Catalyst, Great Stories

Tips for Award Applicants

We’re just a week away from the application deadline for the Catalyst Award this year. With the changes we’ve made for eligibility we are anticipating more applicants than ever. I suspect most of those applicants are working on their applications this week, so here are a few tips that may be helpful based on past years. 1. Start Now. There are a few things you’ll need to gather, scan, and submit as part of the application. You don’t want to be running around on Monday to get them in before the deadline. You’ll also want to put some thought into the content of your submission. A sloppy application doesn’t eliminate anyone from consideration, but it does show. 2. Dream Vividly. Our selection committee will be reviewing your entire application, but the most meaningful part is almost certainly you telling us about your dream. We understand and even expect that your dream may change over the next several years, but those who can share a compelling ambition that shows both inspiration and some strategic thought are always highly considered. 3. Be Real. Your personality is an important part of your application. We want to get to know you. In all of your written pieces, but even more so in your video, give us a glimpse into who you are. Applications that seem clinical or sterile make it harder for us to enter into your dream. A little humour, some stories from your life, and your own voice coming through will be helpful to us all. 4. Enjoy It. The process of writing down your dreams in a way that makes them understandable to others should be fun and enlightening. How many times do you really give your best attention to these things that are so deeply important to you? Obviously not every applicant will be chosen for the award, but our hope is that even those not selected will have benefited from doing the work. I’m looking forward to reviewing all the applications next week. If you have any questions as you prepare please don’t hesitate to contact me.