I was helping Atlas Corps to review fellow candidate applications last week. This event reminded me of my own experience a year ago.

By the way, I’m an Atlas Corps fellow from Russia serving as a news contributor at Voice of America

Сhanging perspective
First of all, the application-writing process itself is a great perspective changing practice. It’s worth trying.

Writing an application gives an opportunity to take a look at one’s professional experience from different angles. Atlas Corps has a good application template, which is a big advantage too.

As a great “side effect”, after completing the application I got several ideas for future projects I could launch.

Also, this is beneficial for developing self-presenting skills, especially if this is your first experience applying internationally.

Class 23, January 2017. Photo credit: Andrew Tangas

Class 23, January 2017.
Photo credit: Andrew Tangas

Cultural aspect
Yes, we came from a culture where self-presentation is considered mostly boasting, which is definitely not a positive character trait. And if you have this uncomfortable feeling of tenseness and hesitation when you are describing a professional experience and tailoring the application, don’t let these emotions stop you.

I’ve been working with NGOs in Russia for almost 10 years. Throughout these years I’ve met a lot of great people from the Russian not-for-profit sector who do a great job. I strongly believe that many of my compatriots are emerging leaders in their fields.

I want to encourage professionals from Russia working in grassroots NGOs and social entrepreneurs to apply for the Atlas Corps Fellowship.

The fellowship provides a stipend that covers basic expenses i.e. food, local transportation, shared housing and health insurance.

After an applicant gets picked, the Atlas Corps’ stuff sends him/her detailed information regarding further steps.

P.S. Atlas Corps opened a special 30-day application window. The deadline is March 15.