2020 Bush Fellowship Program Informational Webinar


– Hello and welcome to
the informational webinar for the 2020 Bush Fellowship Program. I’m Alexandra Siclait and the Leadership Programs
Manager at the Bush Foundation. In my role, I lead the
application experience. – And hi everyone, I’m Anita Patel. I direct the Leadership
Programs at the Bush Foundation. And our goal with this
informational webinar is to really help you prepare for the Bush Fellowship application as you keep thinking about
your own leadership growth. We also acknowledge our
wonderful colleague, Nhia Vang, who is behind the scenes. You can’t see her, but she’s
making this webinar run. As we get going, we thought
you might wonder about who the founder of the Bush Foundation is. It’s not the political Bush family. It’s not the beer or the beans. It is Archibald Granville
Bush, known as Archie, and you see him here,
with his wife, Edyth. Archie worked for 3M for over 50 years, first as a bookkeeper, and then quickly rose through the ranks to become the executive committee chair. Archie and Edyth established
the Bush Foundation in 1953. We know that Archie believed
in investing in people to ensure that leaders have what they needed to make
positive contributions. There’s lots of stories about
this, including one where there was a particular business
leader in the community who was making a huge positive difference, and that business person really came upon some hard
times related to healthcare. So Archie helped to finance
the healthcare needs so that this particular leader could keep making a positive
difference in the community. That type of philosophy is at the heart of the Bush Fellowship. We work to honor that legacy daily. At the Bush Foundation, we inspire and support
creative problem-solving within and across sectors to make our region better for everyone. Everything we do is to
advance this purpose. It’s what ties all our work together. We invest in great ideas and
the people who power them. We work in grant-making
programs that support efforts to test, develop, and spread great ideas, and inspire, equip, and connect people to more effectively lead change. The Bush Foundation funds
through two focus areas and four strategic initiatives. The focus areas are community
innovation and leadership. The strategic initiatives are education, Native nation building, community creativity, and social business ventures. So now let’s talk about
why we’re all here. The Bush Fellowship. One of the most common
questions we hear is, “What does the Bush Fellowship support?” The simple answer is, “You.” What’s even better is
that we’re supporting you in a flexible and intentional experience for your leadership growth. Let’s spend some time and go deeper through some of the key
components of the Fellowship. – As Anita was saying, the Bush Fellowship is
a flexible experience. As a Fellow, we encourage
you to build skills, connect with your community, and really pursue experiences you didn’t imagine were possible. Knowing that, we really want to push you to get comfortable being uncomfortable. This is truly where we believe you will build your leadership skills and really strengthen your
connection with your community. We are supporting you to
think bigger and differently about what is possible, not only for you and your leadership, but for your community. This is not a project, this is about you. And remember, you do not
have to leave your job. It is your choice. And while the program does
welcome a class of 24 Fellows, it’s not a cohort, which is
often a surprise to applicants. But it is flexible, it’s self-directed, and it is designed for you. Another key component that
Anita mentioned earlier is leadership investment. The Fellowship is an investment in your accomplishments
and leadership potential. We are investing $100,000
in your leadership growth to creatively solve
problems in your community, of which you are doing the hard work to strengthen where your
communities live, work, and play. You are the game changer, and we want to invest in you because we believe you are capable of exceptional impact in your community. A third component of the Fellowship is your intentional plan. We have found that the strongest plans are those that connect the dots of an applicant’s life experiences, are deeply personal, describe big ideas, and are well-captured on paper
for readers to understand. So what do we mean when we say connect your life experiences? Think of your plan as your story that’s helping us understand why you, why this vision, and why now. Clearly describing your
plan and past leadership helps us understand you as
a person and your potential. So as you’re thinking through your drafts and you’re working on your revisions, a recurring question you
really want to ask yourself is, “Am I connecting the dots to
key experiences in my life “to help readers understand me, “my motives, strengths, “and opportunities for leadership growth?” Often, what we see in strong applicants is their ability to internalize their plan and convey their personal connection to the issues and
communities they care about. The more you can reflect on your plan and your personal connection to it, the better you are at connecting your plan to your values, your identity, and vision for leadership growth. Here at the Bush Foundation,
we love to think big, which often surprises applicants because most don’t think we mean it! But we absolutely do. So what do we say and what do we mean when we say think big? Your plan should really be
stretching you to think bigger, and a question you really should
be asking yourself here is, “Is my plan one that can make an impact “in my community,
neighboring county, city, “and our region at large
to have a ripple effect?” A pro tip that I love
to share with applicants is to record yourself while
talking through your ideas, to yourself or your friends, and transcribe it later. So part of the most rewarding
experience with the Fellowship is not only seeing
yourself realize your plan, but also seeing yourself
transform because of it. As Tawanna Black, a
2014 Bush Fellow, said, “Transformational leadership
is about understanding “that each interaction I have as a leader “is impacted by the way I frame
the interaction in my mind. “My goals, my motivations, fears, triggers “are at constant play “unless I’m conscious of them “and committed to remaining present.” And another Fellow from
2016, Kevin Killer, said, “Going through this process, “learning to take care of myself, “is probably one of the
biggest wake-up calls for me. “Without a foundation to carry us, “it’s hard to keep moving
forward with helping others.” – So you’re starting to get a sense of the Fellowship application, and let’s talk a little bit about why we invest in individuals. Archie deeply believed
in investing in people to ensure the leaders had what they needed to make positive contributions. And we continue to do that through the Bush Fellowship Program. The Bush Foundation invests in individuals who have the skills to make a difference because we believe it will have a positive impact in the region, building community, excuse me, building communities
and motivating leaders. So when you think about
that positive impact, in creating a constellation
of leaders across the region who are connected, who
are building skills, who are thinking bigger,
as Alex talked about. And that immediately links
to building communities. We hope that this connects
individuals with each other and with the opportunity to build wider networks of collaborators so that you can call on each other, you can get help or counsel one another, with an emphasis on expanding your own thinking and perspectives. And motivating leaders, really thinking about helping individuals to stay committed to working to benefit people and communities in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and the 23 Native nations that share that same geography. So let’s talk about what you
can do with a Bush Fellowship. With the Bush Fellowship, you are creating a unique plan for your leadership goals. So we ask you to set goals. Think about the vision you have, both for yourself and to
make your community stronger. And then consider what kind of personal
growth and development do you need to make your vision a reality? Continuously learning
is a huge part of this because the hallmark
of the Bush Fellowship is its flexibility. You can use the grant in
a lot of different ways. You could start or complete
and academic degree. You could design and pursue
an individual learning plan. And always keep in mind
how you want to grow and how you want to impact your community. So some ways fellows have
pursued learning opportunities are by gaining a bachelor’s or a master’s, or a doctorate degree, attending conferences and conventions. It could be meeting with other leaders that they want to learn from, and it might be getting
closer to your own culture, your own home language, to give yourself that solid foundation from which to grow. Because this Fellowship is really about identifying
growth opportunities, this is an opportunity to
really stretch yourself. To say, “What do I want to do?” That maybe you didn’t
even think was possible. So once you’ve done all that, what should you expect from the actual Fellowship experience? So, of course, it’s individually driven, so each of you will have
a different experience, but there are some programmatic elements we want to talk through. First, we bring people together in some annual gatherings. The first is a launch retreat that helps you connect
with your class of Fellows, and to think about how you
might maximize that Fellowship. There’s also a Mid-Fellowship retreat to kind of take stock of
where you’ve been, get ideas, and kind of talk with your classmates about where you’re going through
the end of your Fellowship. And, of course, a celebration, to really share learnings
and celebrate at the end. There are written monthly reflections. We know that it’s important to really take time to
reflect on your journey. That’s a big way that we
learn as human beings. So there are monthly reflections
that you would share. There are monthly stipends. That’s how you get the
money for your grant, in monthly stipends. And a Fellowship coach. I also want to note what
the Fellowship isn’t. Even though we bring Fellows
together periodically, and you’re sharing learnings
through monthly reflections, you have a coach, this is not a formal
programmed cohort experience. So if you’re looking for an experience that brings you consistently
and frequently together with the same folks with
the same curriculum, this is not it. This is much more of an
individualized experience. So let’s hear some more
from former Fellows. As Gary Cunningham, a
1991 Bush Fellow, said, “The Bush Fellowship changed
the trajectory of my life “and pushed me toward doing
work I never knew was possible.” Sarah Bellamy, a 2015 Bush Fellow, said that she learned
it’s enormously important to be protective of your goals. – Earlier, we mentioned Fellows write monthly
reflections and learning logs. So monthly reflections are
confidential reflections that describe each
Fellow’s leadership growth, and only Bush staff and Fellows
in the same class can view. Learning logs are another
type of reflection that fellows complete
during their Fellowship. Learning logs are
reflections that are public. Here, Fellows are providing
updates and insights about the Bush Fellowship
during their leadership journey, and can be publicly viewed by you. And you can learn more
about these learning logs and the different learning leadership journeys that
they’re experiencing by following our link at bfdn.org/LLog So we spent a nice chunk of time sharing about the Fellowship experience, the expectations, and purpose, so who is eligible for this
once-in-a-lifetime experience? Our Fellowship only has three
eligibility requirements, and they are, you must be at least 24
years old when you apply, you must be a resident of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and one of the 23 Native nations that share that same geography. There are no specific
citizenship requirements to be eligible for the Bush Fellowship. And last but not least, you cannot be a Fellow. Once a Fellow, always a Fellow. So you cannot apply if
you are a Bush Fellow, a Bush Artist Fellow, a
Bush Leadership Fellow, a Bush Medical Fellow, or
Enduring Vision Awardee. – And may I just make
one quick clarification? That when you have to live in the region for at least a year, it’s an or. So I think I heard you say,
“North Dakota, South Dakota, “Minnesota, and one of
the 23 Native nations.” – Right. – So just to be really clear with folks, it’s, “Or one of the 23 Native nations,” so living in our region. – Thank you for that clarification. – Yeah, of course. – So now that we know who can apply, what is the selection criteria? Applicants who apply to
the Bush Fellowship Program will be reviewed based on three criteria. They are your track record,
your plan, and your potential. There is a lot of detail here, so I’m gonna read it very clearly, but we will also direct you to our website where you can learn more about it. So when we look at your track record, we are looking at your record of success, your outstanding character, and your commitment to
be an active learner. With your record of success, we are looking to see if you are making the
most of opportunities regardless of where
you are in your career, and we want to see that you
are continuously having impact inside your job and/or outside your job. We want to see that you are
persistent and resilient in the face of difficulty. With your outstanding character, we are looking to see if you are admired and respected by others, and demonstrate integrity and generosity of spirit. With your commitment to
be an active learner, we are looking to see if you
recognize your own strengths and opportunities for growth, and incorporate feedback. How are you showing us you
have an inquiring mind, actively searching out new
ideas and new experiences to broaden your perspective and increase your effectiveness? When are are reading your plan, we want to see if you described a plan that would change your
leadership trajectory into making a stronger
and more effective leader. Questions to continuously ask yourself as you’re drafting your plan are, “Have I outlined a Fellowship plan “that will be transformative to changing “or accelerating my trajectory
in my career or life?” And, “Is my plan an intentional
and impactful experience “that reflects my motives, my strengths, “and opportunities for leadership growth?” And with your potential, we are looking to see if
you demonstrate the vision and the drive to be
extraordinary in your leadership, and the capacity to make a far greater impact in your community, affecting large-scale change. Another question to ask yourself as you’re thinking of
your leadership growth is, “Am I committed to working to
benefit people and communities “in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, “or the 23 Native nations that
share that same geography?” All in all, we want to see if you recognize your own strengths and opportunities for growth. We just shared quite a bit of information, so to read more about the
actual Bush Fellowship questions and the selection
criteria I just went over, please visit our site and
follow the link on the slide, which is bfdn.org/Fellowship We want this experience to be
as transparent as possible, and our application questions
are available online even before the application
opens September 24th. – Woo, all right. (Alexandria laughs) So in the first part of this webinar– – That was awesome. – We know it’s a lot of information. Check the website, give us a
call if you have questions. In the first part of this webinar, we talked about what the
Fellowship is and what it isn’t. For this next part, we’re
gonna spend some time talking about the selection process. If you decide to apply, these next few slides will explain how your application will be reviewed after you submit it. Our selection process includes
five selection rounds, and the selection committees are made up of a very diverse group
of Bush Fellow alumni, staff, and community leaders. Selection committees
all score applications based on the same criteria you
just heard Alex talk about, the same criteria that’s on our website. It is the same all the way through. (Alexandra laughs) So now let’s talk about
the selection process. All applicants must apply between September 24th and October 24th. Application closes October
24th at noon Central. – Noon! – Noon Central. You’ll hear us say it many times. So this slide shows you the
entire selection process, and now what we’re gonna do is really spend time going
through each selection round in the following slides. So our application questions are not all asked at once. There’s actually two stages. In the first stage, we’ll mostly ask you questions about your track record
and your potential. So as a reminder, your track record is kind of understanding that past. How you’ve made the most of opportunities kind of regardless of where
you are in your career, how you continuously
find ways to have impact. And your potential is
really thinking about how you recognize your own
strengths and weaknesses and how you’re thinking
about that future growth. So when you first apply,
that will be the focus. There’ll be about five questions and a request to submit your resume. Then, if you’re invited to
the Quarterfinalist stage, we’ll ask that you
provide more information. So this is that second set
of application questions. They’ll be about your
leadership potential, your Fellowship plan, and we’ll ask about any legal judgments. Just so you know, legal judgments
can be part of your story. They do not automatically disqualify you, so know that that’s
something you can talk about in terms of how you’ve learned, how you continue to grow as a leader. We’ll also ask for references, and those references will be
due by January 17th of 2020. So in this round, you should
expect about six questions with that request to provide references. – For the first time this year, we will offer a Quarterfinalist
Mentoring program, and this is really an
exciting pilot program that we’re offering. We really wanted to make
sure that applicants could get a sense of what it’s like to be mentored by a Bush Fellow. We’ve learned that, through the years, applicants who have been
mentored by a Bush Fellow tend to just do much better
in the application process and tend to advance further
in the selection process, so we wanted to make this
an equitable experience and really offer this
to all quarterfinalists. So what to expect is that applicants will be
paired with a Bush Fellow, and then in this session,
which is an optional session, you will have a Bush Fellow who will help you discover new thoughts that strengthen your ability to achieve what is important in you. Mentors will help you stretch your vision for leadership growth and community impact in hopes that they can help you create an even stronger Fellowship plan for your next application round. – And just to add a little bit about, since it is optional,
to make clear as well, mentors will give you ideas. You can still make the choices of what you feel is right for you. So they are not formal
Bush Foundation staff. They are just folks to kind of help give you some more
thoughts and ideas. – Yes. It’s to hopefully help the experience to be a bit more generative for you as you’re thinking about your plan. Thank you for that. In mid-February 2020, we’ll invite up to 60 semifinalists to share more about
their leadership journey. Applicants, selected as
semifinalists provide more information about how they
will use the Fellowship through a phone interview with Anita Patel either in February or March of 2020. We really believe in your ability
to work across difference, so this phone interview
really will be a time for you to share with
Anita how you hope to start or continue building
your leadership skills to work across differences
to be more inclusive. During this stage, we
also make reference calls, check applicant backgrounds,
and public records. We often get questions about
who to pick as a reference. We encourage you to think
about who knows you best. Identify three people. One who can speak about
what it’s like to lead you, one who can talk about what
it’s like being led by you, and one who has worked
with you toward a vision. At least one person
should be in the region. No family members. We know they love you,
(laughs) but no family members. And remember, big names do not
sway the selection committee, so really think about who knows you best. And in April 2020, we notify 36 finalists. If you are notified
that you are a finalist, we invite you for a four-hour
in-person interview. We will make sure you are
watered up and that you are fed, and when you meet for four hours, you will have an opportunity
to come to our offices here at the Bush Foundation in Saint Paul. You will either be invited to join us April 30th, May 4th, or May 7th of 2020. And just so you know, the
Fellowship selection committee are Fellows and community
leaders in our region. After the 36 finalists are complete and after the, I’m so sorry. After the 36 finalist
interviews are complete and 24 Bush Fellows have been selected, we notify finalists of
their status in May of 2020. And in mid-June of 2020, we publicly announce the Bush Fellows. Until the public announcement, Fellows are asked to really
keep this news confidential and really only to share it
with close family and friends. Now that you have heard
all about the Fellowship, how do you apply? To apply, please visit our website, and the link is on this
slide, and I’ll just say it. It’s bfdn.org/Fellowship Please note, noon Central on
the application close date. We often really get sad
messages from people trying to load their
applications at the last minute, and the applications don’t go through. Please don’t let that be you. The application is open for a full month and the questions are even
available before that, so submit your application early. We do understand that
online application systems may present a barrier to some applicants, so we want to make
reasonable accommodations to help you on a case-by-case basis. So please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need any assistance. The only thing to remember is that we cannot accommodate any sort of issues or concerns after the application deadline. So please be sure to share your concerns before the application deadline, and at least a week before
the application closes. – So we’ve gone through a
lot of information here. To complement this webinar,
there will be three, excuse me, three live webinars where you can do some question-and-answer between September and October of 2019. We’ve included those dates and the links to them on this slide. Again, it’s the bfdn.org/Fellowship link. And I’d love to just say a couple of highlights before we close. So as a reminder, this Fellowship is
$100,000 to an individual. You can choose the time,
between 12 and 24 months. And remember, it is not about a project. That’s one of the biggest
things we coach people on. It’s about you and your growth in service to a project, or
an issue, or a community. So think about you. If you have questions beyond the webinars, beyond those live Q and A sessions, you can contact us. You can have an application
inquiry session with Alex. The link is on the screen there. You can also contact us through phone, through email that you see there. The email is
[email protected] And remember, applications are due October 24th at noon Central. It will close automatically. – Just one thing I’d like to say. So with the application inquiries, the calls itself, when folks
want to set up a call with me, I have found that the calls that have been the most
fruitful and helpful are for applicants who
really have spent time looking over the materials,
reviewing the questions, so that we can dig deeper
in a particular question that they’re wrestling with. 20 minutes goes by really fast.
– So fast. – You would be surprised. And I think a way for
me to be helpful for you and for this call to
be extremely generative is to really have an idea
of what is this vision? What is it that you’ve been working on, that if you could just have this $100,000, could push you further? And how are you thinking about how others should be at the table with you to make this vision a reality? And when you can begin to
wrestle with that question, I truly think the inquiry
calls for 20 minutes could be so, so helpful. And I’ve often found that applicants who have called with that ready to discuss have found the 20 minutes
to be extremely helpful, and they have been inspired, and just hopeful to really attack that application and the questions. So just something to think about before you schedule a call. – Awesome tips. And there are a lot of
resources on our website, including prompting questions
to get you thinking, and the actual application
questions will be there, so you can start preparing before the application is even open. We know from many applicants that doing conversations
with friends and family, also very helpful. So all of that there, hopefully this information, all the things on our website, the upcoming webinars, will all help you to feel prepared. And we’re excited to
read your application. So this concludes our
informational webinar for the 2020 Bush Fellowship Program. Thank you so much for joining us, and most of all, thank
you for your leadership. We look forward to seeing
those applications. Take care. – Take care, thank you.

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