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Express Interest

Expressing interest in projects during the Fellowship Matching Process is the BEST way to increase your chances of placement. Most successful applicants express interest in at least 4-6 projects within one week of the project posting.

Why is it important to express interest in projects?
How do I express interest in a project?
What information is most important to include in an interest statement?
How can I learn about positions as soon as they are posted?
Should I express interest in positions for which I'm not fully qualified?
 

Why is it important to express interest in projects?

  1. Some Hosts will ONLY consider applicants who express interest, because they want to make sure that applicants are interested and motivated to do their project.
  2. Interest statements increase your chances of a Host looking at your resume and considering you for their position.
  3. You can track the status of positions in which you express interest and will receive an email when these are filled.

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How do I express interest in a project?

  1. Log in.
  2. Once your application has been approved and the Fellowship Matching process has begun (in March), click the link under “My Application” that says “Find Positions.”
  3. Search positions of interest to which you both meet the expressed requirements and are willing to commute.
  4. Click “Read More” to review all requirements/details.
  5. Click “Express Interest.”
  6. Write a targeted, compelling one-paragraph statement highlighting your interest in the position and how you meet the required skills/experience.
  7. PROOFREAD carefully! You cannot edit once you submit!

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What information is most important to include in an interest statement?

  1. Your interest/enthusiasm for the company/department
  2. Your interest/enthusiasm for the project
  3. The skills/experience you have that meet the needs of the project

Strong sample interest statement:

Below is a sample project and strong interest statement that was submitted for this position from a previous year.

Sample Position Description

Strong Sample Interest Statement

Engineering Support Fellow           

Host Organization: Lockheed Martin

Position Description: Project Goal: Develop an online collaboration system for a documentation review and approval process.  The Ignited Fellow will use pre-existing SharePoint work flow capabilities to implement a system that:

  • notifies the engineering community of a document to be reviewed,
  • provides a mechanism for comments,
  • provides a means for electronic approval,
  • and provides management visibility of work flow progress.

 The specific tasks the Ignited Teacher will engage in are:

  • Implementing an electronic review/voting system
  • Interview engineers to establish proper work flow
  • Develop a SharePoint Work Flow by programming using SharePoint Utilities to implement the review/voting process for the Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) Department.
  • Develop training materials for the new tool/process
  • Conduct one or more training sessions on this tool

 Required/Desired Computer or Lab Skills:

  • Microsoft based drag and drop scripting (desired).
  • Basic programming concepts (required).
  • SharePoint (desired).
  • Microsoft Office (required).
  • Good communication skills and logical thinking (required).
  • Public speaking (desired).

I am very interested in the Engineering Support Fellow position in the Lockheed Martin AEHF Systems Engineering and Integration department, as I enjoy offering employee support, training, and education. I believe I could make a unique contribution because of my diverse background in business, math, programming, and software. At a past Ignited fellowship, I created a SharePoint for outside contractors’ safety training and developed training materials on this tool. I have taken several programming classes, so am very familiar with these concepts, and I am proficient with the Microsoft Office Suite. I see your Fellowship as an opportunity to learn about SharePoint workflows, to work with the engineering community and complete a variety of tasks to build a useful product. I also look forward to learning more about the use of web technologies to support communication satellites, as I would love to integrate these applications into my math class and robotics club. Thank you for your consideration.

 

 

 

 

 

This is strong, because the applicant:

  1. Expresses his interest/enthusiasm for the company/department: The applicant even took the time to research what the department does and references his interest in this work.
  2. Your interest/enthusiasm for the project: The applicant shares why they are interested in the project, what they hope to learn and use in their teaching.
  3. The skills/experience you have that meet the needs of the project: The applicant references specific experience and training they have for the skills required in the project description.

This interest statement is very specific and enthusiastic. It makes the reader want to read their resume, because they feel like the applicant is perfect for the position.

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How can I learn about positions as soon as they are posted?

Follow Ignited on Facebook or Twitter. That is the best way to find out about new positions. We post and tweet every new position soon after it is posted.

Alternatively, you can check the website regularly and search by the “published since” date. We will also periodically send out the Ignited Applicant e-newsletter in which we will feature new positions, projects that have not had much interest from qualified applicants and positions that are still considering applicants.

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Should I express interest in positions for which I'm not fully qualified?

We recommend taking the time to submit quality interest statements to many positions soon after they are posted. Point out your strengths and anything you are doing to bring yourself up to speed on areas where you are not as strong.

We recommend avoiding positions for which you do not meet the grade-level requirements. Often those are pre-determined by a grant or organizational requirement. So, if the position requires a high school teacher and you teach middle or elementary school, you may not want to express interest.

If you do express interest for a position without meeting all requirements, it is helpful to indicate why you should be considered in your interest statement. For example, you might say something like:

“While I currently do not teach biology, I hold a single-subject credential in Biology, etc.”

 Where a qualification is "desired" as opposed to "required," you should definitely express interest.

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