Jump to content

Decision Time - Fulbright ETA or Grad School


Recommended Posts

Hi- I've been out of undergraduate for about 2 years now and working professionally in the business/IT field and I was accepted to do a Fulbright ETA  (English Teaching Assistantship) in Europe which is something I was really interested in but wasn't sure if I'd get it given my background. However, now it's a reality and I'm faced with a dilemma.

I'm not passionate with the career/field I'm in now as I'd like to get into doing analytics/data work so I applied to a few very competitive grad schools and only got into one of my back up schools for the upcoming 2019 year. I'm not crazy about the program I was accepted to as I was interested in one with a better curriculum and opportunities for jobs in data science. I can defer it up to a year as well. I know the Fulbright scholarship is very prestigious and recognized in the US but do you think it will help my chances of getting into a better school/program/job the following year after my Fulbright? I'm hoping to take advantage of my ample free time (which I don't have too much now with my current job) with the Fulbright to devote time and focus to take relevant classes in the field I'm interested in, do a research project, or even pursue an related internship to stand out on future grad/job applications. 

Overall - I'm looking to see what everyone thinks about Fulbright/grad school. My current company is a large corporate firm with global opportunities but I'm just not heading in the career direction I want to. If I forgo to the Fulbright grant, I could try to do work FT and go to school part time but I'm just not sure how happy I'll be as I'd want to be dedicated full time in the studies but that would also be more of a financial burden for me to go to school FT. I think the Fulbright ETA would be a terrific experience and I'd develop a lot of valuable skills and intl experience but I just don't know how helpful/useful teaching English  and the prestige of the program would be for my long term career goals (and if it'd hurt me in the professional world). I would love to hear thoughts from the community.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do the Fulbright.

Grad school will always be there and it sounds like you're not in love with this program. Besides, how often will you get the chance to get paid to live abroad in a country of your choice. That's a once in a lifetime opportunity that I wouldn't pass up if I were you.

As to the career advantages provided by the Fulbright, it certainly won't hurt you later on. I'm not sure it will necessarily be much help either, but Fulbright does have an active and engaged alumni network that could come in handy at some point. Fulbright is well known in the academic world, however, and could very well provide an extra boost to your application next to you apply to grad school.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With regards to whether Fulbright is a recognizable name in the US, it definitely is. There is certainly prestige surrounding any of the Fulbright awards. I don't think it would necessarily strengthen your application *that* much because it is not relevant to data science, but I think you should go for it anyway. It's a fantastic opportunity for an adventure, and it's not like you're passing up that good of an alternative, since it sounds like you're not very keen on the grad program you got into this round. Don't commit to multiple years of hard work and financial burden (sounds like for an unfunded program??) if you're going to regret the limitations of the program itself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. See our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use