This letter is to be used as an example only. The person who supports your scholarship would love to hear about your experiences at university in your own words.
Thank you so much for supporting my studies at the University of Leeds. I come from a low-income community and was the first in my family to go to university, so although I always dreamed of progressing to postgraduate study, a Masters degree seemed completely out of reach. Thanks to your financial support I have been able to take up my hard-won place on a highly-regarded MSc course, which will equip me to pursue a career where I can influence policy and industry to safeguard the environment for future generations. I am very grateful to you for enabling me to grasp this opportunity, without being burdened by financial worries.
I am really enjoying my course as it has allowed me to explore topics that interested me as an undergraduate in much greater depth. In particular, I have enjoyed learning about how the principles of sustainable development can be applied in different environmental and economic contexts. I am also developing technical skills that I will be able to apply in the workplace, such as the use of specialist computer software and surveying equipment. My lecturers have undertaken research and worked as consultants on projects all over the world, so I feel privileged to learn from their experience and have taken every opportunity to discuss my studies and my career plans with them. I have received really useful feedback on my assignments and have also been supported to plan my dissertation project, which involves carrying out research within the context of an industrial placement. I am happy to report that I have secured a summer placement with a global engineering and development firm. I am really excited and can’t wait to put my learning into practice in the real world!
During the year I have drawn on my scholarship funds to purchase a new laptop and pay for travel to conferences on sustainability and environmental management. I am very grateful to you for enabling me to attend these inspiring events and meet industry experts from a range of countries and organisations. It has been fascinating to hear about the impact of new research on practical developments in fields such as energy, recycling and water engineering. I am keen to continue engaging with and conducting research into new sustainability approaches as my career progresses, and am considering whether to apply for a PhD programme in the future, but at present my aim is to gain further consultancy experience in industry before returning to academia.
Through the University’s Alumni Leadership Mentoring Programme, I have been in contact throughout the year with a female engineering graduate working in the field of sustainable development, who has helped me to consider different career options and work on improving my employability. I am happy to say that I have recently been offered a graduate internship with an environmental consultancy working on transport infrastructure development. This role should allow me to build on the skills I will be learning during my dissertation placement, and progress towards becoming a chartered consultant in Environmental Management and Assessment.
Something I have learnt recently is the importance of taking breaks away from studying, so this year I have really made the most of living in Leeds. I have particularly enjoyed living within walking distance of Kirkstall Abbey, and have kept in touch with other like-minded students through the Leeds University Union Hiking Society, which provides regular opportunities to share local walking routes. I also volunteer with a Conservation Society, which has continued to run COVID-friendly events during the past year – something I’ve found really valuable.
I have loved my time at Leeds and I am so grateful to you for supporting me to study here. Your generosity has given me something far greater than just another qualification, it has opened doors to a fulfilling and exciting career where I can make a real impact for good in the world. Your investment in me has given me the confidence and motivation to follow my dreams, and one day I hope to inspire others to do the same. Thank you!