What does it take for you to be successful? That is ultimately up to you to discover, but we'd like help you get started on your journey. Here are some ways you can begin thinking about the next stage of your life, turn your interests into a career, and prepare to apply for your first job.
Figuring out what you want to do with your life (or even the next five or ten years!) isn't always easy or straightforward, but there are plenty of people who can listen, give advice, and guide you in the right direction.
For career support, consider building connections with the following individuals and groups:
Quest Scholars often have a unique opportunity to stand out from other job candidates. The above resources can help you put together a competitive application and share your story of overcoming socioeconomic obstacles to achieve academic success.
Internships, Resumes, and Cover Letters
Internships are the best way to explore a particular field and find out if it might be the right fit for you. Talk to career counselors, use job search engines, and ask upperclassmen in your major about internships.
A resume and cover letter (also called a letter of interest) are the basic core requirements for any job or internship application. Your career center is probably the most useful resource for helping refine your resume and cover letters. Whether you want feedback or advice about where to begin, your campus career counselors can assist you with these integral components of your application. Often they will let you practice in mock interviews, and will offer feedback before your actual interview.
Below is just a small sampling of the myriad fellowships and scholarships available to college students and recent graduates. Feel free to contact us with any others you'd like us to add to the list.
Beinecke Scholarships: Beinecke Scholarships are awarded to academically outstanding college juniors who intend to pursue masters or doctorate degrees.
Fulbright Grants: Every year, thousands of Fulbright Grants are awarded for study, research, and teaching in over 155 countries. Students with undergraduate degrees can apply to do independent research, study at an institution abroad, or teach English. The purpose of the Fulbright Program is to promote cultural exchange between the US and other countries.
Goldwater Scholarships: Founded in honor of Senator Barry A. Goldwater, this scholarship is awarded to college sophomores and juniors who are highly qualified in science, math, and engineering. Applicants must intend to earn a masters or doctorate degree. Lorenzo Sewanan (Trinity College '12) received a 2011 Goldwater Scholarship.
Marshall Scholarships: The Marshall Scholarships allow college graduates to earn an advanced degree in any field at a British university. Applicants must be US citizens with a degree from an accredited four-year college and a minimum GPA of 3.7. You may apply from one of eight regions: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. or through your university.
National Science Foundation: The NSF offers generous grants and scholarships to support undergraduate and graduate research in a variety of fields from astronomy, physics, and biology to education and engineering. Programs are located in over 100 different countries.
Rhodes Scholarships: Thirty-two American students are chosen every year as Rhodes Scholars for their outstanding academic achievements, strength of character, and leadership potential. The Rhodes Trust, a British charity, financially supports Rhodes Scholars in earning advanced degrees at the University of Oxford. Click here to read Quest Co-Founder Michael McCullough's successful Rhodes application essay.
Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarships: The Rotary Foundation awards Ambassadorial Scholarships to further international understanding among people of different countries and geographical areas. The foundation sponsors scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students as well as for qualified professionals pursuing vocational studies. QSN Director Nancy Hill was a Rotary Scholar to Egypt.
Truman Scholarships: Scholarships are awarded to college juniors who demonstrate excellence in both academics and leadership abilities. Awardees should also intend to pursue public service careers. The scholarship includes funding during the senior year, for three years of graduate study, and a leadership week and summer institute. Newton Davis Jr. (Williams College '12) received a Truman Scholarship in 2011.
Watson Fellowships: One-year fellowships are awarded to graduating college seniors of "unusual promise" for independent study and travel outside the US. The purpose of the fellowship is to increase awardees' resourcefulness, imagination, and leadership ability.