A personal statement is a written document that typically highlights your personal, educational, and professional background and experiences. It is often required as part of a scholarship or college application and is meant to give the admissions committee a better understanding of who you are and why you are a good fit for the opportunity you are applying for. Here are some tips on how to write a strong scholarship personal statement:

  1. Start by brainstorming ideas. What makes you unique? What are your strengths and accomplishments? What are your goals and aspirations?
  2. Choose a theme or focus for your essay. Your personal statement should have a clear and cohesive theme, such as your passion for a particular field of study or your commitment to making a positive impact in the world.
  3. Use specific examples to illustrate your points. Rather than just listing your accomplishments or goals, provide concrete examples to illustrate them. This will make your essay more interesting and memorable to the reader.
  4. Keep it concise. Most personal statements have a word limit, so it’s important to be concise and to the point. Avoid using unnecessary words or jargon, and focus on clearly communicating your message.
  5. Edit and proofread carefully. A well-written personal statement is crucial to the success of your scholarship application, so take the time to edit and proofread your essay carefully. Make sure it is free of spelling and grammar errors, and that it flows logically and clearly.
  6. Seek feedback. Ask a trusted friend, family member, or mentor to read over your personal statement and provide feedback. They may be able to offer suggestions for improvement or catch mistakes that you missed.

By following these tips, you can write a strong scholarship personal statement that will help you stand out from the competition and showcase your unique strengths and abilities.

Here is a sample letter:

Dear [Admission Committee],

I am writing to apply for the Mastercard Foundation scholarship to pursue a Master’s Degree in Global Food Security and Nutrition at the University of Edinburgh. As an agronomist with experience working for Amiran Kenya Limited, KALRO Kenya, Syngenta Company, and One Acre Fund, I have developed a strong passion for agriculture and a deep desire to end food insecurity. This aligns with the sustainable development goals and is the driving force behind my decision to pursue higher education in this field.

During my time at Amiran Kenya Limited, I worked on various projects focused on improving crop production and productivity. I also had the opportunity to conduct research on the impact of different farming techniques on soil health and crop yield. At KALRO Kenya, I served as a Research Assistant, where I was able to contribute to ongoing projects focused on improving the resilience of smallholder farmers to climate change. My work with Syngenta Company as an Agronomist allowed me to work closely with farmers and provide them with technical support to improve their farming practices. And at One Acre Fund, I served as a Field Officer, working with smallholder farmers to increase their access to finance and improve their food security.

Through these experiences, I have gained a deep understanding of the challenges facing smallholder farmers and the importance of finding sustainable solutions to address food insecurity. I believe that the Master’s Degree in Global Food Security and Nutrition at the University of Edinburgh will provide me with the advanced knowledge and practical skills needed to become a leader in this field and make a meaningful contribution to addressing this pressing issue.

In addition to my professional experiences, I have also been actively involved in my community through various volunteer and community service efforts. I believe that it is important to give back and make a positive impact in the world, and I hope to continue this work as I pursue my studies and career.

I am excited about the prospect of furthering my education at the University of Edinburgh, a renowned institution with a strong reputation in the field of global food security and nutrition. The diverse course offerings and experiential learning opportunities offered by the program align with my career goals and will enable me to achieve my full potential as a leader in this field.

I am grateful for the opportunity to apply for the Mastercard Foundation scholarship and look forward to the opportunity to contribute to the fight against food insecurity and malnutrition. Thank you for considering my application.


Isaac Ongoma

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