Developing Your Skills

Working on any skills in life only help you to be better at the things you are trying to accomplish. Professionally, you are going to continue to develop your skills for your job so that you stay focused in what you do. In terms of applying for awards, jobs, internships, or anything else, you need to get a good foundation of skills to the next level in order to stand out amongst your peers and competitors. The following tips are resources to help you best develop your skills.

1. Develop a winning mindset

In life, we often get told no more than we get told yes. It's frustrating and can make you want to give up or change course. But, when you know what you want to do, you have to go after things even when they're hard. Think about what you can do to push past the difficulties and step outside of your comfort zone. Keep doing this enough and it will become a part of who you are. Once it does, you'll be able to do anything. It takes hard work to be successful.

It's tempting to focus on what you can do or what comes easily to you while ignoring the things you don't want to or think you can't do. But can you set yourself up for success and to achieve your goals without doing those things? Probably not. Think about how you can make those difficult things manageable by breaking them down into smaller tasks, asking friends and mentors for help or guidance, or finding online resources to help. Setting yourself up for success will make it easier for you to achieve your goals.

2. Be yourself

Strong applications come from being authentic. Reviewers have trouble trusting and awarding funds to people who come across as fake, phony, or unreliable. To be authentic, you have to be introspective and understand what motivates you. Keep your true self and desires in mind as you select the opportunities which best fit with your motivations, core values, and beliefs.

Being authentic means that you look for the best-fit opportunities rather than contorting yourself to fit what a program is looking for. By working on showing your program exactly who you are, you will feel more relaxed about the content you are submitting. Highlight the things you are passionate about and be true to the things that make you, you.

3. Reach out for help

If you are feeling unsure about an application, reach out to our Office for help! there are plenty of opportunities to have a draft revised, get some feedback on ideas, or overall just have your application reviewed by us. There are also other outlets on campus such as the Writing Lab that would be happy to work with you to make your skills better for this application and for the future! Don't be afraid to reach out for help, it is important to feel super confident in the material you submit to any program.

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