Applications


I haven’t heard about my status for KP NL yet – it’s still the weekend over there, after all. We’ll all know by around this week.

In the workshop I talked about how, if I don’t get in this time, I probably won’t try again for a while. This isn’t necessarily because I’m giving up on the idea of being a KaosPilot. Rather, it’s because I feel that if this attempt doesn’t work, it’s time to let go and have a break.

The process is extremely draining. The application form is highly personal – though often questions are recycled so it can get a bit tedious to be explaining yourself over and over and over. The creative project can also be a challenge – while I’ve found it fun, it can also bve really difficult if the project is something resource-intensive (for instance, the video set by KP Aarhus).

If you get admitted into the workshop, you need to rush to get your transport sorted. This is extremely tricky for someone like me who lives far away and has a troublesome passport that requires visas for everywhere. (While in Dordrecht I heard from a friend in Burundi who had been shortlisted but could not afford to come.) Admission workshops are expensive for a non-European! Even those in North America don’t have it quite as hard, because it’s relatively closer.

Once you sort out the logistics and actually get there, you face two days of emotional turmoil. The workshop process is extremely challenging and testing, and I reckon that trying to go through it more than twice in a year (there are quite a number of people who apply multiple times) would be way too much on your soul. Even with the foreknowledge of what’s coming (the content doesn’t change a lot), you still face challenges to your mind and psyche. There’s a lot of reflection on yourself and the team, including exercises that bring to the fore all sorts of hidden thoughts and concerns. Even now I still start crying remembering parts of it – it’s very very tough.

A lot of the KaosPilot process is luck of the draw – who else is there with you? In the workshop they said that they’re choosing for the best team; just because you didn’t get in this time doesn’t mean you’ll never function as a KaosPilot. It just means you weren’t as effective with this particular mob. While we were all pretty chummy by the first night (before the workshop), after we had been separated into our groups we pretty much spent all our time with our groups. There wasn’t much of a chance to interact with the other applicants who were in other groups. In my last entry, I wrote about how I initially felt out of place in my group; I may have been more accepted in another group, but there’s no real way of knowing for sure.

If I don’t get in to the KaosPilots this time round (third time lucky?), I’ll likely give it a rest for a while. I may revisit it in a few years – the newer schools would have more footing, and there may be more schools in other places (a KaosPilots in Brisbane would be AWESOME). I would also have more financial capacity, and hopefully even a better citizenship/passport. I would also possibly be a lot more grounded and be able to recover from the emotional ruckus better – at this stage, I only have had a few months in between to process everything.

As odd as it may seem, it’s actually logisitically easier for me to be a KaosPilot than my other options. Being a student is relatively straightforward – the school manages the paperwork and there is a set visa. If I wanted to stay in Brisbane after my degree, I would have to try to fit myself under highly restrictive visa rules. As it is, I don’t qualify for General Skilled Migration (I don’t fit any of the needed skillsets) nor the 18-month bridging visa (the minimum salary is about $41,000/year, which is management level and way more than I’ll ever get at this stage unless I work as a porn star). Getting a job-sponsored visa would be tricky as the companies/organizations I’d work best in may not be able to afford sponsoring me. There is the option of continuing study; however, I am already burnt out with academia and it’s hard enough finding more project-based schools like the KaosPilots.

My dream job is to work with Up with People; I may pursue that option if nothing else works out. There isn’t an opening in Road Staff that suits me yet, though other office-based jobs sound interesting. Again, given that this is a US-based organization, visa issues would be tricky. But at this point I’m already used to tricky visa issues.

The Scholar Ship has shut down, so that option’s gone. I might apply for Sauve Scholars but it’s just as competitive and possibly more academic than I’d like.

I could always go back to Malaysia and work there, I suppose. I’d like to be Spidey’s assistant (the woman keeps thinking it would be an insult to ask me to be her PA. Despite me telling her a gazillion times that I’d be more than honoured to work with her. She probably finds it awkward to ask me to work for her.) Jobs in Malaysia for my capacity are limited though – there aren’t that many organized options for youth work and creative community development. I also have my projects that I want to start, but I do need to live off something, and I’d rather not have to depend on my parents.

So what shall I do, if KP NL doesn’t work out? Should I just try again anyway?

So as some of you may know, I tried my luck with applying for Team 2 of the Kaospilots Netherlands in Rotterdam.

I just found out today that I’ve been shortlisted!

I’ve been invited to the Admissions Workshop in Rotterdam on the 19th and 20th of June. They’re also providing accommodation and food (so the workshop fee is a bit higher, but at least I have a place to stay).

The main hurdles so far are flights and visas. Visas should be OK because I’ve got official paperwork, but I do need a ticket to get a visa (and to get to the Netherlands!).

Since I’ll be back in Malaysia at the time, I’ve asked my parents to help me arrange a plane ticket so I can apply for a visa as soon as I get home. They’re being Dolly Downers about the whole thing, though, so I’m not entirely sure I want to trust them with it. KP NL couldn’t fund me flightwise, so I think I’ll try asking KLM for help.

Any of you have any experiences with KLM or other Dutch-bound airlines? Any recs on those that are great with sponsorship?

But anyway! Great news! The principal, Peter Linde, wrote me a very thoughtful and personal email. I am totally touched and honoured.

I would also like to give a shoutout to Bob Sloat and Michael Doneman – you two got mentioned in the email and it was your feedback that got me through!

yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay 😀

I wish KP NL would hurry up and tell me the status of my application already.

Of course, the last time I wished that, I got rejected 5 days early.

argh. The anticipation plus all the end-of-sem assignments (including a rather messy rhetorical essay) is just stressing me out.

I’ve just posted out my application for KP NL this afternoon. The printing was a bit wonky (a couple of photos didn’t get exported properly) and QUT has sucky staplers, but otherwise it should be OK.

The last day is May 19th and the workshop is on the 19th and 20th of June. I’ll be in Malaysia then (mid-year hols) so flights would be cheaper, but not by much. KP NL does have a more organized system of financial support, though, so I’ve asked them to help me out. Even a connection to KLM would be good!

I did some calculations last year across KP Stockholm, Aarhus, and Rotterdam, and Rotterdam came down to being the cheapest of the lot. I haven’t really done much research into living expenses yet – should do that soon. And hey, I’ve always wanted to learn Dutch…

We have a winner for KaosPilot A-Z 2, the definitive KaosPilot book full of essays on social entrepreneurship and life as a KaosPilot. This competition was my response to the Creative Assignment posed by KP NL, which was to create and test a marketing tool for KP NL on at least 3 people. With 8 participants, I’ve hit that target, and I’ve contacted everyone to get feedback. But first, a funny story of how KP NL foiled me (kind of).

The winners were chosen by going through the responses, writing the names of those that had all-correct answers, and pulling them out of a hat. Out of 8 responses, this gave me 3 finalists. I did a draw, but wanted to recheck the answers for the question people kept getting “wrong”.

The question was on the values of the KaosPilots. When I made up the questions, I saw there were 5, and added another dummy 5 – “Compassion” was one of the “dummy” responses that kept showing up. Today, I rechecked the values, and whaddya know – “Compassion” is now a KaosPilot value! (It’s likely that I just wasn’t paying complete attention, but maybe I got foiled. Eh.) So now, instead of 3 finalists, I have 6 going into the hat.

Draw #1Draw #2

First Draw, with 3 finalists, and Second Draw, with 6 finalists

Oddly enough, both times I drew the same person! So you are a very lucky person…

The Winner - Sidney Ng

SIDNEY NG!

Sidney’s description of the KaosPilots:

KaosPilots is an opportunity to provide one with the paint to paint the potrait of life and add flavour and colour to the otherwise mundane. With the guiding principles of being true to yourself and being a positive agent of change, the KaosPilot program SIX values demonstrate the no matter how young a person is, if the person really wants to make a difference, he/she can do so in any way (no matter how minor) possible.The TEN principles are the principles of being an effective and efficient leader who would represent the future voice/generation of the world.

For the answers, and more responses, just hit MORE:
(more…)

Anyone else applying for the KaosPilots Netherlands (Rotterdam)? Would love to hear from you. I’d also like to hear from those of you that went to the Admissions Workshop in Aarhus the past week.

I’m still partway through my own application. I originally thought I’d make it silly, but the silly isn’t coming out. The Life-As-A-CV section is drastically different; instead of my usual table, I got inspired by a section of Making a Living While Making a Difference and wrote a spiritual autobiography – about the things I’m drawn to and the events in my life that have affected the choices I made. Like all my other Life Stories, it’s a bit too long, so I definitely need some editing help.

The questions in this app are much the same as those in Aarhus and Stockholm – when will they get different questions already? When I told my dad about this plan, he asked me why I have to go through the process of applying again – shouldn’t they already have my information? Unfortunately that’s not the case…

Still a couple of days left to win KaosPilots A-Z 2! Response has been a little slow, but not bad actually.

Because I’m about to reapply for the KaosPilots – this time in Rotterdam.

Would this blog count as a form of marketing for KP? The creative assignment is to design & test a marketing campaign to promote KP NL. Though this blog has mostly been about the Aarhus school, I still managed to promote the KaosPilots to a whole bunch of people who had never heard of the program beforehand. It’s meant to portray KaosPilots Netherlands in a positive light though – and I haven’t really mentioned anything either way about them (except the fact that they too are recruiting).

Well, here’s something positive: they offered to send me a token by post in appreciation of my interest. Aww.

Hmm. Maybe my blog AND the Facebook group have been great marketing strategies. KP (all schools) have done blogs and FB groups too, but none’s really from the perspective of a potential student – sure, it may be hard to find one to blog for you if you ask them (because it may seem to be biased – “oh we’ll guarantee you acceptance if you write about us”) but as I mentioned before, it has linked KP to a whole bunch of new people.

At least I have a bit more than a month this time! And this time, I will have FUN with it. Be silly. At least give them a laugh, if nothing else. Maybe finish it off in 5 days or something.

Mwaha!

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