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    Examples of Scholarship Essays for the “Career Goals” Question

    By Emily Wong

    Emily Wong is a writer at Scholarships360. She’s worked as a social media manager and a content writer at several different startups, where she covered various topics including business, tech, job recruitment, and education. Emily grew up and went to school in the Chicago suburbs, where she studied economics and journalism at Northwestern University.

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    Edited by Maria Geiger

    Maria Geiger is Director of Content at Scholarships360. She is a former online educational technology instructor and adjunct writing instructor. In addition to education reform, Maria’s interests include viewpoint diversity, blended/flipped learning, digital communication, and integrating media/web tools into the curriculum to better facilitate student engagement. Maria earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Monmouth University, an M. Ed. in Education from Monmouth University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) from the University of Pennsylvania.

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    Updated: May 20th, 2024
    Examples of Scholarship Essays for the “Career Goals” Question

    Writing an essay is often the trickiest part of the scholarship application, not to mention the most time-consuming. However, the essay section also allows room for creativity and individuality. If you can communicate effectively, you can use the essay portion to stand out from the crowd. Let’s go over some tips for writing, as well as a couple of scholarship essay examples about career goals.

    How to write a scholarship essay 

    At this point, you’ve probably gained plenty of experience writing papers for school. However, it may still take a couple of tries to nail the scholarship essay. Since scholarship teams often have to get through a lot of applications, it’s important to stand out while staying concise. Here are some simple guidelines for writing scholarship essays.

    See also: How to write a winning scholarship essay (with examples!)

    Take five minutes to brainstorm

    Before you even start your essay, take some time to gather your thoughts. Think about what you’ll want the paper to focus on. Why did you choose to pursue your career path in the first place? Where do you want to be in five years? How would this scholarship help you further your studies and work toward your goals?

    Once you’ve jotted down a few ideas, choose one or two to center your essay on. Identifying the focus of your paper, it’ll make it easier to keep your thoughts organized. In turn, it’ll make it easier for the reader to follow.

    Related: How to start a scholarship essay (with examples!)

    Stay within the word limit

    Unlike the four-page essays that you may have written in English class, scholarship essays are often only a paragraph or two. In order to respect the selection committee’s time, be wary of going too far about the specified word count. A general rule of thumb is to stay within 20 words above or below the limit. That may entail a few rounds of edits to get the wording just right.

    Stay positive!

    Feel free to use part of your essay to talk about your life’s challenges. After all, the selection committee often wants to give the award to a candidate who needs it. However, make sure your anecdote doesn’t devolve into a sob story. If you’re going to bring up hardships you’ve endured, try to balance it by talking about how you’ve overcome them. By demonstrating resilience, you can show readers how you would use the scholarship to succeed in your current situation.

    Leave time to proofread

    Especially for a short scholarship essay, proofreading can take as little as 5-10 minutes. Still, it can be tempting to just hit “submit” after your first draft. However, being too impulsive can leave your essay riddled with typos and grammatical errors.

    Try to avoid unnecessary mistakes by finishing your draft at least 24 hours before the scholarship deadline. That way, you can proofread it with fresh eyes before you submit it.

    If you’re struggling to close out your essay, read how to end a scholarship essay in five steps.

    How to write a 100-word “career goals” essay

    When writing a 100-word essay, you’ll have to choose your content carefully. Since space is limited, you’ll want to identify the most important details to include beforehand.

    First and foremost, make sure to clearly communicate your current pursuits. Talk about your academic and extracurricular activities related to your career goals. Additionally, it’s important to be specific about what you plan to do in the future. Then, if you have extra room, you can talk about how the scholarship will help you reach your goals.

    Example:

    My name is Alison MacBride, and I’m a sophomore at the University of Illinois. I’m currently pursuing a major in Journalism with a minor in Natural Resource Conservation. After completing my program, I plan to combine my areas of interest to become an environmental journalist.

    During high school, I volunteered at an eco-conscious farm, where I learned about how our actions affect the earth. Since then, I’ve been set on raising awareness for the environment. This scholarship would go a long way in helping me finish my degree with the skills I need to investigate and report about critical issues.

    Word count: 100

    How to write a 250-word “career goals” essay

    For the 250-word essay, you can go into more detail. Give the readers some context by talking about how you first got interested in your chosen career. Storytelling can be especially effective in engaging your audience. Try to capture their attention by choosing one or two concrete examples and relaying them vividly.

    Additionally, you can spend more time talking about the scholarship and how it’ll make a difference in your studies. Go into more detail about how and why you need the award, but remember to keep it positive! For more help, check out how to write a 250 word essay

    Example:

    My name is Alison MacBride, and I’m a sophomore at the University of Illinois. I’m currently pursuing a major in Journalism with a minor in Natural Resource Conservation. After completing my program, I plan to combine my areas of interest to become an environmental journalist.

    I first decided that I wanted to pursue a career in environmentalism in early high school. The summer after my freshman year, I joined a volunteer program at an eco-conscious farm in my community. In addition to helping out with the operations, I learned about current environmental issues related to farming and other consumer industries.

    After learning about the agricultural industry’s impact on the planet, I was inspired to make a difference. The next year, I started a monthly earth magazine at my high school in which we broke down environmental issues and offered tips on how to be more eco-friendly. When I started college, I founded an on-campus publication with the same mission.

    In recent years, I’ve been troubled to see how some media outlets downplay the gravity of issues like climate change and deforestation. I’ve admired reporters who publish trustworthy and comprehensible information about environmental issues, and I aim to follow in their footsteps.

    When I entered college, I was initially concerned that I wouldn’t have enough money to finish my degree. Fortunately, I’ve been able to cover most of my tuition using merit scholarships and paychecks from my part-time job on campus. Receiving this scholarship would allow me more time to focus on acing my classes and pursuing environmental advocacy work on campus.

    Word count: 261

    Final thoughts

    Planning is essential in making your “career goals” essay clear and concise. Hopefully, these scholarship essay examples about career goals can be your guide to writing a scholarship-winning essay. Good luck!

    Additional resources

    Maybe you need to write a longer scholarship essay? We can help with our writing a 500 word essay guide! Be prepared and learn how to write essays about yourself and how to craft an impressive personal statement. Learn the differences between a personal statement and a statement of purpose as the terms might come up on college websites. If you haven’t decided on a college already, check out our guide on how to choose a college. No matter where you are in your educational journey, make sure that you apply for all the scholarships you qualify for!

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