How to write a successful Aspire application

Did you know that Aspire only accepts 15% to 20% out of the total number of applications? But don’t you worry! I am here to break to you a couple of secrets that will for sure make the recruitment team consider yours.

Submitting your application to Aspire marks the first stage to pass until you can enjoy, not only a summer program but a veritable life-long experience. The application represents the first encounter a recruiter has with you. And, you know there’s a saying that goes like this: “You don’t get a second first impression”. That means that you have to put some good work into your application. It’s a pretty competitive environment, but have no fear – we’re closely analyzing each application to make sure everyone who matches our community’s vibe gets in.

If you want to apply to our 2022 summer programs but you are not sure how the application process looks like, then you are in the right place! This article will give you an insight into the entire process. I will be sharing with you the main parts of the application, their meaning and requirements along with some tips & tricks for a great starting point!

The Resume

As you probably know by now, a resume is a concise document that consists of each important academic and extracurricular activity or achievement in someone’s life, which is relevant in the specific context the owner needs it for.  The sole purpose of your resume is for the reader to fully understand your contribution and commitment to every project or passion and to observe the impact every accomplishment has had on you from those listed in it.

Here is a list of the steps you should follow when writing your resume:

  1. Start with writing your contact details.
  2. Jot down the details of your education- schools, specialization, GPA, academic honors
  3. Think of every activity of yours and list everything that comes to mind.
  4. Select your top 3 activities that match the Aspire values, which you can check here. Some that could fit are:
    • Olympiads and academic contests
    • Magazines that you are writing for
    • Volunteering
    • Scholar clubs
    • MUN/EYP conferences and debate competitions
    • Hackathons
    • Business-related activities 
  5. Once you have decided on what activities to write about, classify them into the categories in your template (for instance- Experience/ Leadership and activities).
  6. Write down your skills (technical/ language/ laboratory) and interests (specific and genuine). 

These are some of the things to consider:

  • Broadly describe each activity.
  • Start every bullet point/line from each activity with an active verb.
  • Use quantities where possible. 
  • Keep it short and sweet (maximum one page).
  • Don’t make use of personal pronouns.
  • Don’t write unnecessary words.

The Essay

The essay constitutes the second key part of your application. The theme for it may change every year, but what we want to discover through it remains pretty much the same. That is…you! We want to get to know you. We want to see what makes you who you are and how you view yourself and the experiences you have been through.

What’s the story you decide to put into your application?

As long as the requirements for the essay vary, I can only guide you on a general theme through some steps that I followed myself when I applied:

  1. Think about what you have left out in your resume and if you consider it important, try to integrate it into the essay.
  2. Write in a way that demonstrates your motivation. Why do you want it to happen? If you long for the Aspire experience, let us see that! 
  3. Let yourself shine! Don’t be modest and don’t be afraid to show off! Eventually, you are writing the truth, aren’t you? 😊
  4. Put down everything you want for your first try. Then start to delete unnecessary parts if need be and make sure to fit within the words limit.
  5. Use verbs rather than adjectives. Let facts speak for themselves!  
  6. Use examples from your life experience to back up your sayings.

Other important things to keep in mind common for both the resume and the essay

  • Don’t lie, don’t hyperbolise. Just find a way to show your true nature efficiently and be genuine.
  • Do all your work on a computer/laptop. It will be much easier to make changes.
  • Check for spelling and other grammar mistakes! 
  • If you feel like it, ask everyone for opinions and suggestions (but you don’t have to take all of them into consideration).
  • Use the structure! For the resume, use a template if given while for the essay, take it as any other essay (with an introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion).
  • Don’t combine American English and British English if possible. I recommend American English, as Aspire usually has key note speakers from top American Universities. During the summer programs, you can also find guidance on how to apply to American Universities.
  • Don’t write anything that doesn’t have substance. Every word has to be meaningful and fundamental.
  • Take your time. Start early. Start with a sketch, then make the first draft. Check, check, check! Do any change you want whenever you want. Save, change and then save again. Take breaks, revise it all again. 

What helped me through the application process was to remain focused on my goal, to chase the victory but not to expect anything. At the end of the day, what is the most important is for you to be sure that you have tried your best! Work hard for your application, but don’t stress over it and don’t let yourself be overwhelmed by it. Do not forget that if you match the Aspire environment and if you are ready for this experience, you’ll nail the application process! We cannot wait to meet the amazing you!

The time has come for you to step out of your comfort zone and embrace the chance of having the time of your life joining our Aspire community! For more information check out our social media accounts (Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok) and always keep an eye on our blog!

What questions do you have about the application process? Leave a comment below! 😉

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