To the casual observer, scholarship bonds may simply appear as a way to give back to your scholarship provider after all the resources invested in you over the course of your university education. However, many scholars eventually go on to stay at their sponsoring organisations long after the expiration of their bonds. There are many factors that lead scholars to choose to remain with the organisation, amongst them passion and a genuine desire to serve.
Clearly, becoming a scholar involves much more than accepting a free ticket to a university education. We take a look at what motivates scholars to carve out long-term careers with their sponsoring organisations.
Feels Like Home
From the time they are awarded the scholarship, scholars are provided with the resources, opportunities and guidance they need to become fully-functioning members of their respective organisations. This can take the form of internships, networking sessions with fellow scholars and future colleagues, and mentors from whom they can seek guidance.
These early exposures to the operations, people and culture of their future workplace help ease their transition into full-time employment after graduating. And when they commence work, still more effort is put in to ensure they settle down successfully.
At the end of their bond, which can range from anywhere from two to six years depending on the scholarship provider and study location, scholars are often so comfortable that they see no reason why they should leave.
A Desire to Serve
In BrightSparks’ numerous interviews with various scholars, a common thread that often surfaces is their desire to serve the public good. Many scholars credit their scholarships with having provided them with the opportunities and means to do their part for Singapore and Singaporeans.
In fact, it is this drive to do their part for the commonweal that motivates scholars to stay on after completing their bonds. And because scholarship interviewers often look for candidates who have a sincere desire to contribute, it’s no wonder that many scholars eventually go on to become productive and long-term members of their respective scholarship organisations.
A scholarship is a long-term commitment, and its full significance is often felt only after a scholar graduates from university. The best scholars are able to look beyond their university education and envision themselves in their future career. And when this is their main motivational factor, instead of the financial benefits of the scholarship, you can be sure that they will stay on for a long time to come.
They Have Already Established Themselves
Finally, scholars are given considerable autonomy in charting the direction of their careers. This makes it more likely for them to be able to forge meaningful and satisfying careers that meet their personal aspirations and goals.
Furthermore, those who excel can expect to be given the best opportunities and rise quickly through the ranks. At the end of a lengthy bond period of six years, scholars can reasonably expect to find themselves in positions of leadership and have carved out a successful career for themselves.
And after having established their own niche within the organisation, there is little incentive for scholars to move elsewhere. With so much going for them still, it’s little wonder that they choose to stay on and contribute. Ultimately, those who stay on have never lost sight of why they applied in the first place – the commitment and passion to serve and make a difference. It also doesn’t hurt that they probably love what they do!