The Shakhmardan Yessenov Foundation starts accepting applications for the Yessenov Launch Pad Program on April 15. 10 winners of the contest will receive grants for additional training to develop both flexible, supra-professional (soft) skills and highly specialized, professional (hard) skills. Who can submit an application and how to do it? What is the contest’s procedure? And what are the benefits of winning the contest? Aigerym Sultan, Program Coordinator, explains.

Aigerym, who can participate in this contest, and what is the deadline for application submission?
We accept applications within a month from April 15 to May 16. As usual, applications are accepted online on our website. Citizens of Kazakhstan who are over 18 years of age can participate in the contest. They should be final and penultimate year undergraduates, master’s students, doctoral students or working professionals.

What specialties are we talking about?
Students and professionals in the field of natural sciences, mathematics, statistics, information and communication technologies, engineering, manufacturing and construction industries can apply to the Yessenov Launch Pad. The full list of specialties, application submission instructions and information on how the contest will be held, is available in the Program Provisions published on the website

Who will have a better chance of winning the Foundation’s grant for additional training?
Candidates who will evidently demonstrate their intellectual potential, desire for self-improvement, relevance of the requested additional education for their career, responsibility and focusing on efficiency.

Many people still don’t clearly distinguish between hard skills and soft skills, but this is important for winning the competition, because the Yessenov Launch Pad Program aims at developing these particular skills…
You are right, once again another reminder is necessary. Hard skills are related to a particular professional field, speciality, while soft skills are supra-professional skills. Let me give some examples. First of all, it depends on speciality, but I would like to add the following. Foreign language and computer programs proficiency, copywriting, editing and proofing, fundamental knowledge of marketing, general literacy, driving skills – these are all hard skills. Punctuality, time management, critical thinking, resilience, self-discipline, creativity, flexibility are soft skills, abilities that help you work better, more effective and faster.

What is the procedure of the competition?
The contest will be traditionally held in 3 stages. Their content and time frame are described in detail in the Program Provisions. By May 28, we will complete the first stage – assessment of applications. Approximately 20 selected finalists will be invited for an interview which will be conducted by members of the Foundation’s Expert Council. We plan to make a decision and announce 10 winners by June 7. We will publish a list of them, as usual, on the website and social media.

Aigerym, what the Expert Council members will take into account in selecting the winner?
Professional skills, first of all. Then the ability to learn and quickly and efficiently assimilate and analyze new information, determination, adaptability, communication skills and the ability to find non-standard solutions in various situations, a well-reasoned position, emotional intelligence, and not only that.

What happens after the 10 winners are selected?
We will conclude an agreement with them. The winners are to search for a course (surely with our consulting assistance) and coordinate it with us. Our experts will evaluate the level of the selected courses. If we approve the courses, the funds will be transferred to the participant. So the Yessenov Launch Pad winner should receive training on requested additional education within the period specified in the agreement. Our coordination is needed in order to protect our winners from fraudulent, ineffective courses or those with a low level of education, lack of a clearly defined training program, etc.

Please give 2-3 examples of the Program winners success stories, when taking courses helped them in their future careers?
The program started in 2022, so there were only two contests. In the initial years we also allocated 10 grants, but, apparently, due to low awareness of the Program and its benefits, we selected 5 and 9 winners respectively. As a result, for two years there were 14 winners. The first year’s winner, Kuat Madeniyet, took the Data Engineer course from Yandex Practicum. Within two months since the start of the training he simultaneously received a job offer from two leading banks in Kazakhstan and accepted one of them. Aida Sagandykova took courses on Docker Containerization, algorithms and data structures from Okdara.School. She also received training to be a Node.js Developer from itProger. Having completed the last one, Aida also found an interesting job. Yerzhan Umirzakov completed Start ML course from Karpov Courses, got a grant for training and a PhD in statistics scholarship at Boston University. The winners of the second year of the Program continue their education in the chosen courses.

We wish you to successfully run the Third Yessenov Launch Pad contest!



9.04.24, Newsfeed

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