Why is it important to express interest in projects?
How do I express interest in a project?
What information is most important to include in an interest statement?
How can I learn about positions as soon as they are posted?
Should I express interest in positions for which I'm not fully qualified?
Interest statements make a project mentors more likely to choose to interview you. In fact, some Project Mentors only review applications with interest statements. Also, you can track the status of positions in which you express interest and will receive an email when these are filled.
- Log in.
- Once your application has been approved and the Fellowship Matching process has begun (in March), click the link under “My Application” that says “Find Positions.”
- Search positions of interest to which you both meet the expressed requirements and are willing to commute.
- Click “Read More” to review all requirements/details.
- Click “Express Interest.”
- Write a targeted, compelling one-paragraph statement highlighting your interest in the position and how you meet the required skills/experience.
- PROOFREAD carefully! You cannot edit once you submit!
The overarching goal is for the mentor to see your interest/enthusiasm for the company/department, your interest/enthusiasm for the project, and the skills/experience you have that meet the needs of the project.
We created an OPTIONAL template you can use to write you interest statement with 4 simple sentences/elements:
1. Why are you interested in this specific role at this department?
“I am very interested in the ______________ position in the _______________ department, because ______________.”
2. Explain why you believe you have the skills to contribute in this specific role (remember, you’re not supposed to be an expert, but you do want to show that you meet the minimum requirements).
“My experience with ______________ will help me succeed in this role because _____________.”
3. What do you think/hope this fellowship will teach you and why are you excited to be challenged in this specific project?
“I see your fellowship project as an opportunity to learn about ____________ and I look forward to sharing it with my students because ___________.”
4. What do you hope to bring back to your classroom/how will this product help you engage your students better in the subject matter you teach?
“I also look forward to learning more about ________________, as I would love to integrate ____________ into _________________.
Bonus: End the statement with “Thank you for your consideration.” or “Looking forward to hearing from you.”
Important Note: Do not include any unnecessary or irrelevant info and do not include your contact info or attempt to contact the mentor directly.
Strong sample interest statement:
Below is a sample project and strong interest statement that was submitted for this position from a previous year that mirrors the optinal template obove:
Sample Position Description
Strong Sample Interest Statement
Engineering Support Fellow
Host Organization: Lockheed Martin
Position Description: Project Goal: Develop an online collaboration system for a documentation review and approval process. The Ignited Fellow will use pre-existing SharePoint work flow capabilities to implement a system that:
The specific tasks the Ignited Teacher will engage in are:
Required/Desired Computer or Lab Skills:
I am very interested in the Engineering Support Fellow position in the Lockheed Martin AEHF Systems Engineering and Integration department, as I enjoy offering employee support, training, and education. I believe I could make a unique contribution because of my diverse background in business, math, programming, and software. At a past Ignited fellowship, I created a SharePoint for outside contractors’ safety training and developed training materials on this tool. I have taken several programming classes, so am very familiar with these concepts, and I am proficient with the Microsoft Office Suite. I see your Fellowship as an opportunity to learn about SharePoint workflows, to work with the engineering community and complete a variety of tasks to build a useful product. I also look forward to learning more about the use of web technologies to support communication satellites, as I would love to integrate these applications into my math class and robotics club. Thank you for your consideration.
This is strong, because the applicant:
- Expresses his interest/enthusiasm for the company/department: The applicant even took the time to research what the department does and references his interest in this work.
- Your interest/enthusiasm for the project: The applicant shares why they are interested in the project, what they hope to learn and use in their teaching.
- The skills/experience you have that meet the needs of the project: The applicant references specific experience and training they have for the skills required in the project description.
This interest statement is very specific and enthusiastic. It makes the reader want to read their resume, because they feel like the applicant is perfect for the position.
Alternatively, you can check the website regularly and search by the “published since” date. We will also periodically send out the Ignited Applicant e-newsletter in which we will feature new positions, projects that have not had much interest from qualified applicants and positions that are still considering applicants.
Projects are also a learning experience, so don't feel like you have to be an expert in the project's subject matter, as long as you meet the basic requirements highlighted in the description.
If you do express interest for a position without meeting all requirements, it is helpful to indicate why you should be considered in your interest statement. For example, you might say something like:
“While I currently do not teach biology, I hold a single-subject credential in Biology, etc.”
Where a qualification is "desired" as opposed to "required," you should definitely express interest.