see our detailed guide on Writing the Chevening Studying in the UK Essay
STEP 3: Essay Structure- The 3 Parts of an Ideal Structured Essay
Finally, after ensuring that the selected examples of networking skills meet the suitability criteria discussed above, the final step is choosing an appropriate essay structure for writing the Chevening networking essays.
Basically, the structure of an ideal essay consists of three parts, namely;
I recommend that you adopt a five paragraphs essay structure when writing Chevening networking essays.
Introduction- What to Write in the First Paragraph of your Essay
This should describe your own understanding of networking and why networking skills are crucial for professional growth. Briefly state your previous networking experiences. How you build professional networking relationships in your current job or position?
For example, here is an introduction paragraph of a previous Chevening networking essay sample on Health, Medicine, and Medical Practice
Michele Jennae argued that networking is not just connecting with people. It’s more of connecting people with others who have ideas, and with opportunities. A simpler definition of networking by the Oxford dictionary, is building a supportive information sharing system, consisting of individuals and groups that share common interests.
In my view, effective networking goes beyond establishing relationships- it seeks to build, grow, expand and sustain beneficial, professional relationships that symbiotically create a win-win situation for all. This view is influenced by my experiences as a medical doctor in South Africa, and a member of the South Africa Medical Association, where I have been organizing seminars and conferences to push for improved health services and training.
From the good results attained so far, I have come to appreciate the role of networking as a tool for enhancing transformative change and professional growth.
Networking Essay Body Structure: What to Write in the Body of your Essay
I recommend that you have a three paragraphs essay body structure for your your Chevening networking essay.
- Essay Body Structure- Paragraph 1
Describe your professional network and how you built the network. This includes describing your position at work, your interactions, and how you use networking skills to maintain professional relationships
Networking Skills Example from Health, Medicine, and Medical Practice Scholarship Essay
I have a paid membership to the South Africa Medical Association, an umbrella association of medical doctors in South Africa, whose objective is to collectively strive for improved maternal health services in South Africa. Being part of the organization’s team that organizes activities like annual science conferences, medical seminars, camps, and workshops, I have managed to interact with several leading professionals in the medical field, both from South Africa and beyond.
For instance, during the South Africa Medical Association’s Annual Scientific Conference in 2017, I met Dr. Maya, an expert in maternal and early childhood healthcare, and a lecturer at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who was one of our invited guest speakers. Dr. Maya demonstrated an unusual expertise and passion for maternal and early childhood healthcare which left an impression in me. I approached her and requested her to mentor me, to which she readily accepted.
- Essay Body Structure -Paragraph 2
This should explain the importance of your network in respect of your host country and its benefit to your professional growth and to others.
Examples from Sample Chevening Networking Essay on Health, Medicine, and Medical Practice
Since then, we have been communicating regularly through emails and phone calls, by which Dr. Maya has mentored me on my medical career, helping me develop my knowledge and interest in maternal and early childhood healthcare.
For being proactive and inquisitive, Dr. Maya informed me that I could develop my knowledge and skills further by pursuing a masters degree in medicine under the Chevening scholarship program. I equally assisted Dr. Maya in collecting research data on the economic burden of malaria in expectant and breastfeeding mothers.
- Essay Body Structure- Paragraph 3
You should explain the unique achievements realized through your network and your networking skills, including the significance of the achievements to you and to others.
Examples from Chevening Networking Essay Sample on Health, Medicine, and Medical Practice
Finally, by attending scientific conferences and medical camps, I have improved my skills in writing abstracts for science conferences, in addition to familiarizing with current approaches for management of diverse health conditions. I have, subsequently, used this newfound knowledge improve healthcare services in my community, which is faced with an acute shortage in medical specialists.
I do this by organizing weekly seminars and on-job training activities for junior healthcare providers and midwives. Through this initiative, I have so far inducted experience in managing complicated pregnancies to 15 doctors and 26 midwives, who are helping to reduce infant mortality rates in South Africa.
- Conclusion Paragraph:
Explain how you will grow, maintain, and use your networking skills after the Chevening scholarship, including how the Chevening scholarship program will help you expand and utilize your professional network to influence change in your home country.
Example from the Chevening Networking Essay Sample on Health, Medicine, and Medical Practice
As a Chevening Scholar, I plan to engage with like-minded scholars and alumni in exchanging information about initiatives, lessons learned and generally perspectives on different approaches for handling maternal complications and early childhood diseases.
Through the knowledge obtained from the extensive Chevening network, my local networks and the skills obtained from the study, I will engage medical specialists like Dr. Maya to design strategies that would promote better maternal and child healthcare services. Back home, I will liase with the South Africa Medical Association to lobby the government to train more medical specialists and improve the skill sets of existing healthcare workers.
Please note that the STARL approach is not a rigid template to dictate how your essay paragraphs should flow. On the contrary, it is more of a guide that helps you capture the important things from your networking experiences when writing your Chevening networking essay.
- Situation – Describe a problem that you or your organization needed to overcome.
- Task – Explain your role or objective in overcoming the challenge. You will also need to show how you collaborate with others through networking, leadership and influence.
- Action – Explain what you did to overcome the obstacle, giving specific details of how you did it.
- Result – Explain the results or outcome of your work, explaining how the results impacted or changed your organization or community.
- Lesson– Where applicable, give a summary of the important lessons that you learnt from overcoming your challenge through networking, leadership and influence.
To illustrate the STARL approach, I will use the Chevening Networking Essay sample that was submitted to the Chevening Scholarship committee by the South African medical doctor. The medical doctor explained his networking skills in respect of his membership to the South Africa Medical Association and the role he played in that organization- organizing medical camps, conferences, and seminars.
We can further analyze his Chevening networking essay using the STARL approach as follows;
The medical doctor had limited skills, just like the junior doctors and midwives that he trains. This comes from his explanation that he learnt skills for handling maternal conditions from his mentor, and that attending conferences improved his ability to write abstracts for scientific publications. Additionally, the community in which he serves has a shortage of medical specialists.
Organizing seminars and scientific conferences; The need to learn how to handle complicated pregnancies and early childhood diseases; Training junior healthcare workers in his community.
The medical doctor attends conferences where he learns to write scientific abstracts and asks Dr. Maya to mentor him in handling complicated pregnancies and early childhood diseases.
From attending conferences, the doctor learns how to write abstracts for scientific studies; He meets Dr. Maya who mentors his skills in handling pregnancy and early childhood complications; Meeting Dr. Maya opens new opportunities for him as he, in turn, becomes a healthcare trainer/leader/influencer in his community and also learns about the Chevening scholarship program.
The medical doctor, in his opening paragraph, states that his view on networking is influenced by experience as a medical doctor and a member of the South Africa Medical Association, where the benefits of his networking through seminars and conferences have helped him learn the value of networking as a tool for enhancing transformative change and professional growth.
You may also want to see our detailed guide on Writing all of the Four Chevening Essays Including;