For most students, the most exciting, but stressful, part of high school takes place during senior year, when they are wrestling with the demands of applying for college and finding scholarships. There is hard work involved, but with some luck students can come out of the process triumphantly. That is certainly the case for Cayley Dymond (’12), an engineering student who was recently awarded a Steven C. Beering Scholarship at Purdue University in Indiana. The scholarship covers tuition, housing, book, travel, and miscellaneous expenses for a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and Ph.D.
Dymond found a pretty straightforward path to finding her school. “I searched for the top ten aerospace engineering schools in the country and I applied to all of them,” she stated. Purdue was number two on most of those lists. After she was accepted by the university, she was one of up to 100 students specially invited to apply for the program. About 25 of those students received interviews.
Dymond’s interview did not go as she had imaged it would. Instead of having to wait at length for the final decision, halfway through the discussion the admissions officer announced that the school wanted to offer her the scholarship. Naturally, Dymond was astonished. “I had to keep it cool for the rest of the interview because it wasn’t finished yet,” she recalled.
Soon she was able to exit the room and deliver the good news to her parents, who were waiting in the hallway outside. “It was incredible,” remarked Dymond. She and her parents embraced, almost in tears. In the end, out of thousands of accepted students, between two and ten were selected to become Beering Scholars.
After wrapping up her three degrees, Dymond plans to pursue a career in aeronautics. “I think I will work with satellites,” she said, adding that many of her award-winning science fair projects dealt with this project.
For students who will be going through the college application process in the next year or so, Dymond has words of wisdom. “The best thing to do is cast out a lot of nets,” she said, noting that she applied to ten schools overall. “The more nets you cast out, the greater chance you have of getting something.” Lastly, “Don’t be afraid of interviews; a lot of prestigious schools and scholarships have interviews. I thought interviews were the best part of the application process.” And considering Dymond’s results, that is no surprise.