Last year one of my very good friends applied for the Fulbright Scholarship program for U.S. Not having a very stellar academic record he was very skeptical of doing well on the Fulbright Interview Questions.
Nevertheless he made it to U.S. through Fulbright and is currently in his second year of Masters Program at a top U.S. university. A few weeks back I talked to him regarding his Fulbright experience specifically regarding his Fulbright interview Pakistan.
This is what he had to share regarding his Fulbright interview experience:
“I was invited for my Fulbright interview in Islamabad and was completely blank as to what the admissions committee was going to ask me. I did not had any counselling or guidance at that time to prepare for the Fulbright interview questions and answers.
Three people interviewed me of which two were Pakistani’s and another American. I had a below par academic record – a 2.9 CGPA at NUST and a 319 score on the GRE. I did not have any awesome recommendations or research publications but I had spent a lot of time on my personal statement.
I am an electrical engineer and I had worked towards developing an automated prosthetic limb as my final year project. I gave a few for free to the poor and disabled children from the 2006 earthquake. So I had a vision and I wanted to discuss that with the Fulbright committee.
I only emphasized on my long term goals of how I can contribute towards the field of Bio-medical engineering in Pakistan upon my return from the U.S. That how ambitious I am towards developing low cost but effective prosthesis in Pakistan.
Although I did not have a proper plan of how I would do it but I had a great dream. This is very important if you want to do well on the Fulbright Interview Questions Pakistan.
I promoted my ideas and my long term vision during my USEFP Fulbright scholarship interview. I would highly recommend that all of you Fulbright aspirants must focus on this. Even if you do not have exceptional and outstanding achievements, it doesn’t matter – be confident and be clear about your future.
If you look at the Fulbright scholarship’s purpose, you will know that it is to benefit Pakistan by building minds. For that Fulbright does not need book worms or top 1% of a graduating class.
Fulbright Pakistan interview is primarily designed and aimed towards sifting students who can contribute in a positive manner towards Pakistan’s growth. Those of us who want to stay back in U.S. and do not wish to come back should opt out of this scholarship program.
Infact Fulbright Interviewers needs visionaries and aspiring leaders.
So why does Fulbright need such people? It’s simple: Visionaries and leaders create ideas, identify opportunities and then work hard to achieve them hence bringing overall prosperity for the nation.
When I say vision or an idea, it doesn’t mean that you create fake stories of how your plan to change the world in the next 5 years or make Pakistan into Europe or America.
Just be sincere and clear about your thoughts. Your ideas and dreams can be raw or under cooked but they should be vivid, inspiring and different. You may not have a plan now but tell them this is exactly why you are going there – to learn, grow and make a plan.
Let me give you another example:
For instance if you are a female from a poor background who worked very hard to get into FAST or NUST or LUMS, the admissions committee will be impressed. But don’t stop there. Go on and tell them about what are you going to do when you come back or what is it that you aspire to do to inspire hope and betterment.
Don’t just brag about your past in your Fulbright Pakistan Interview, tell what you are going to do with the Fulbright opportunity if you get it. How will it help you get there?
That is what really sets you apart from the other candidates.
Don’t worry – allow me to layout the Fulbright Interview Questions asked me and will most definitely ask you during the Fulbright interview.
Use this template to layout your strengths, weakness and how you would improve your weaknesses.
- How did you prepare for the Fulbright Interview?
- Tell us about yourself and your project/research/publications.
- All of the Fulbright applicants have solid reasons for studying abroad. What makes your reasons set yourself apart from the rest?
- What has prepared you to pursue this field and complete it successfully?
- How do you rate your language competency that is needed to communicate in the U.S. and to get this scholarship?
- Do you have any understanding about the academic rigor of the U.S.? Can you be specific in your details.
- Discuss any issues relating to US academic that might be relevant to your research.
- What do you think are some challenges you will and may encounter in carrying out your education in the U.S.?
- Can you tell us the main purpose and background of this scholarship?
Focus on these questions and prepare them well. Make these part of your personal statement or statement of purpose that you write to the Fulbright admissions committee. Spend a lot of time writing your Fulbright Personal statement and Fulbright interview preparation.
In my next post I will write about the essential tips needed to do well on the Fulbright interview. Till then stay tight and if you would like, read on about the advantages and the disadvantages of the Fulbright program!