Organization:Clinton Global Initiative Info Session

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Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU) Info Session

Led by:

Ben Matthews, University of Virginia

Drew Spooner, North Dakota State University

Ben Matthews and Drew Spooner attended CGIU in 2015. In the video below, they discuss their experience, the projects they applied with, traveling and funding from their universities. Fellows in attendance were then able to ask questions.

Info Session Recording on YouTube:

Katie Kan and Angela Liu, both from the University of Virginia also attend the CGIU in 2015. They were not able to make the Info Session, but provided their insights below.

Katie Kan

“I feel that it was definitely a valuable experience and my group will be applying again this year. We were able to have an interview with Laureate International Universities at CGIU last year and it was posted on Youtube. Being exposed to a larger audience will be helpful for any initiative. Also, just being around passionate individuals who all have different projects makes you want to push yourself further. In terms of the application process, you should find a solid need behind your initiative so that people know what you are making a difference for. The topics can range from building a rooftop garden, to making a medical device to helping people in your community, so there really isn't any limitations. I truly encourage anyone who has an idea to apply and once you're there, you may be able to find other individuals who are passionate about the same cause and establish partnerships that way.”

Angela Liu

- Unsure of when the due dates are exactly, but it is 100% worth it to take more time on the application and submit during the later deadline if your application isn't ready yet. There are so many applications that yours needs to really stand out. Although that disqualifies you for funding, I found that the University is full of funding resources. In fact, I think UVa funded 100% of its students who were accepted.

- As someone who has applied unsuccessfully (2 years ago) and successfully (1 year ago), I would say keep your application clear and concise. The word limit already attempts to force that, but sentences might not even be necessary. Articles take up space and are unneeded. While bullet-pointingapplications might seem unprofessional, that's how I formatted my second application, and it was the successful one. It helps to get your point across clearly, which I'm sure reviewers appreciate.

- Beyond anything else, apply with an idea that you are passionate about. I know this goes without saying, but things happen. I got caught up submitting a commitment on something that had seen much success and was gaining momentum, but neither I nor anyone on my team were truly committedto implement it (sad, but true). This left me searching during the Conference, a bit confused about what I wanted to get out of it. The Conference is a great chance to procure funding, but my team wasn't interested (the other aspects of our project were already fully funded). I think if I had gone in when something that I really wanted to do, I could have had a really different experience.

- With that said, the networking and connections made at the conference are invaluable, and worth it in itself, with a commitment of not (but of course, you need one to get accepted).

- With that said, keep in mind that this is a HUGE publicity opportunity for the Clintons, and sometimes you may experience the publicity portion of it all, and feel disillusioned from the entire process. Just know that going in, set appropriate expectations, and then get the most out of it anyways! Because it truly is a once in a lifetime opportunity! And an awesome one, at that.

For more information contact Katie Dzugan at