This is how you get BNM scholarship.

A concise understading is all you need.

Posted by Muhammad Ilham Rifqi bin Mohamed Azlan on August 24, 2019

After experiencing multiple rejections from various scholarship providers, I was finally awarded with the Bank Negara Kijang scholarship 2020. Essentially, the bank was the saviour that shed light during my darkest moments in the post-spm scholarship application period. Up to this day, I am eternally grateful for the opportunity that the bank had laid out before me, acting as a platform that bridges the gap between me and my dreams.

Since a lot of my scholar friends have already provided their inputs with regards to the process of the scholarship application, assessment and interview, I will not explain those stages in too much detail. However I would say that compared to the previous years, the stages that students have to go through during my year was completely different. We had to do everything online. So for the sake of simplicity, here are a few tips and advice that I would give to those who intend to be one of the Kijang Scholarship recipients.

1) Fluency Practice

Whether we like it or not, the ability to converse in English is imperative when it comes to scholarship interviews. For me, it gives the impression to the panel that you are one competent individual. Unlike many others, although I am able to speak in English proficiently on a daily basis, I lacked the interpersonal communication skills for interview sessions. So what I did was, I held a few brief mock interview sessions with my good friends (shout out to Umar and Thiru from MRSM KKB!) a week before the interview. We asked interview questions to each other and answered them. In that course of time, you will have to record yourself, and see what you can improve on. For example, your selection of words, your tone of voice (check if it sounds too unnatural or monotonous) as well as other factors like stutterness. Do not fret or be too hard on yourself if you cannot speak perfectly (because you don’t have to) as long as the content is relevant and there, they will take it into account. But make sure you give that sort of confident and cheerful vibe when speaking to attract them!

2) Research

If you are planning to take Economics as your degree, make sure you are aware of the current issues related to that field. You do not have to flex to the panel that you understand all these difficult economic concepts and theories, as long as you have the basic knowledge and you are able to correlate it with your question, that is already adequate. Apart from that, you must also have a clear picture of the journey you will have to go through if you get the scholarship. For instance, which university are you going to apply to and how many years you are going to study there and what kind of degree you plan to take. Last but not least, you must do your research about the bank before the interview because some questions might be about the bank (what do you like about BNM and etc).

3) Essay

Before submitting your essay, make sure you proofread and check everything. Be creative with your essay while staying relevant to the course you are applying to. Personally, I would advise against using too many jargons in your essay because you do not want to give off the impression that you are pretentious. Just be truthful to yourself and write it with burning passion.

4) Social skills

During the assessment, there was a part where we had to discuss a case study with our designated group. In these kinds of situations, make sure that you engage in the discussion. Do not just stay quiet, contribute something to the group. It's not a competition, it's about how you work well with others. Do not attempt to dominate the discussion and please give way to others if they want to speak. If you do not have any ideas, just support your teammates ideas and add a little bit of reasoning to it as long as you speak. You have to tolerate and respect each other. Oh, and another thing is, be friendly with everyone. Before the session starts, engage and have a good laugh with them so that you look friendly as the panel will be observing you all the time.

All in all, for those of you who are planning to apply for a scholarship, you must do a significant amount of preparation prior to the interview. For some, all these favourable qualities have already naturally existed in their personalities due to the conducive environment that they were brought up in. However, if you suffer the same fate as I do, we have to work extra hard in order to achieve what we want. Yang penting chill and do not think that your life revolves around getting a scholarship. I wish you guys all the best and hope that you are able to secure the scholarships that you want! Kalau dapat bank, masuk lah KTJ nanti kita lepak sama-sama.