Particularly in my case, JPA advertises Political Science and Business Management under the name ‘Social Science’. Therefore, if you are an aspiring psychologist or linguistic professor, this scholarship will not suit you exactly. It is also important to know that JPA-JKPJ is not a full scholarship but rather a loan, in which you will have to pay for a certain amount if you fail to (or choose not to) work for government bodies.
I cannot exactly remember every detail of this particular application phase, but I was given an extensive list of courses, mostly engineering courses with varying countries, with differing requirements. The engineering courses (if I remember correctly), require A or A+ in Sciences and Mathematics subjects, which for me at the time was devastating because I missed an A for chemistry, which left me with only the option to go to France for ‘Social Science’ (which again, is their way of saying Political Science and Business Management, though they may change it by the time you are applying). After looking through the long list of courses (hats off to JPA for offering such a variety of courses), I had to fill an online form to indicate which course I am interested in.
After some time, I checked the JPA website for updates, and there was a link for a personality test. Here, I have to note that, because JPA offers many types of scholarships for many levels of studies, there is an abundance of links on the website that will lead you to different parts of different scholarship applications, so make sure that you click on the link for JPA-JKPJ.
In this test, there are more than a hundred questions that test your values and morals. I could not say for sure what kind of personality they were looking for but hey, I got the scholarship. I think it is obvious that you do not have to study for this test. Any hints of advice would be to stay true to your own self.
In this video essay aspect, you will be given a prompt. I am unsure if the prompt changes every year but I was given one where I had to explain firstly in Malay, the reasons for my application and secondly in English, where I had to tell them of my aspirations. I cannot recall if there was a designated dress code but based on the video I made, I wore a formal attire; a white shirt, black slacks and a tie.
Due to the pandemic, I had an online interview, which was fortunate for me in some aspects. The interview was conducted in a group of 5, certain questions in Malay and others in English. For the content of the interview, the only advice I have for you is so that you have a strong personal conviction for why you want the scholarship.
Do not be flimsy with your answers and be enthusiastic. On the technical side however, (if the interview is done online this year) make sure that you have a pair of earphones, a fairly good webcam (might be optional but hey, there may be extra marks for good lighting), and an especially good internet connection.
For the webcam aspect, I find that a good enough camera is important to properly convey your body language, which I consider is quite important to express myself, but it depends on you. Be confident, it is okay to stutter (don’t do it intentionally though) and have good values. Interviews can be in the morning or afternoon, depending on JPA. They will send you an email that includes the instructions and the link for the interview a few days before, so do not fret.
I feel it is important to note here that, a scholarship is not an achievement. It is a responsibility. This is a whole other issue to consider but please do remember, and consider how such resources and opportunities are limited to a certain group of privileged students, and if you are reading this that might include you. This essay may be an embodiment of my mistakes and regrets during my application process with the JPA-JKPJ scholarship, and I hope you would not have any when it is your turn. Godspeed.