“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.”
There are little things, the changes, the habits that make you extraordinary. It is all about the
moment when you realize that “now the time has come for me to shine”.That one moment
can change the whole story, no matter what were your school grades or what you did in
college, that one realization ignites the fire within you to stand out from the crowd, like
Karthika G Kumar. She is a strong professional with a Bachelor of Technology focused on
civil engineering from the National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli. She says that she
never put in a lot of effort way back in her school days, but when she did, there was no
looking back. She worked as a Chapter Leader in GirlScript Foundation, got selected as a
delegate from a pool of thousands of applicants from all over the world for the virtual Harvard
Project for Asian and International Relations (HPAIR) conference 2021, holds expertise in
public speaking, c++, java, content writing and so forth. In addition to this, she was honored
by the “SJ Chaintalu Award Of Excellence” by NIT Trichy for securing a top rank in the
department in the first year, and here comes the frosting on the cake when she got selected
for Western Scholarship for STEM 2020. Let’s learn from her only.
Q1. Describe the application process in brief
Western Digital Scholarship Program applications for the 2020 cycle started around
January 8th and the due date for applications was April 2nd. So that gave me nearly 3
months to plan how I would approach the process. The application process is pretty
standard in the sense that it asks the following details: personal details, school/college
details, in detail description of academic and co-curricular activities, resume, and university
transcript. What is crucial in the WD application is the submission of the salary receipt of
your guardian and writing two major essays(the word limit for each essay was 800 words).
For the 2020 cycle the essay topics that I got were,1)How do you plan to make use of the
financial aid that you receive if you get declared as a recipient 2)Describe your future career
plans and how do you think Western Digital Scholarship will help you in fulfilling those plans.
The entire procedure is a bit long so make sure that you start the application well ahead and
do not keep to the last moment. All the best!
Q2. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Could be your story. Feel free to write about anything
fun, deep, emotional, or motivating!
I have never been an achiever in my school days. In fact, I have never made an effort to do
something out of the ordinary because I was satisfied with being “just enough”.But ever since I made it into one of the most prestigious institutions in India and listening to the stories
of the people around me, I understood the need to make a mark in society. Even if your
contribution is small, always keep in mind that it matters in the long run. I immediately felt the
need to make my presence felt. I worked hard to acquire opportunities but the journey was
not a cakewalk. I had to face a lot of failures before I got my biggest achievement ever which
is becoming the recipient of the prestigious Western Digital Scholarship. So be brave and be
bold! Effort and hard work always reward well!
Q3. Tell us about your Major accomplishments.
● I have cleared the first stage of the National Talent Search Examination in 2016. I
was among the 140 students selected from the state of Kerala for the Bootcamp
conducted by SCERT Kerala.
● Among the top 0.5 percentile All India in JEE Main 2018
● I was announced Department Rank 1(Gold medallist) and Department Rank 2 after
first and second-year final examinations in NIT Trichy.
Q4. Why do you think you were selected?
In addition to academic excellence and demonstrated leadership skills, Western Digital
expects the students to have very clear plans regarding what they are planning to do with
the scholarship amount. I explained in detail my future plans of pursuing higher studies
abroad in my essay and that played a very crucial role. They are also looking for people who
are willing to contribute something to their field of study so make sure you include relevant
points regarding that in your essay. Even though CGPA and positions of responsibilities
matter, it is more about convincing Western Digital as to why you are a suitable candidate for
their scholarship program. I have also kept my essays crisp and to the point starting from
why I chose my field of study and what I am planning to do after graduation. Hope that helps!
Q5.Have you faced any failures or rejections?
Yes. I applied for a scholarship program known as the Cargill Global Scholarship program
which opens applications every November for selected colleges and unfortunately I couldn’t
Q6. Any advice for future applicants?
Have a clear plan for the future. Western Digital just looks at students who have a clear plan
after their undergraduate so that it gives them the incentive to provide financial aid to you.
As Karthika said, be bold & be brave nothing can ever stop you from achieving your goal, the
urge to stand out from the crowd is all that matters. If you are passionate, determined & have
a strong reason for your goal, you will achieve it for sure. Remember you may face a lot of
failures in your journey but don’t be disheartened. Failures are part of success, without
failure, there is no success.
Does this article ignite a fire within you? If yes, do check these amazing scholarships &
opportunities waiting for you. And kickstart your journey of becoming a better version of
● Scholarships & Opportunities
Also, connect with Karthika on LinkedIn to get your daily dose of motivation. Always
remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem & smarter than you