Most Important Trait of a Successful Fulbright Applicant
Fulbright scholarship program for the US ranks as the best and most generous scholarship program in Pakistan that makes it extremely coveted by and prestigious for students in Pakistan. However USEFP (the Fulbright funding body) admits only about 15% of all the applicants, therefore it is crucial that you make your application and profile stand out from the crowd.
I personally think that Fulbright looks at somewhere between 7 to 10 traits in ideal candidates that includes your academic prowess, maturity, and having self-awareness. But out of those, the most important one is the ability of the applicants to become high-impact leaders in their respective fields. Fulbright does that by searching for evidence in your application that proves that you have already made a positive impact on the people around you and the societies of which you have been a personal or professional part of. Previously I also shared some of the profiles of successful Fulbright applicants from last year, and one can see that most of them have exhibited such a trait.
The biggest misconception amongst Fulbright applicants in Pakistan is that they think by leadership it means that one has led or managed a team or a company or a nonprofit. However USEFP is aware of the fact that nearly all Fulbright applicants are still early in their careers therefore they take into account any kind of proven leadership roles; be it leading a volunteer campaign, starting and running a final semester project with great success or advocating for a lead role in an internship or at work. All you need to do is prove that you have done something extraordinary while leading and have made a positive impact, in the process leaving behind a kind of a small legacy.
Fulbright does so because its aim is to raise and train future leaders who have high ambitions and who would not only achieve high in their fields but also materialize their future ambitions. Such a trait allows the admission panel to delve into your motivations and the things you really care about. They want to select a candidate who devotes energy to making a stronger Pakistan and who invites everyone to their community.