Essay Request: I need an essay for 1- Ed Gold Scholarship and 2-Walter H. Diamond and Dorothy B. Diamond Scholarship. 250 words for each essay using information below that can be found in my bio, essay a, essay b, and writing sample.
1- Ed Gold Scholarship
The Ed Gold funds provides financial assistance to international students from developing nations who are interested pursuing a career in print journalism, and who demonstrates financial need, superior academic and journalistic achievement.
2- Walter H. Diamond and Dorothy B. Diamond International Business Journalism Fellowship
The Walter H. Diamond and Dorothy B. Diamond International Business Journalism fund provides fellowships to students who are interested pursuing a career in international business journalism, and who demonstrates financial need, superior academic and journalistic achievement.
Eunice Omole graduated from the University of Virginia with a bachelor’s degree in economics. She then completed her master’s degree in real estate at Cornell University. Eunice currently works at FactSet Research Systems as an institutional sales executive and contributing writer for Applause Africa Magazine in New York City. Soon after her appearance on “The Apprentice: Africa” in 2008, she met with fascinating entrepreneurs, designers, writers and politicians while touring Sub-Saharan and South Africa. Their unique stories inspired her to launch O&M Media Ltd. where she produced a new Pan-African television series, called “Africa’s Top 100 Entrepreneurs,” through which she hoped to connect the showcased entrepreneurs with the many young men and women who aspire to be like them. Her interest in journalism stems from her desire to share the rich cultural experiences she has had while in Africa. She looks forward to attending the Journalism School at Columbia University, which will allow her to develop an effective reporting style that can be used to deliver stories that shape the public opinion of African fashion and entrepreneurship. Columbia will provide an enriching and essential testing ground where she can pursue her short- and long-term goals in fashion and entrepreneurship, and give back to Africa. After graduation, her goal is to join the staff of a large news publishing and media organization.
>>Essay A: Autobiographical essay
I possess an abiding entrepreneurial spirit and drive to succeed, which came naturally from being the eldest child of two Nigerian immigrants. Today, this spirit translates into a strong belief in market opportunities and willingness to accept a high level of risk.
Growing up with knowledge of my father’s arduous journey from a Nigerian village to U.S. medical school and ultimately a successful career in orthopedic surgery, determination, hard work, and a thirst for learning were instilled in me from the start. I got to test out these values as a nine year-old when I didn’t make first chair during a violin audition. Instead of giving up, I pushed myself to practice harder until I was finally selected to be the concert soloist. Though many years have passed, I remember well the confidence and pride this success inspired; it is pursuit of this accomplished feeling and the certainty that hard work can make anything possible that has propelled me through the incredible journey I have taken to discover my passion for journalism.
Having made Dean’s List twice during my economics studies at UVA, I joined the New York Investment Banking Consulting team at FactSet Research Systems in September 2001. Hard work earned me fast promotions to Senior Consultant and Account Executive. Not wanting to miss out on any opportunities for learning, I simultaneously enrolled in evening statistics classes at NYU and joined Weichert Realtors as a real estate agent. These varied commitments forced me to quickly learn work-life balance and brought my first surprise: with the purchase of my first property, I fell in love with real estate and enrolled in the graduate program at Cornell.
The real estate program brought opportunities to study emerging real estate markets, taking me to live and work in Nigeria and China, two of the most populous countries in the world. Their rich cultures and traditions inspired me to explore my own, and I became more involved in African organizations, events, and causes at Cornell. I earned second runner-up in the Miss Nigeria in America Beauty Pageant among 50 contestants, using my newfound voice to raise positive awareness of Nigerians in America and assist organizations and causes.
I maintained my involvement in African organizations as an MBA student at Cornell. In 2008, I was selected as one of 18 contestants from across Africa and the Diaspora to compete on The Apprentice: Africa. Though it meant taking a leave of absence from business school, I knew I couldn’t pass on this opportunity to gain a voice to enact change within Africa.
After placing 1st runner-up, I made a promotional tour through Sub-Saharan and South Africa and met successful African entrepreneurs who inspired me to stay in Nigeria. I was determined to utilize my status, network, and experience to produce a new televisionprogram, Africa’s Top 100 Entrepreneurs, to fill an entrepreneurship vacuum on the continent by highlighting the accomplishments of the founders of Africa’s most tenacious companies and the potential of Africa’s business landscape. To produce the show, I founded O&M Media Ltd., which serviced multiple television programs, including Africa’s Top 100 Entrepreneurs. However, the global recession bred fear in the marketplace, and I was ultimately forced to close O&M two years later.
Rather than give up, I drew upon my father’s inspiration and headed to his hometown, Ere Village, founding its first microfinance bank. I lobbied Ere’s elders for support, fighting to raise residents out of poverty. I worked tirelessly with the Central Bank of Nigeria and established management and operations, becoming one of five inaugural members of the Board of Directors and the Chair of the Audit committee from 2009-2011. The material benefits of microfinance took root and expanded beyond Ere, and our initiative was adopted by other states. I am extremely proud of the successful launch of eight bank projects, including a waterworks project, complete with a pipeline network and faucets for the whole village and an energy center, which will buy power in bulk from the Power Holding Company of Nigeria for distribution to every house and generate its own power during outages.
My experiences abroad brought tremendous professional and personal growth, as well as another surprise discovery: my passion for writing about the rich culture abroad as a means of effecting change there. I have begun exploring this interest as a contributor to Applause Africa Magazine, and I feel as confident and inspired as ever to pursue a career in journalism with a focus on business and fashion.
>>Essay B: Professional essay
My interest in journalism stems from my desire to share the rich cultural experiences I have had in Africa. Soon after my appearance on The Apprentice: Africa, I met fascinating entrepreneurs, designers, writers, and politicians during my tour across Sub-Saharan and South Africa. Their unique stories inspired me to create a platform for sharing these tales, and I launched O&M Media and produced a new Pan-African television series, called Africa’s Top 100 Entrepreneurs, through which I hoped to connect the showcased entrepreneurs with the many younger men and women who aspire to be like them. In preparation for the show, I co-wrote the treatment and production bible, conducted detailed interviews, and contributed stories about the entrepreneurs to local print media to attract sponsors. Despite the grueling work of launching a company and show from scratch, I found myself thoroughly enjoying every aspect of gathering inspirational stories and shaping them into a screen production.
Unfortunately, after over two years, the market downturn forced me to close O&M. Upon returning to New York City, I found myself yearning to share the remarkable stories I had gathered abroad. It is this desire that convinced me of my passion for journalism. By cultivating my writing skills, I realized I may be able to once again establish a platform for the many inspiring stories hidden under the surface.
To explore my interest, I began contributing to Applause Africa magazine in New York, composing pieces on topics such as high-demand African fashion designers. Perhaps even more rewarding than getting to share my stories is reading the feedback from my diverse readers. My experience with O&M Media and Applause Africa magazine has not only reinforced my interest in journalism, but also made me aware of a higher purpose to my writing. Through my reporting, I want to teach readers about today’s Africa, hoping to cultivate positive opinion and ultimately benefit its hard-working, inspiring entrepreneurs. Becoming a journalist means accepting both the privilege and responsibility of establishing and presenting the facts to the public.
My journalistic experiences thus far have also demonstrated that the diligence and perseverance I have applied to my prior endeavors translates to reporting. I pursue the necessary facts with unwavering determination and am not easily discouraged by seemingly inapproachable, high-profile sources. Through my previous accomplishments, I have demonstrated leadership and entrepreneurial skills which have resulted in rapid promotions at FactSet and allowed me to successfully launch a microfinance model in Nigeria that serves as an example to neighboring states in Africa. I have no doubt that these skills will continue to serve me as I pursue my passion for journalism.
I understand that pursuing a degree in journalism will challenge me in new ways. However, I have encountered challenges before. During my first two years at UVA, I struggled to find focus and develop time management and study skills. However, my strong motivation to excel drove me to overcome these challenges, and my academic performance improved significantly in the junior and senior years, when I made Dean’s List twice in two years. Through these experiences, I also learned about the need to take time to adjust in order to optimize my future performance; that is why, upon returning to New York City after closing O&M Media, I elected to take four months off to focus on family, friends, and networking after years of living abroad.
A degree in journalism will allow me to develop crucial skills and apply my international experience to the pertinent issues in my industry focus and my country. The Columbia Graduate School of Journalism will provide the strong foundation I need to achieve my aspirations. Having visited the campus, I am particularly impressed by the faculty, many of whose academic interests closely mirror my own, as well as the program’s team-oriented, cooperative culture and sense of social responsibility. Speaking with current students has convinced me that Columbia will provide me with an enriching and challenging environment where I can transform myself into an effective journalist to pursue my broader goals in public opinion and, ultimately, give back to Africa. The part-time MS program at Columbia will allow me to balance academic success with continued achievements in the workplace and at home. I believe I will be an asset to Columbia by contributing my passion for writing and my experiences both inside and outside of the classroom. I look forward to joining Columbia and am certain that I will be a valuable member of the community.
The first link is the promotional version of “Africa’s Top 100 Entrepreneurs,” which features as its principal subject Otunba Subomi Balogun, Group Chairman of the First City Group Limited. Balogun virtually established the model for the banking industry in Nigeria, and he continues to assert great influence over a financial institution of international repute and garner for his various companies international respect. The five-minute “It’s Happening” segment is a fast-cut, energetic profile of young Africans who are doing things of significance throughout the continent. The program closes by featuring Deji Akinyanju, CEO of Food Concepts Limited — a young Nigerian on the sure road to success and creating excitement already with his innovative ways of doing business. The second link is an approximately two-minute clip of the promotional version of the episode used for TVcommercials and promotional purposes.
My role as presenter was to uncover the accomplishments, hardships and lessons learned from the founders, CEOs, and presidents of some of Africa’s most tenacious companies. This program provides viewers with relevant insights into the African business landscape and its major movers. Instead of promoting theories, it provides real-life stories of how businessmen and women were able to become successful, highlighting the challenges and triumphs they encountered along the way. I interviewed and provided in-depth profiles of Otunba Balogun and Deji Akinyanju. As the first in the initial series of 13 episodes of “Africa’s Top 100 Entrepreneurs,” Otunba Balogun’s profile indicated the standard for selection for the entire series. As the “It’s Happening” guest, Deji Akinyanju was interviewed on location. We got to see much of his Chicken Republic and other business operations through interviews with managers, partner/directors, and other people close to him.
As part of my behind-the-scenes role in the production of the video, I researched the interviewees and wrote the treatment, script, and interview questions.
The video’s purpose is to give young, upcoming African entrepreneurs insight into what informed the really great entrepreneurial successes in Africa — what we want to know, in the Balogun example, is: how did he make it happen? What did he see as “the opportunity?” What were the business tactics, strategies and principles involved, including attracting of investors? What were the stepping stones or building blocks that amounted to not just success, but phenomenal success? What were the stumbling blocks along the way? How and why did he pick himself up, dust himself off, redesign his strategies and forge ahead with a redefined vision? How did timing factor in? How did he get others, including his family, to share the vision and go along with what seemed to be a hunch? Was First City a choice? Were there alternative directions he might have taken? As a manager, how did he forge uncharted territory? Was marketing acumen the key to success, or was he a banking genius?! Or was Nigerian business just ready for leadership and courage, and Otunba Balogun supplied it?
I asked those particular questions because I wanted to get to the heart and mind of the entrepreneur, hoping to understand the way he thought and felt every step of the way. What makes a good journalist is curiosity about everything. I didn’t want to just regurgitate what was already documented; I wanted to be the storyteller getting the information directly from the source. It took a lot of resourcefulness to get access to these high-profile entrepreneurs; I only had one shot to make my pitch in order for them to agree to meet with me and then to agree to be part of the program. Since a lot of the subjects wouldn’t take my phone calls, my letters had to be concise and clear about the advantages of participating in the show and the value the subjects would create for the program and viewers.
I started O&M Media to produce the TV show. After a year of going to friends, family, banks, and sponsors I was able to raise enough seed capital from individual investors to produce the promotional video. I spent my own money sending articles to local newspapers and scheduling promotional events to get people to listen to what I had to say and to get the company and program off the ground. I was committed to the entire process of learning and understanding what it means to do business in Africa from those entrepreneurs, all the while doing it myself. Despite the grueling work of launching a company and show from scratch, I am proud of what I was able to accomplish. Even though the market downturn forced me to close O&M, I am still working on getting the program out there.
Journalists have to sacrifice a lot, not only in terms of time but also their personal lives. In that 2-3 year span, I sacrificed school, money, and family. I took a leave of absence from the MBA program to work on setting up O&M Media. I spent all of my savings and begged people I knew and had volunteers work for free so I could peddle the show to networks. I missed out on the births of my niece and nephew. As a journalist, you have to have thick skin and deal with stress and keep going in order to get the story you want. I have the potential to be a great journalist because I have demonstrated the strength to take that extra step.
“Africa’s Top 100” is about showcasing the successes and achievements of the African people to the rest of the world. It is about changing lives, making dreams come true, and inspiring and motivating viewers to achieve goals and objectives within and outside Africa. It is about lasting change in the areas of mentorship, leadership, entrepreneurship, education, development and empowerment. It is about positively affecting African youth.