In case you hadn’t heard, the deadline for submitting your application to the 2017 Mandela Washington Fellowship is October 26 at 16:00 UTC. For the past several weeks, the YALI Network blog has been posting advice designed to help this year’s applicants. There is a lot of information, so we have compiled links to all of the blog posts here as a convenient reference you can use before you submit your application. Many of the posts, especially the advice on writing skills and how to best present yourself and your accomplishments, are also very helpful to consult if you are applying for jobs or admission to university and graduate school.
Experts from the U.S. Department of State answered some of the most common questions, such as who is eligible to be a Fellow, what documents are required, how applicants are selected, and what to expect after you submit your application. Be sure to check out the summary of a recent Facebook #YALICHAT and their advice in a separate blog post. You can also see the summary of the 2016 Facebook #YALICHAT with Britta Bjornlund and Todd Haskell to get more advice from State Department experts.
Advice from former Fellows is particularly helpful, not only because they can help explain why their applications succeeded, but in some cases they can share what they learned from previous mistakes. Many Fellows have responded to questions on the YALI Facebook page, and a blog post summarizes some of their best recommendations.
Adepeju Jaiyeoba, a 2014 Fellow from Nigeria, compiled her own list of tips as a 2015 guest blogger. This year, she wrote a whole series of posts on the YALI Network’s Face2Face page offering advice on how to answer the 2017 essay questions.
Several 2016 Fellows, with the application experience still fresh in their minds, had good advice on ways to improve your English skills, which of the three tracks you should choose, how best to show your accomplishments, and what the Fellowship means when it asks for a “proven record of leadership.” They also highlighted many ways that using YALI Network’s power to connect people will give you an advantage.
Lastly, be sure to read the guest blog post by Alfousseni Sidibé, a 2016 Fellow from Mali who was an unsuccessful applicant in 2014 and 2015. He has a message for every applicant: Never give up!