ONE would be right in thinking that there must be something fascinating about today’s FITC because she has continued to show time and again that she stands out in the best way for numerous reasons.
Louise Victor has worked hard for and achieved so many titles under her belt that it’s amazing that she has any time to squeeze in any more. But, alas, all those titles have proven to be well-earned notches and she has no intention of slowing down.
Although Victor is widely-known for her achievements in the world of pageantry and fashion, including being crowned recently as Miss Universe St. Lucia, she has also built a reputation for having as much brains as she has beauty.
With her many societal roles, including National Youth Council President, Victor is undoubtedly a role model for young people, especially young women, showing them that outer beauty is not everything, and that education is a key factor to achieving your dreams.
Victor is once again highlight-worthy with her newest role as a holder of a Chevening Scholarship, and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in International Public Relations and Global Communications.
By definition, the Chevening Scholarship Programme is “the UK Government’s international awards scheme aimed at developing global leaders. Funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and partner organisations, Chevening offers two types of awards – Chevening Scholarships and Chevening Fellowships – the recipients of which are personally selected by British embassies and high commissions throughout the world.”
Here is what Victor had to say about her role in the fellowship.
The VOICE: Give us your knowledge of the programme you are about to be a part of, and explain what you intend to do with this opportunity.
Victor: The Chevening Awards Programme is a UK-based scholarship programme that is open to young people across the Commonwealth who are seen as future Global Leaders, and it’s the opportunity to pursue your post-graduate studies in the UK. It can be in whatever field, but for me, it’s Communications. The programme is for a year, and it’s all about leadership. You must be able to demonstrate whatever it is that you will be studying is going to lead to the development of your country.
For me, I’m off to Cardiff University to do my Master’s in International Public Relations and Global Communications Management. In my application, what I saw was the gap in terms of the importance of having a very informed citizenry and the importance of people knowing how to make decisions. It shouldn’t only be based on the opinions of others or what you hear or read, but being able to read for yourself, do research for yourself and understanding how that influences the decisions you make as a citizen.
It’s also being in a position to demonstrate how you have contributed in terms of leadership in your country, whether it be at the school, community, or national/regional or international level. You must be able to demonstrate how you have done that, not just state it, but demonstrate how you have done it.
You must be able to clearly articulate what your future plans are, as well as your career and individual plans both within the immediate years after returning from school.
The power of networking is also important. You need to demonstrate how you’re able to use your network to influence decisions in your country, as well as the network that you will be having access to when you become a Chevener.
The VOICE: What was your reaction after learning that your application for the scholarship was successful?
Victor: I do not know when last I had cried this much. I had the faith that I had put in the work and that I would have gotten it, but actually receiving that email…my iPad in my hand just reading it, I literally could not stop crying.
The VOICE: What does it mean to you being part of such a respected and highly- regarded group?
Victor: It’s very important to me. Of late, I’ve been very open in terms of my vision board and my planning for life, and it was right there that I would be a Chevening Scholar. I didn’t have the year, but I had it on there along with what it entailed along with the places in Europe that I would like to experience when I do become a Chevening Scholar. So seeing and working towards it and with it actually happening means a lot to me.
I’m also at that place in my career where this is the next step that I wanted and I’m literally pursuing something that I’m very passionate about, something that comes very naturally to me, which is Public Relations, and being able to do that on an international level and specialise in a career of global PR Consultancy. That’s my next career plan, so I think everything is just coming together for me. 2017 is my year in many ways, and I’m looking forward to making the best of this opportunity.
The VOICE: What are some of the organisations you are hoping to work with following the completion of your studies?
Victor: I would like to work with organisations like UNICEF, FIFA, Olympics — just organisations that are on an international level, as well as to be able to contribute to the communications direction of these organisations. There is a great element of giving back, so being able to give back, whether it be locally, regionally, internationally, just being able to take those fresh ideas and just being able to give back – especially, I think, our region and our country needs it. It’s not just about putting out a press release or issuing a press statement, but why, where and how are you saying it, and who you are telling it to, these things are very important.
I think it’s also an opportunity for me to bring back all of what I would have taken in and share with the government of the day as to how we share information. It goes back to the importance of having a very informed citizenry, especially when it comes to the political processes, that people understand why they are making decisions, and that it’s not based on biases or outside influences, but by being able to be an independent thinker, being able to develop your thought process and opinion and own it as yours.