Sunday, May 11, 2014

HLP Season is back!

And yeah, that season is back!

I'm writing this little note as an attempt to help fellow teacher-friends who are planning or are applying for this year's Offer-You-Cant-Resist (or HLP 2015). Generous KPM offers this scholarship opportunities every year and I only applied for the first time last year and Alhamdulillah I managed to secure a place in KPM Tajaan's heart!

So here's the story, a friend from Kota Marudu managed to secure the scholarship two years ago and it was then that I got to know about the HLP offers. Fast forward to 2013, so far the most challenging year in my life, but also most rewarding; I decided to give it a try since that Eeeee-TakTukarTukar didnt work for me and the jelly-jelly feeling I had, looking at my friends' graduation pics.

However, this post isn't about the technical stuff one has to follow when he or she plans to apply. This post is about the things that are absence in that 'HOW TO APPLY' section, basically things they don't tell you but believe me, they are worth considering and being given attention to:

1. The art of filling the online form:

The best is you use IE as it happens to be friendlier to the online form. I filled the form countless times using Chrome because it couldn't be saved, and it only worked when I finally resorted to IE.

The achievement part: this is the best opportunity to sell yourself through written form, gather all the written works that you have done, exam questions, modules, anything related to professional teaching careers. Check all your certificates, highlight all the kick ass things you have attended or be part of. HIGHLIGHT. The key is, to treat the space as the only space you can sell yourself (before the interview).

2. Choosing the area of study

The most important thing, and it is very crucial for you to make the right choice. No one told me this strategy but I feel obliged to share and extend so that people wont end up in the wrong boats or coaches or planes. The very first thing that you have to consider is - WHICH UNI that you would like to attend? The uni at the back of your home, Uni back in home town, or that city Uni? Well, it can be any Uni of your preference but please make sure that they offer the areas that you are interested in. Having said that, multitasking is very crucial here - that is to combine the search for suitable Uni with your preferred areas of study. It might be a good idea to just have a few in minds and it will be best if you do a little research on what are the subjects offered if you were to take up that area in that particular Uni. The scare of failing numerical subjects like Statistics somehow explains why am I in my current Uni, among other meaningful reasons lah , of course. Like, being able to drive to the Uni in less than 10 minutes time - and going against the KL crazy traffic.

3. Determining the area of research for proposal

Hah, I am not the best person to talk to when it comes to writing a proposal but I can tell you that it requires deep, real deep thinking and an area that is really close to your heart. Why? Because during the interview, you are expected to be the master of that area, you will be grilled to the bones, your answers will reflect the amount of knowledge you have on the area. Therefore, choosing a topic that is close to your practice and interest will definitely be helpful. Please choose a topic that is clever and professional. Please.


Writing a kick - ass resume; is an idea that I gathered from a fellow teacher who attended  (and secured a place, of course!) the interview with a deliberate and ass-kicking resume subsequently impressing her interviewers. Argh, I do not want to look back at that sentence. She updates her blog quite efficiently and the interviewers were impressed with her blog, me? The only systematic thing I did prior to attending the interview was updating my FB status. Haha! But yeah, I did attent the interview with a (Close friends Can Insert 'Kick -Ass' here) resume and ting ting ting, it worked. Alhamdulillah. The interviewers commanded my effort (the first resume of the day) and despite being the final English - related area candidate for the day, the interview went lively and very meaningful. And... I brought other documents along, the module I compiled with my good friends and a few of my students' exercise books to help sell my ideas and the proposal. A few angels helped me with my proposal writing, giving ideas, checking and checking and checking the proposal till the very last minute - the night before the interview.

Dear friends, basically those are things that you have to endure if you plan to apply for the scholarship. Having the correct niat is also very important, just believe that when you are ikhlas in all that do, the rewards will definitely be awarded to you in forms that you can't guess. I believe in rezekis; in my case, I would like to treat it as the reward of challenges that I have gone through, especially when I was on my own in Sabah for five years. The great people I get to know there, the experiences that are so rich for both my career and life. I always tell my Sabahan friends that the scholarship awarded to me is the parting gift from Sabah as Alhamdulillah, I finally managed to get the much-needed transfer back to Semenanjung to be with my Liverpool-fan husband and Man-Utd fan family.

At the moment, I am treating this scholarship as The Gift and Amanah from Allah while waiting for my little Raudhah to come.

I would like to be helpful: email me at

Thank you for reading!

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