Understanding why a particular organisation is offering a particular opportunity will give you a sense of the organisation’s core values and expectations. This will help you connect your values with theirs, in turn matching expectations.
Understanding all elements of an opportunity upfront is critical. What is the eligibility? What is the timeline like? What are the application requirements?
A slightly more important question you might want to focus on is ‘What will I really get out of this opportunity?’. Both tangible and intangible benefits you might potentially get are important here.
Tangible outcomes being Certificates, Recognition, Financial Aid.
And Intangible outcomes being Network, Access to Leaders, Mentorship, Skill development avenues and so on.
Having a clear understanding of all the potential outcomes of the opportunity and in turn understanding which outcomes of these you really wish to accomplish is key in putting in an honest, authentic application.
So given this premise, your research should be around the following areas:
About the opportunity
About the organisation
About the previous winners and their experience
Let’s delve a bit deeper into the questions you will need to find answers to at the end of your research.
Researching about the opportunity
What is the opportunity? (Try summarising this in a sentence)
What is the eligibility criteria?
What is the timeline like?
What is the application process?
Is the opportunity genuine and NOT a scam?
Researching about the organisation
What does the organisation do?
What are the organisation’s core values?
Why are they offering this opportunity?
Who are they looking for?
Is there a chance of potential employment through this opportunity?
Is the organisation genuine and NOT a scam?
Researching about previous winners and their experiences
Who are the previous winners?
What have they achieved?
How do their experiences fit in with the selection criteria?
How was their program experience?
What did they learn the most?
Do they recommend the program?
Do look at these questions only as a starting point of your exploration. Feel free to go above and beyond these to understand the program better.