Applying for Prestigious Awards: W&J professional development classes prepare students for next steps

Created: January 21, 2021

Last Updated: January 21, 2021

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WASHINGTON, PA (Jan. 21, 2020)—JayTerm is a time for exploring new opportunities, and for some students in 2021, that includes preparing to apply for prestigious international awards.

“The Curriculum and Programming Committee (CPC) generally approves any course that’s proposed so long as the content, class time, and learning outcomes are appropriate for a 2-credit experience,” said CPC Chair and Professor of Chemistry Jennifer Logan Bayline, Ph.D. “We were excited for the array of courses developed this year, given the challenge of engaging students who are currently in quarantine for the spring term.”

For students interested in continuing W&J’s tradition of Fulbright Award success, Assistant Professor of Russian and Fulbright Advisor Susan Vdovichenko, Ph.D., offers her expertise in a course devoted to teaching students how to approach the intimidating task of applying for prestigious awards like Fulbright.

Each student in Dr. Vdovichenko’s course chooses one or more award that they would like to pursue, and then, over the course of the term, the class breaks down application components and how to excel at each. The students work on their application over the two-week period, with the goal that by the end of the course, they will have a high-quality application in hand, ready to send.

“In my work with helping students apply for Fulbright and other similar awards, I realized that many of them have not been taught how to put together a high-quality application,” she said. “W&J students are excellent candidates for some of these awards because of our emphasis on Magellans and study abroad as well as our close faculty–student relationships, but without being able to write a good application, their chances of winning are slim.”

Accounting major Samuel Snider ’22 is one of the students in Dr. Vdovichenko’s JayTerm 2021 course, and he’s already reaping the benefits of his enrollment in the course.

“This has been one of the most valuable classes I have taken at W&J,” Samuel said. “This class is intended to help you learn how to apply for awards and internships. While most classes prepare you to understand a certain topic, this class prepares you for things during and after college. It shows you how to make a resume and personal statement. This is very important when it comes to job searching after college. I believe it’s a great class to take because it doesn’t prepare you for a test. It more importantly prepares you for life.”

Want to learn about more of our professional readiness courses? Read the previous stories in this series on Preparing For A Research Internship in the Sciences and Writing for the Job Search.

About Washington & Jefferson College
Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.

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