As winter vacation nears, more and more students are now planning ahead to enter one of public contests which offer rewards and prizes. Yet, as attractive as the rewards may sound, some students are discouraged from entering because of the high level of competition involved. To assuage such fear, the Ewha Voice asked the winners of several significant contests to reveal their secrets for achieving the prize.
Tips are provided by Park Hyung-ok (’05, Graduate School of Design) who won the grand prize for her proposal in The Second Contest for Proposals on Hosting Conventions, organized by the Seoul Convention & Visitors Bureau; Gi Eun-joo (Public Administration, 4) and her friend, Kim Hong-geun (Seoul National University, 4), who won the seven million won second prize for her thesis in The Fifth Term-Paper contest on Korea’s Present Economic Situation, organized by the Financial News; and Choi Sung-hee (Economics, Graduate School) who won third prize for her short documentary in the National Pension Film Festival, organized by the National Pension Service, with her teammate Lee Seong-wook (Yonsei University, 4).
1. Search In and Out of the Internet
When doing research on the topic, it is important to search for information both online and offline.
Park: “Information found on the Internet cannot be regarded as fully accurate. Thus, I personally met convention organizers and people from related institutes so as to grasp the trend and to obtain the most up-to-date information.”
Gi: “I looked at textbooks on microeconomics and thesis papers to attain theoretical ideas on the topic that I dealt with for the contest. I also visited the website of the Bank of Korea to become familiar with the current Korean economic situation and find exact statistics.”
Choi: “If there is something that you do not know for sure, go and ask professors or experts in the field for advice. This kind of active mind is needed.”
2. Show off while sticking to the basics
Park proposes a savvy strategy called “KISS & KILL,” which means to “Keep It Simple and Short & Keep It Large and Legible” when writing the paper. Park says, “It is important to visualize the message that you are trying to convey in a simple way. Thus, it is helpful to make the collected data into graphic and charts.”
In addition, it is important to “act like a student” when writing the paper. Gi says, “I worked honestly as a student in writing the report by adopting many microeconomic theories that I had learned in undergraduate courses. This attitude was reflected in my paper, and I believe it helped me overcome the fierce competition of financial experts who also entered the contest.”
Choi adds, “What is important is to express your idea within the boundary of the given topic as much as an undergraduate student can. When doing it, though, you have to be concrete in your expressions and practical in terms of adapting your ideas to real life.”
3. Appeal with
Gi: “Actually there was a renowned professor in the field who had different ideas from what I had when writing my thesis for the competition. Nevertheless, I daringly challenged such differing views and made my argument clear.”
Choi: “You should not be like ‘Trying wouldn’t hurt’ but should be like ‘Yes, I’m going to go for it.’ It is important to push forward aggressively with a positive attitude.”
By Yoo Jung-eun