Kindly Help Review My Application: Exceptional Talent

Hi Everyone,

I am new to this platform but I feel like I know @Francisca_Chiedu already as I have read every post she has contributed to, and that encouraged me to write and seek everyone’s help. I am very nervous about this process and the last 2 weeks of compiling my evidences have been a rollercoaster.

So, long story short, I am confused about which Evidences to put forward and which to scrap.

About Me.

I identify as a multimedia digital specialist but for this application, will stick to something simpler :blush:

In the last year, I relocated to the Uk, got a job with a 3D animation and Augmented Reality startup which also collaborates with the likes of Disney and Snapchat- I head their PR and Publishing Marketing. I also just completed my masters in Digital Video Production and Marketing (Distinction) and Volunteer/ Freelance at a non-profit with my most recent accomplishment being an appeal we did, involving Rishi Sunak (PM) and 57MPs which I helped with (photography at 10 Downing Street).

Beforehand, I led 3 teams at my previous organization- a digital technology company in Nigeria. I founded an advert engine and an e-booking system and also led the digital media department, growing the Fintech, Cloud Services and Cybersecurity arms of the business. I did that for almost 4 years.

In the past, I have led and created campaign strategies from brands like Google, Uber and Facebook.

Here’s my concern. Because of how vast my experience has been, I am not sure which evidences to use. Hence why I need your help to scrap 2.

EVIDENCE 1: Demonstration of International Collaboration with a product-led digital technology company, leading growth and recognition… Leading PR on animated series with Disney for my company, the startup (Attestation letter from current manager- a C-Suite Exec, Press releases, TV appearances etc) were all provided as proof.

EVIDENCE 2: Volunteering at Non-profit involving the PM of UK- I included 2 email conversations (between the Head of the PR at the charity and I - giving me the job and thanking me for a job well done), campaign materials (Pictures I took, videos, copy of the appeal letter signed by the 57 MPs and a press release with the pictures I took in it).

EVIDENCE 3: Significant commercial contributions to the field as a senior executive and employee of a product-led digital technology company where I led PR for the most funded kickstarter on an African Queer comic, evidencing screenshots of the performance, link to the campaign, contract stating my role and earnings as well as tweets and team pictures with me in).

EVIDENCE 4: Proof of Innovation and Recognition in Digital Technology on impact in a product-led company. I led an innovation to a state government in my Nigeria to put an end to girl-child kidnap from government schools by terrorist groups- it was a cybersecurity solution (with some other IT solutions which NDA wont allow me state). Evidencing pictures with significant members of the government and myself, a wikipedia page authenticating the identities of the people in the picture as well as proposed revenue/ impact of the project. PS. getting a letter here is basically impossible, too many bureaucracies withe Government.

EVIDENCE 5: Demonstration of Exceptional Ability In The Field of Academics evidenced by award received, a first-class degree/ distinction in Digital Video Production and Marketing. I included proof of result letter from uni as well as a letter from my supervisor attesting to my academic performance and other necessary information…

EVIDENCE 6: Significant commercial innovation as an employee of a product-led digital technology company where I led the growth of a fintech startup from zero to multimillion volume of transactions. Evidenced with screenshots and links to website and mobile app I designed wireframe for, business projections, proof of income higher than peers, article of association and team picture of managers, with me as the youngest).

EVIDENCE 7: Proof of Innovation as a co-founder of digital technology products (an advert engine/ ad tech marketplace and an e-booking travel system). I attached screenshots of both the Front-end and Backend of the ad engine, links to the ad engine and e-booking platforms, results, and attestation letter from an International backend developer who knew about both).

EVIDENCE 8: Proof of Innovation Leading Marketing in a Product-led Digital Technology Firm. I led product rebrand of websites and apps on about 8 products; designing most wireframes as well as leading digital marketing for the various products. I evidenced documents with dates from 2018/2019 as last edit dates as well as URLs to them, screenshots of my GUI designs and links to current usage and lastly, contract from that company.

EVIDENCE 9: Innovation In Digital Technology Sector as an employee working in a new digital field or concept. I led PR for Snapchat on 2 campaigns this year, on behalf of my company. I evidenced the CEO’s speech where he talked briefly about the collaboration during the Snap summit as well as an article publication on AR lens I led PR on… to bring it all together, I attached my contract and my main LoR speaks on it too.

EVIDENCE 10: Media Mentions & Mentorship Programs: I merged them together.

  • Appearances: in National newspaper, multi interviews vlog series on one of the biggest media houses in Nigeria which featured me with other celebrities and an op-ed feature in a major publication.
  • Mentorship: 1 year training of digital team in one of the biggest investment banks in Nigeria. Screenshot of my dashboard on MiniMentors and email evidence for ADPList… with links to both and lastly, a volunteering work I did for a high school’s graduation during COVID to thousands of spectators round the world. I included pictures and links as well.

EVIDENCE 11: I led business development and anchored tech sessions, touring 8 Nigerian Universities in 2018 to promote an e-streaming gamification app, as product owner- offering internship opportunities as well. I have links to videos, pictures, the platform, reviews on the app, screenshot of the app growth and promotions at work which it brought.

EVIDENCE 12: I founded a team in a previous organization strictly for innovation which has become a standalone revenue stream for the company, creating digital campaigns for big brands like Meta, Samsung, Twitter etc One of my main LoR speaks to it as well a letter from my direct manager- both former directors at the company. I also have evidences of performance, results, news coverage etc one of our biggest campaigns from 2017 where we got people to go round Nigeria at a stretch- something that had never been done.


But please advise on which to take off for my application. @mclarenf1 @westside @4rmSlum2uk @Riyaj_shaikh Thank you!

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I think you need to be clear what you are submitting for the mandatory criteria and two optional criteria. As it stands, your evidence appear to cover most optional criteria. Some of your evidence may not be suitable, the nonprofit campaign with the PM doesn’t have specific focus on digital technology. Put your evidence according to the eligibility criteria they support then we can give you more constructive feedback. Lastly, what’s the profile of your three recommenders?

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Heyy Francisca,

Thanks for your feedback. The profile of my three recommenders are;

LoR 1: VP, International Marketing and Distribution, EMEA of a Top 100 company - he is also board member of my current company and Angel Investor in over 20 African startups (Fintech, HealthTech etc)

LoR 2: Co-Founder & CEO of a YC backed startup that has gone on to raise $33.3M in investment (ex- director and country head at my previous job - so speaks to my professional accomplishments)

LoR 3: CTO of my previous company (CCIE certified) and Top industry guy

Although I also have supporting/ Attestation letters from:

  • A Government official on the project
  • Current C-Suite Line Manger
  • Previous Director and Line Manager
  • Top Lecturer/ Supervisor
  • Top backend programmer in Amsterdam

For the Categories: That’s my worry to be honest. I have read rejections from picking OC1 and OC3 (innovation and Impact), hence why I threw in OC4 (Academic Achievement with Distinction). I feel like OC2 has similar requirements for Mandatory and sometimes makes the line blurry eg. EV 10 (Recognition- I was featured in the country’s leading Newspaper, Op-Ed piece in leading publication amongst other proofs) which is also OC2 (evidenced under Op-ed and Mentorship).

Mandatory: Recognition of work, Led growth, Non Profit, High Salary (EV1, EV2**, EV3, and EV10)
OC 1: Innovation (EV6, EV 7, EV 8)
OC 3: Impact (Ev 4, Ev 11, Ev 12)
OC 4: Academics (Ev 5)

For the Non-profit, I thought the updated requirements stated we can show digital tech contributions to a non-tech organization… Please correct me if I am wrong. I thought it could be quite strong for the application :cry:

Please advise.

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Where did the guide stats you can show contribution to nontech non profit. I don’t think you meet the requirement for OC4. I am not sure if the standard alone evidence will be strong enough to evidence your contribution in research. You may have some evidence but the combination of what you are trying to use may not be sufficient. What exactly is the innovation and your contribution to innovation. Since you have an NDA how will the assessor people the merit of your work? Your evidence is still all over the place look through the samples again and see what you to meet the criteria.

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I am not sure if I am more confused now than I was at the beginning but thanks Francisca. :smirk:

This whole process is a rollercoaster and I thought coming here might help… I will go back to the website and try to figure things out a step at a time.

I think the issue is that you are looking for ways to meet the criteria but some evidence are clearly not digital tech related. So you need to think through what you have and eliminate evidence that do not meet the criteria.

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Thanks Francisca, I think another issue I noticed with mine, from reading other people’s experiences- is that I don’t have any personal evidence of speaking at top tech events and I also don’t have tech awards. Similar to other business applicants- our experiences have been centered around operating faceless for organizations with so many wins under our belt which unfortunately may not count for us following TN list of requirements.

Its easier to provide evidences for the technical guys than it is for the business (my opinion though)…

Not exactly. you media recognition is an advantage for the mandatory criteria.

Hmm you are right though. I am probably just overthinking this whole thing. I really hope this works.

May I ask which you got endorsed for Business or Tech (Leader or Potential) - let me draw some inspiration from you! :blush:

Business, exceptional talent. Applied in 2020. The guide is different from when I applied.

I don’t think you can model your application to mine as our experiences are different. What you do need to show is how you meet the eligibility criteria. I see you are trying to apply for exceptional talent, so you need to show you have been recognised to be at the forefront of your field. The list of evidence you select should demonstrate how you are a leader. If the evidence is not so clear out some context on why you have been recognised as a leading talent, what sets you apart in your field? How well are you known and regarded in your field, could be through thought leadership, conference speaking, contribution to digital technology sectoral projects, media mention of you work, reference letters from international partners who know your work and achievements these are just few examples.


This is really helpful. I missed some of these key things by not putting it in a right way reason why my MC was rejected.

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Hi Alex, any luck with yours? Did you reapply or appeal?

I appealed but MC was still rejected. I will re-apply later

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Oh that’s sad but I wish you all the luck in the world! I hope you get it soon.

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This is my concern too.We Business people need help…

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I actually do not agree, in my opinion business applicants speak more at conferences, have more media profile and evidence of sales and growth generated. Technical applicants often struggle with the mandatory criteria and OC2 because they are usually working behind the scene hardly seen. Business applicants are all over the place networking.


Hi Francisca,

This is an old thread and realy appreciate the pearl of wisdom you have shared on so many threads.
I am more from a technical background but had tech & business role in a startup. I had question about
News clippings mentioning product I worked on. Specifically, I have an award for my role in fin tech from a conference celebrating specifically new innovations in that area. My product has wide adoption in my country (approximately 47%) in its own segment and is market leader. But news clippings of launch are from my co-founder who is CEO and not recent (2020). Also, we were the first company in the country to work on this product and it can be reasonably proved from external sources (news clippings etc).
My question : -
- Is it necessary that news clippings has to be in my name. (It is from my co-founder and CEO)
- I have the award in public domain and it is easily searchable online.
- Other things like first in the segment to solve that problem and market leader are also proved both using some of our company information and the overall market segment (no of transacitons) for which there are authentic government sources (available online and I have included them)
From a mandatory criteria perspective, can not having news clipping really undercuts my case? This is my only question or is it more of an advantage (a big one admittedly)