Fulbright Scholarship - PhD - Electrical Engineering
When I was in UET Lahore for my Bachelors in Electrical Engineering, I always thought to myself I have to end up somewhere better, far better than UET. But I had very ordinary profile by the end of my bachelors. I had no work experience, no extra or co-curricular activities and no teaching assistantships. I only had one achievement to my name by then, being a global UGRAD alumnus but that wasn’t good enough to apply for Fulbright that year. So my twin sister and I decided to pursue MS from Pakistan with quality research. We made up our minds to work on our Fulbright application for Ph.D. from the day we started our MS. We got admitted into GIK Institute for MS in Energy Systems Engineering with full scholarship along with graduate assistantship. That was the best thing we could ever ask for. While we were doing the course work in GIKI, we applied for Erasmus Mundus programs for MS research and we both got one. So we carried out our MS research in Italy on Erasmus Mundus LEADER program. We applied to 4 programs and we got 3 rejections and 1 acceptance. So my friends, the key here is “keep on applying”. “Apply quietly and let your success make noise”. Nowadays, most of the applications are online and hassle free. So why shy from applying?
Now let’s come to Fulbright. My sister and I had taken up GRE in 2016 before going to Italy. So now, during our MS research, we had just one more task to do i.e. writing the perfect statement of purpose (SoP). We spent around 3 months on SoP. We had made early drafts of SoP and research proposal in January and then we kept on amending them until April whenever any idea clicked. Our mentors Scholar Den Founder Faisal Khan and Mr. Ayaz have been instrumental in guiding us for essays, correcting them, mock-interviewing us before the Fulbright interview and what not?
On 5th October 2017 (8:52am), both of us received the magical emails for our selection in Fulbright as Principal candidates. My advice to future applicants is that please seek guidance from your seniors whenever you are stuck, there is no shame in asking for help. And start working on your application (essays) beforehand, whether it be Fulbright or direct admissions. And finally, apply, apply, apply….! Applying never hurts J