I had once made it my habit to surf through opportunity sites on a daily bases. It had become my hobby. I found many opportunities which interested me, applied for some and got acceptance from a few. Then, if you had glanced through my email inbox, you would find it full of responses to my registrations and applications. For a while, I left that habit, but I am fast rebuilding it.
What are opportunity sites?
Opportunity sites are websites where you can find different types of opportunities ranging from scholarships to call for grant proposals. They showcase recent fellowships, competitions, internships, conferences, awards, etc. Most of the calls for applications on opportunity sites offer global opportunities and come in different forms. Some are specifically meant for youth, some for citizens of some selected countries, some are gender specific or open to members of certain minority groups, others require some level of education, etc. It is always good we read through the requirements thoroughly before we commence application.
Applying for opportunities can open you up to self awareness and global need, aside given you a chance to win. A number of times, you would be challenged to describe yourself, talk about your past achievement and contributions to development, tell what you can do to solve a problem in your community or in the world, etc. These essays can make you look inwards to examine your worth, perspective and visions for the world.
Whenever you see calls for applications, do not shy away. Click on them, read through and attempt to apply. There are some opportunities where you would never meet their criteria, such criteria maybe on grounds of country, age, gender, specified qualifications and disciplines. However, for those that are open, do not doubt your capacity to deliver. Do not say, “Can I really do this?” “This is not meant for people like me.” or “I am not qualified for this.”Dare them and you would be surprised at how much you can deliver.
I remember some years back, when there were calls for papers on Education for Sustainable Development for UNESCO Conference. When I read through the call, it was so intensive- it didn’t look like I would fit in, but I conceived an idea and put in a paper. A few months later, I was told that my paper had been accepted.
There are people who go to opportunity sites, scan through opportunity titles and never bother to click on them. There are others who click on them, peruse their requirements and take to their heels, and yet, there are those who dare them by applying for them.
I have a friend that talks about opportunities all the time. Whenever we chat, he gives me updates on the latest opportunities, and I ask myself “What is this?” I have never seen someone who eats, sleeps on and dreams opportunities like that young man; but if it weren’t working for him, then I would have reasons to doubt the rewards of his enthusiasm. But the truth is that my friend has been made who he is today from taking advantage of opportunities.
I remember when his mother could not afford to sponsor his university education; he began training himself on soft skills. Then, one of the opportunities on a website helped him secure a scholarship to study Informatics in Malaysia. Through innovations, he received many grants. Today, my friend has a thriving IT company and a TV station that can be viewed nation-wide on Startimes. He has also entered several competitions and received a number of national and international awards.
In Part 2 of this article, I will tell you what opportunity calls can help you do and how you can address calls for applications.
I would love to end this segment by recommending some opportunity sites I visit often. There are as follows:
Do you know of any which I have not included? Could you share them with us?