I had this funny mixed feeling of happiness yet guilt about going so far and being shortlisted for the final NUS scholarship interviews- As one of my main intentions was to study overseas in the UK, particularly in Cambridge and the Imperial College. I wanted to pull out, but I won’t want to count my chickens before they are hatched despite having my aims set, besides considering myself rather fortunate being having offered a place in NUS as well as NTU (which I kinda declined even though I didn’t applied to study there). Adding to the guilt was now being the critical period for final admissions and appeals with respect to people failing admissions.
I’ve seen both sides of admissions, being rejected into the corner for consecutive years to the contrasting extreme of being treated like god- It definitely made me see more and appreciate the coaxing nature, yet the harshness of university admissions- something which I know many are going through now. I do not intend to use NUS a stepping stone, or even compromising my possible stay in NUS with this public entry, but I just feel that I have to be frank in what I pursue.
However, all those who knew my about situation told me not to pull out so soon and go for the interview instead, emphasizing “whos knows what else can come up?”. I wanted to see how far I can go as well, so there I was last Saturday morning was making my way to the NUS University Hall. The eye opener of that final interview was me being the first person to be interviewed that day out of a handful of 8 on the list for the highly prestigious, yet bond-free NUS global merit scholarship.
So for those who are on or yet to go through the final rounds of the interview, here is the experience: You will be interviewed in the deputy head meeting room of NUS with it being chaired by 5 professors and presumably the main Deans of the whole NUS. The setting is rather corporate board room style and it being 5 versus 1, expect lots of questions to come from all angles as they start questioning you based on your portfolio, if you put it in literal sense.
However, despite how daunting that may sound, the interview actually takes a very casual setting- there are no technical questions and the proffs there are very down to earth and are more interested to know more about you, your future commitments as well as your passions on top of what makes you tick and able to contribute to the college community.
In the end we all ended up chatting like friends, addressing each of key issues and even bringing the whole group to laugh with an occasional joke here and there. I think I did well- abit too well than I intended it to be.
Like with every ending interview, I was all high on jumpy adrenaline thereafter- My mum was like laughing at me on how easy I take interviews now- the normal nerve wrecking experience is all like second nature to be, having gone through almost more than 10 interviews in the last month, it’s always like what I call it: “You are the pieces of a half-finished jigsaw puzzle belonging to your interviewer”.
The results of the scholarship will be out end this month, with the university acceptance period open since 2nd of May. May the best man wins.