Application tips – Advice from Keystone trustee and alumni, Corrina Gibbons-Hurinui

July 11, 2017

The Keystone application form is your first introduction to prospective scholarship students. What are you looking for when you read through the application form?

The Keystone Trust was set up to assist students with financial or circumstantial hardship to complete a tertiary qualification so the first thing I am looking for is that the applicant has clearly explained why they need our support.

The next thing that I look at is the level of involvement that the student has with their school & community. Keystone prides itself on supporting the future leaders of the Property & Construction Industry so we want students who are well-rounded, those that actually get themselves out there and give things a go, and are committed to giving back.

Other things that help make an application stand out are having a good understanding of what your future job entails and why you are suited to that particular career choice;

How important are grades and extra-curricular activities when choosing who you would like to shortlist for interview?

The key thing with your grades is that you are achieving at an appropriate level for the degree course that you want to get into and taking the right subjects. Anything beyond that is really a bonus. Students that are involved in a range of extra-curricular activities, either at school, church or elsewhere in the community, are much more likely to make my interview shortlist.

Success! The applicant has made it to the interview stage! Given you have sat on both sides of the panel, what are your top tips for students coming to an interview?

1. First of all – relax. The interview panel might seem intimidating on paper and even in real life, but we’ve all been in your shoes and we do understand how stressful it can be. Remember, we are on your side.

2. Be yourself. Don’t try to give us the “right” answers or tell us what you think we want to hear. We want to get to know the real you.

3. Do some prep. Have an idea of what Keystone Trust is and what we are trying to achieve. Think about how that relates to you personally.

4. Enjoy the experience. Making it to the interview stage is a massive achievement in itself. Regardless of the outcome, a Keystone interview is a great learning opportunity.

The interview is, of course, the opportunity for students to showcase their skills, knowledge and personality to you. What do you want to learn more about at the interview?

It varies for each person but generally we ask about your family and home life, what you do with your free time, how other people would describe you and how you describe yourself, your thoughts on the industry and your vision for your career.

What’s the most important tip you would give to prospective students when it comes to applying for a Keystone Scholarship?

Get clear about why you a choosing a career in Property & Construction, what attracted you to that particular discipline, and how you see your role fitting in with the rest of the industry.

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