Today, Mahmoud El Sakka enjoys an esteemed career as Advisor to the Prime Minister of Egypt on Privatisation. Looking back on his Chevening journey, Mahmoud shares the unique career advice he would give his younger self as a scholar in 1990.
How to use your Chevening master’s degree to boost your career
Whether you studied for a master’s in Human Rights or spent your degree learning the intricacies of Cyber Security, one thing’s for sure: completing your studies means you’re ready to take the next step in your career. Here’s how to make the most of your Chevening Award when you graduate and return home.
Evaluate your new knowledge and skills
There are numerous ways you can use your newly obtained master’s degree and launch into your desired career path after you return home from your Chevening year in the UK.
Primarily, of course, there’s the value of your new qualification to consider. A master’s degree provides you with advanced knowledge and specialist expertise that can open up a variety of doors in industries that are relevant to your chosen career path.
A master’s in engineering, for example, can provide you with technical skills necessary for various senior roles. Likewise, a master’s degree could furnish you with management expertise that may unlock managerial jobs.
Your degree should provide you with confidence that you have the ability to hit the ground running once you land a new job. Recognising the value of this newfound knowledge and showing how you can leverage it to employers is a great first step in using your master’s to move forward in your career.
Highlight the value of your Chevening Scholarship
Equally important—and something that will make you stand out from other master’s grads—is the fact that you obtained a Chevening Scholarship. Having this on your CV shows you’re a highly motivated, exceptional professional, so make sure to highlight it. Find out our top tips on how to make your CV stand out to employers here.
For the 2022/23 scholar cohort, only 2.39% of applicants were successful in being chosen for Chevening. Don’t shy away from mentioning this to potential employers – it is a big achievement and something you should be proud of.
When it comes to job interviews, you can also refer to the various other benefits you’ve gained from your scholarship to impress recruiters. That includes the extensive network of 55,000+ successful individuals around the world you can tap into. Also make sure to mention involvement in any extra-curricular Chevening initiatives you took part in while in the UK, such as volunteering or mentoring.
Show your cultural awareness
Looking beyond what your new qualification says about you, it’s important to think about the unique experience you’ve gained as an international student in a new country during your Chevening master’s—experience that can prove vital when you return home and begin looking for jobs.
Studying abroad suggests several things that can show your worth during job applications. It shows drive and ambition, revealing you to be somebody who is open to new experiences and prepared to take risks as you seek to progress in your career. Employers like new hires who will take the initiative and not simply opt for the easy option.
Living and studying abroad for an extended period also suggests you have an enhanced cultural awareness. Immersing yourself in a new culture with different laws, norms, and even a new language, can broaden your horizons.
Employers today value cultural understanding, as it can lead to better decision making. According to People Management, diverse teams are 87% better at making decisions. Highlighting the valuable cultural experience you gained in the UK can therefore show hiring managers that you’re prepared to work in a multicultural environment and can listen to diverse viewpoints. Making this point during interviews is a great way to ensure you stick in the minds of recruiters moving forwards.
Remember your personal development
While you consider the unique benefits you’ve gained from your Chevening master’s degree, it’s important to remember that this is as much about your own personal growth as it is about professional development.
While your Chevening master’s is sure to impress recruiters, reflecting on the value of your degree should also show you how far you’ve come since taking the decision to enrol.
Applying for jobs isn’t always simple and your next career step could take longer than initially planned when you returned home. Patience is therefore key, and while you fine tune your applications and practise your interview technique, remember the journey you’ve been on since applying for your Chevening Award, and how far you’ve come since its beginning.
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