The application period for the 2023 Bush Fellowship closes September 29 at noon Central. You may still be thinking: Should I apply? As you decide your next steps in the application process, we invite you take a step back and consider how this Fellowship could impact your leadership journey.
We can tell you that Bush Fellows think big about what's possible for their leadership growth and what that could mean within their community. They have big ideas for equitable change and recognize how investing in themselves will not only make them more effective leaders but potentially lead to large-scale transformation for our region.
We know that applying for a Bush Fellowship can raise questions that need answers! Here are some questions we often get that may help you get closer to a decision to apply:
- Is now the right time to consider a Bush Fellowship? Taking full advantage of the Fellowship requires a serious time commitment. Fellows who have the most transformative experience – and make the largest impact – take the time needed to maximize the Fellowship. Ask yourself if you’re at a point in your leadership journey that aligns well with how this Fellowship could impact your growth. Do you already have a foundation of both knowledge and relationships to build upon for the Fellowship? Do you have the time and space to focus on your growth in service the issue important to you? The time you need to make the most of your Fellowship has to come from somewhere. What are you prepared to say no to, in order to say yes to the Fellowship?
- Do I have enough leadership experience to apply? We’re looking for leaders who’ve made an impact in their career or community in ways that reach beyond what a job description requires. Can you describe how your leadership has made a difference inside or outside of your work? While we know leadership can mean different things for different people and communities, Bush Fellows are able to point to ways that they’ve challenged themselves to consistently grow and have more impact.
- Is the Bush Fellowship only for non-profit leaders? No. We want to find Bush Fellows from all job sectors, ages, backgrounds and communities. We know that making progress on our biggest challenges require people working in lots of different ways in different kinds of roles. We're looking for leaders who can share their extraordinary track record of success and think big about what’s possible in our region. We understand that each Bush Fellow needs something different in order to transform into the leader they wish to become, as a result, your Fellowship journey is yours to define.
- I don't have a specific project to focus on for a Fellowship, does that matter? The Bush Fellowship does not fund projects. The Fellowship supports the actions you’re taking for your personal leadership growth. Instead of being project-focused, think about the bold vision you have for and with your community and the role you play in making that vision a reality. As you describe your vision and think big about what is possible, ask yourself what you need to learn and how you need to grow in order to make that vision a reality. This is the kind of personal leadership growth that the Bush Fellowship supports.
- Am I too young or too old for a Bush Fellowship? The Fellowship is open to anyone 24 years and older who is making the most of opportunities regardless of where you are in your career. Further information on selection criteria can be found here.
- What if I’m unclear about the leadership growth I need? It may not be time for you yet. We encourage you to talk with others you trust to help you identify your opportunities for growth. We invite all Bush Fellows to think big about their leadership growth so that those selected can use this extraordinary experience to make extraordinary impact. Each Bush Fellow’s journey is unique and defined entirely by the limits of their ambition. Ask yourself, in all the time I’ve spent connecting to the issues I care about and communities I’m part of what has been our biggest dream? And what role could I play in that dream? How do I need to develop myself to make it happen?
It might feel uncomfortable to focus so much on yourself. Whether or not you apply for the Bush Fellowship, thinking big about your vision and your personal growth will help you make it a reality. We encourage you to watch our webinar to learn more about the Fellowship and selection process and sign up to attend an upcoming live Q&A session on Sept. 22 or Sept. 26.