Here’s How You Can Become an Acumen Fellow

August 14, 2018

Our next cohort of Acumen Fellows will be the largest and most regionally diverse Fellows to date. That’s because, this year, we’re adding two new Fellowship regions. In addition to East Africa, India, and Pakistan, we’re accepting applications for our new leadership programs in Colombia and West Africa!

One hundred fellows, 20 individuals from each of our five regions, will be invited to participate in our fully sponsored leadership program that equips extraordinary leaders to become more effective agents of change.

Every year, we get thousands of applications from incredible leaders, so we wanted to make sure you had some crucial advice to make your application stand out. Here are six great tips from Acumen’s selection team and the Fellows on how to become an Acumen Fellow:

1. Don’t wait until the last minute

Many of us have a tendency to procrastinate on things that matter. Procrastination can be a great way to access your most insightful forms of creativity, as organizational psychologist Adam Grant points out, “When you procrastinate, you’re more likely to let your mind wander. That gives you a better chance of stumbling onto the unusual and spotting unexpected patterns.”

But, while procrastinating can sometimes lead to great new ideas, we highly recommend not waiting until the last minute to apply. Waiting until the last minute will limit your time to review your application, and think through your responses. Take some helpful advice from Acumen Fellow Sarah Farooq, “Don’t leave to fill the application on last day, the entire process in itself is very reflective so make sure you find a quiet space and get ready to be introspective.

2. Attend an Info Session

What better way to learn about the Fellowship experience than hearing from Fellows themselves? We’re hosting information sessions across all our regions, which is a great way for you to meet us in person and ask questions about the program! Find out if we’re hosting a session near you on the Acumen website.

3. Take a +Acumen course!

Acumen’s online learning platform, +Acumen offers world-class courses that empower you to think differently, learn collaboratively, and join a global community of learners and doers with a burning desire to change the world. Bonus: many of the online courses are based on the curriculum we teach in the Fellowship Program! Here’s some courses that we recommend:

4. Do your homework!

We recommend doing your homework before you apply so you’re as prepared as possible! What could that include? Read up as much as you can about the Fellowship Program and get to know Fellows from past cohorts on our website, so that you have a confident understanding of what you’re signing up for. We regularly feature the Fellows on our online publication, Acumen Ideas. Here’s some ideas to get you started:

5. Be Yourself

Cliche, but true. Tell us what we won’t know from looking at your resume. Your application is our first glimpse into who you are, and the values, attitudes, and experiences that have made you the person you are today. So, be authentic and bring your whole self! We want to know what led you to do the work you do, to the Fellowship, and why you think this experience will be an important next step in your leadership journey.

6. Believe in Yourself

When you believe in yourself, you’re more likely to take action. It’s through the process of taking action that you will stumble and learn to get back up again. And it’s through this process of failure that you will learn to excel. But it starts with believing in yourself.

This is our invitation to you. To be thoughtful, to do your homework, to believe in yourself, and to apply. You’ve got this! Now let’s get to the application (link)! Start your application today.

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