by Hafsat

Chevening is looking for individuals who will be future leaders or influencers in their home countries. Explain how you meet this requirement, using clear examples of your own leadership and influencing skills to support your answer.

(minimum word count: 100 words, maximum word count: 500 words)

You are required to list out the leadership qualities you possess as well as narrate examples of when you put those qualities into action.

Start off with what leadership means to you, leadership qualities you possess, a leader you admire and how you embody those qualities. Don’t just tell, show; paint a picture.

Highlight all your strong points. Don’t water it down. Bare out your achievements. The goal is for your essay to have a great flow, so start from your motivations to the times you exemplified yourself as a leader, the results and how you impacted the lives of others around you. 

Present the facts and figures. Hammer on your strong points. I only realised that I didn’t even mention my strongest leadership examples when I was preparing for the interview. Don’t be like me in that aspect.


Mention if you have held a position of leadership in a professional context including in a voluntary organisation (e.g. a political party, university society, NGO, charity or professional association) especially in recent times.

Finally, use the STAR APPROACH 

Situation- Explain a situation where you made decisions or exemplified yourself as a leader

Task- Mention the problem that needed to be solved. 

Action- Exactly how did you solve that problem? What did you do to resolve the issues?

Results – Show your impact as the result of your decisions. You can use numbers and percentages to show the impact. 

CASE IN POINT, my essay example:

First I mentioned that I became a community organizer in 2017 where I organized and facilitated a sensitization exercise for women at 1 Division of the Nigerian Army, Kaduna aimed at arresting the rising cases of sexual violence in the community. I later organized another sensitisation program and humanitarian outreach along with a team of 3.

The success led to the inception of Women Aware of Rights, an NGO that primarily tackles cases of sexual and gender based violence.

Now let’s apply the STAR approach here:

Situation- cases of sexual and gender based violence in the community. 

Task- sensitise the community on their rights and how to seek legal action.

Action- Organise a sensitisation program.

Result- NGO and its result based success story.

That about sums it up. Note: These are all my views.

Have something else to add? Please drop it in the comment section so we can all benefit.

From Hafsat, With Love.


Lucy August 22, 2022 - 5:12 pm

Hi Hasfat, thanks for these eye opening write ups. Are greatly insightful. I even thought STAR approach was only for leadership essay. Thanks for this mentorship.

Hafsat August 23, 2022 - 9:26 pm

Hello Lucy, yes STAR approach can also be applicable for networking essay. My pleasure.

Hamza Ibrahim Attahir August 24, 2022 - 8:25 am

Great piece, thank you so much

Hafsat August 24, 2022 - 8:27 pm

Thank you!

Abdulkadir suleiman August 24, 2022 - 9:31 am

The procedure to apply please

Maryam Madu August 25, 2022 - 1:01 pm

Thank you Hafsah. As always you give helpful tips.

Mohammed Baba-Adamu August 26, 2022 - 10:49 am

This is seriously guiding me. Thanks Hafsah.

Hafsat September 4, 2022 - 9:46 am

Alhamdulillah. Best of Luck

Franklin Opara September 2, 2022 - 7:23 pm

Thanks Hafsah for sharing your experience do you have a watsapp contact one could discus privately with you.

Hafsat September 4, 2022 - 9:43 am

My pleasure Franklin. Kindly email me on hafsah.scholardiaries@gmail.com for all inquiries.
Thank you

Namse Peter Udosen September 5, 2022 - 3:40 pm

Thanks for this Hafsat. I have now seen the weakness of my previous application. I hope to make a better application this year.

Khalid Ali Jimcale September 16, 2022 - 6:46 pm

Thanks for your great help

Clifford Liki Barnabas September 17, 2022 - 1:20 pm

Thank you for your help Hafsah.

Juliet September 25, 2022 - 7:54 am

This is supposed to be a very good guideline for people that are good writers, but I can’t even relate☹️


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