Self-Review

Ideally, taking a short break after your SFD, before you get to review your application can be healthy. This is so that you get some time to break off form the stream of thoughts you were in for the last couple of hours while writing the SFD. Giving yourself some mindspace will help you think about different examples, perspectives and ideas. While you take the break, it might also be good for you to run through your research notes. Brush up on who the opportunity really is for, what the organisation’s vision is, what you decided as your focus theme and also your own thoughts about why you decided to apply.

Get back to your draft. Take up one question at a time. Read through the question 2-3 times until you really understand what you are expected to answer.

Now read through your SFD answer and see if it fits. In most cases, you will quickly pick up areas that you wish to change and start making those changes. As you do so, see if you can take your answer a step closer to your focus theme.

Do this for all questions and you have your version 1 ready.

Usually, this step is way easier than writing the SFD. But even after completing your version 1, if you feel that your application is incomplete, then it means that the focus theme you have picked doesn’t fit. The fundamental theme of focus is itself out of focus. If this happens, then no matter how much you try to make it better, it will never seem to fit in right.

What you should do in this case is go back to your research. Understand why you wanted to apply in the first place. See if your own interests match with the objective of the opportunity.

Re-evaluate your focus theme and get back to the drawing board when you feel it is more crisp and aligned to the program.

The idea is to iterate to version 1, which you are happy about. Once this is done, it is time for a peer review.