Most Important Trait of a Successful Fulbright Applicant

Posted by on January 22, 2016 in Fulbright Scholarship | 24 comments

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.


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    Hey Talha,

    Since you seem like an expert on the matter. I wanted to ask, that I completed my A levels in 2009 and started pursuing Chartered Accountancy from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) and got into Pricewaterhousecoopers in Islamabad on the basis of my intermediate C.A qualification. I now have an approximate 5 years of professional experience on hand in financial audit and advisory. I am also pursuing ACCA which will be completed by September this year.

    As you can see there is no under-graduate degree and i want to apply to an American school for a graduate degree on the basis of my certifications and experience.
    Will fulbright accept my application on the basis of my credentials?

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      Hey Talal – definitely you can 🙂 There is not an issue at all. I have many students like you going to US on FB

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    Hi Talhasir,

    About the Fulbright.. can you share some details regarding travel restrictions following the Fulbright? I understand that grantees must work in Pakistan for two years, but are we allowed to go abroad (for a few weeks on vacation, or for a month on a job assignment)? Or is that a violation of Fulbright rules as well?

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      Yes you can go abroad for a few weeks 🙂

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    Asalam-o-alaikum ,
    i am a pharmacy graduate eager to take Full bright scholarship …Can i mention the future dates of GRE in the application form ?

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      WAS – Yes you can. But has to be taken by 30th May

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    Aoa, i wanted to know that i belong to Southern Punjab, i have led some projects in NGO. But i have a very low gpa of about 2.88 and Gre is also low 310. So do you think i have any chance into getting this scholarship?

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      WAS – you have a good chance – please do apply

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    Hey I have done bachelors in Civil Engineering with 3.71 cgpa and currently working in private firm but I dont have any certifications of societies etc so how much chance is there to secure this scholarship and is there any provincial quota because I belongs from balochistan

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      There is no quota and also no need for certificates. Just give GRE, fill the forms and apply

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    Helo sir
    I belong to Interrior Sindh.
    i have recently completed my B.E(Civil) from NED, karachi with CGPA of 2.9. I had taken my GRE during undergrad studies and got cumulative score of 295(Q:155,V:140). What are my chances for getting this prestigious scholorship?

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    Hi Talha
    I am civil engineer but I know more about metaphysics and philosophy than civil engineering. Will it not be crazy enough to apply in this disciplines rather than in engineering? Your comment plz!

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      Hello Khalid – If you have the relevant exposure to these fields then one can definitely apply.

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    Hi Talha ! My academic qulification is M.Sc. zoology+ M.Ed. Science and I am Assistant professor of zoology at a Government of Lahore.. I have teaching experience of 20 years at different govt. Colleges. Now I want to do Ph.D. in Zoology. My age is almost 50. I have one child who is 11 years old . I want to join fulbright for my better education as well as my child’s. Is this possible or not??

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      Hello Tahira – Yes it is possible. Fulbright has no age restrictions to apply. In fact there are quite a few people in your age group who do get Fulbright each year.

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    Hello Talha
    I am a student of FSC pre-medical
    And I want to join Fulbright scholarship program for dentistry
    Can I go for it??

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      Hello – nope – Fulbright is only for MS and PHD programs

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    I have heard that people who have a lot of volunteer work are better candidates for the Fulbright programme. Well, I don’t do a lot of volunteer work but I have helped in setting up in a conference that is related to my field. I also shared my experience in teaching with other teachera in the same conference but in another year.
    I have also engaged in a streaming fair in my colleage more than once, even after I greduated. As well as, I volunteer to do extra work at school. Some times even after school hours.

    Do you think I have a chance?

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      Hello – yes any kind of social work is highly regarded by FB. It does not matter what the nature of work is.

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    hi. I did olevel and alevel. Now I have to attach ny documents with fullbright form. So will I attach o/alevels or matric and fsc equivallence certificate?

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      Hello – yes you will have to attach them as well!

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    I have a degree in Engineering but i am more interested in Social Sciences, in which I do not have any degree/Certification. Can I apply in some social sciences field?

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      Hello Misbah, Yes you can apply if you have some relevant experience!

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