Sarbjeet Singh

2023 Premier’s Award winner, International Student of the Year, and 2023 International Student of the Year – Regional

Give yourself the chance to be recognised and inspire others

I highly recommend applying for this award to other international students and graduates. It is one of the most prestigious honours an international student can receive, offering a valuable platform to pursue your passions. The award connects you with leading professionals in the industry, empowering you to inspire many others. As a student, gaining recognition for your hard work is incredibly important, and this award allows you to showcase your achievements to the world. You never truly know if you are the right person for an award unless you take the plunge and apply. By putting yourself out there, you give yourself the chance to be recognized and inspire others.

Dedicate time to prepare and review your application

When preparing your application package, it's essential to dedicate ample time and regularly review your work. Treat your application like an important assignment with a strict deadline. Seek out a mentor or someone who can provide guidance and feedback to enhance your application. Additionally, gather as much evidence as possible to support your claims, such as photos, videos, blogs, or other relevant documentation. By following these steps, you can create a strong and compelling application.

Include all of your achievements and use evidence to bring your experiences to life

I began by writing down a list of my achievements and then organized them according to the questions they suited best. I shared almost everything I had accomplished throughout my student life, making sure my answers were connected like a story and flowed well together. It’s crucial to provide additional evidence to support your claims—whether it’s photos, videos, blogs, or other forms of documentation. This not only strengthens your application but also brings your experiences to life.

Divyangana Sharma

2021-22 Premier’s Award winner, International Student of the Year

Treat your application like an assignment, and work on it bit by bit

I treated my application as one of my assignments… I used to come back to it, so I used to give it a little bit of my day... and I used to draft it and I sent it to my mentor for her to review it. Otherwise I would’ve gotten lazy with it, I would’ve prioritised other things over it… it was really good to put that kind of pressure on [myself].

Don’t sell yourself short - everything you’ve achieved, no matter how small, is worth mentioning

We often think our smallest achievements are not worth mentioning, but you’d be surprised how that small thing that you’ve done has had a bigger impact on a community, on your family and your friends, at your uni or institution... so don’t be afraid to use those small achievements and hype them up.

Ritika Saxena

2021-2022 International Student of the Year – Research, Commendation: Premier’s Award – International Student of the Year

Keep a list of everything you’ve done and select the ones that best fit your application

Keep a tab of things you think might be useful in applications. Put down a list of places you volunteered for, things you accomplished, awards you’ve won, certificates you’ve won, part time work you’ve done where you were recognized for being a great manager on the floor, or when someone gave you a really nice compliment and every time they come back to the restaurant they always want to sit with you. Those things show that you're going above and beyond the average person in that space and why you’re important and why you’re valued. Based on what award you’re going for, [you can] copy paste relevant experiences and tailor them to the application.

Find a person/mentor who will advocate for you, no matter what 

[It's important to find] people who will- in an unwavering manner- sponsor and support you, who will think it’s their biggest joy in the world to be able to say, ‘Yes, I know this person, they’re really great, I think you should give them this award.

Put that application in (even last minute!) regardless of what you think might be the outcome 

Put that application in. I almost didn’t apply last year... [but] I put it in on the last day before the due date…  I think we have to start shifting our metric of success from an award to the fact that you’re submitting an application. While an award and recognition [are] great for its own purpose, when we tie ourselves to it, it really discounts the process of preparing an application [and] the type of training it offers for you and changing the way you think about life. If we change the way we think about applications, they start feeling a little bit less overwhelming.

Minh Duc Nguyen

2021-22 International Student of the Year – Regional

Treat it like a job application

You can treat it like [a] job application… You need to have a clear idea in mind, a structure [of] what the panel’s looking for. You need to really focus on things that you have done in the last few years and try to highlight and showcase your achievements and your contributions and highlight and showcase your leadership… and by that point you need to understand what the panel’s looking for. They're looking for someone that went above and beyond... [a student] helping out … other students and other people living in the same community.

Have someone else read your application

After you draft [your application] you should give the application to someone who has experience and they can give you feedback. [I] undersell myself and am really humble, [but] that’s not always a good way because you need to sell [yourself] … and get yourself out there and make people understand your story and understand your journey.

Organise your references

[Your application has] all the evidence and all the things you’ve done, so make sure you’ve got the reference [of] someone who knows you well.