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Fulbright 2014-2015

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Still waiting to hear about Argentina and getting more and more antsy every day! Hoping it's this week at least! 

Still no word here either. Because the grant starts so late, it doesn't even affect my fall plans--I'd just really, really like to know (and also go to Argentina, obvs).

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... Beyond that - Fulbright will not award someone who is already living in the country.Perhaps a perusal of the eligibility page might help. I'm sorry, but Fulbright really is not meant to fund what you need it to. It never hurts to try, but it is a grueling and lengthy process that takes months of waiting. Most people spend 6 months on the application framing alone.

Again - I do not mean to be negative,just realistic. I teach at a university level and I only encourage those students to apply for a Fulbright who I think have a really good chance. To encourage someone otherwise is a detriment to them. You could spend your time searching for other ways to get funding. Gofundme.com perhaps?

I would definitely have to make a good case for sure. I'm finishing my masters with dawn to dusk field research experience in addition to 3 years of both lab and field research as an undergrad. I have soooo much research experience but lack the breadth of data collection methods. Thus I have a ton of independent research but also know that those projects could have been 10x's better if I had been able to learn more data collection techniques. the lack of that may very well have stunted the quality of my independent thesis research currently being submitted to journals for publication and conferences for presentation. However, the drawbacks of being in an "interdisciplinary field" is that in depth experience is not always perceived accurately. For example, studying Sociobiology and the embryological epigentics of behavioral syndromes in wildlife through a psychology department doesn't shine through on a transcript when applying to ecology programs.

I have substantial independent research but the subject depth in life sciences doesn't shine through on the transcript. Thus this opportunity would overwhelmingly demonstrate that what my transcript fails to due to the independent research being listed as subject Psych. The biology dept was not looking at behavioral syndromes so I opted to work with the professor who was and who happened to be housed in Psych. So my LORs for PhD admission also will show to come from psych dept further leading to further misinterpretation of my background in life science.

Therefore with 5plus years of research and more than 1 independent research project under my belt, unlike most it doesn't seem that an independent project would further my professional career development while additional techniques of data collection could substantially lead to better ability to execute hypothesis testing for a PhD when accepted upon completing this.

Secret_Ninja, I find blunt is best and really appreciate your perspective and insight that you gave. I'll check that URL as well. I will have to.make a serious case for it definitely. Hopefully some of the above details help me when I write the full "persuasive argument essay" which is what I will have to think of it as when finalizing the parts of my whole application. NSF GRFP is also just as time consuming as far as the time investment goes with them application.

Of course it has to impact the country and I have all those component parts of how the US, S. Africa and my development are impacted.

Any added feedback for my scenario is welcome. Telling it like it is, is a good thing.

Edited by InnovativeL

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My medical clearance took less than two days so I really do think it depends on the country and your personal history. Fingers crossed for those still waiting for clearace AND for those still awaiting on final grant news from Fulbright!

Wow - jealous!  Are you going to Canada?

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I would definitely have to make a good case for sure. I'm finishing my masters with dawn to dusk field research experience in addition to 3 years of both lab and field research as an undergrad. I have soooo much research experience but lack the breadth of data collection methods. Thus I have a ton of independent research but also know that those projects could have been 10x's better if I had been able to learn more data collection techniques. the lack of that may very well have stunted the quality of my independent thesis research currently being submitted to journals for publication and conferences for presentation. However, the drawbacks of being in an "interdisciplinary field" is that in depth experience is not always perceived accurately. For example, studying Sociobiology and the embryological epigentics of behavioral syndromes in wildlife through a psychology department doesn't shine through on a transcript when applying to ecology programs.

I have substantial independent research but the subject depth in life sciences doesn't shine through on the transcript. Thus this opportunity would overwhelmingly demonstrate that what my transcript fails to due to the independent research being listed as subject Psych. The biology dept was not looking at behavioral syndromes so I opted to work with the professor who was and who happened to be housed in Psych. So my LORs for PhD admission also will show to come from psych dept further leading to further misinterpretation of my background in life science.

Therefore with 5plus years of research and more than 1 independent research project under my belt, unlike most it doesn't seem that an independent project would further my professional career development while additional techniques of data collection could substantially lead to better ability to execute hypothesis testing for a PhD when accepted upon completing this.

Secret_Ninja, I find blunt is best and really appreciate your perspective and insight that you gave. I'll check that URL as well. I will have to.make a serious case for it definitely. Hopefully some of the above details help me when I write the full "persuasive argument essay" which is what I will have to think of it as when finalizing the parts of my whole application. NSF GRFP is also just as time consuming as far as the time investment goes with them application.

Of course it has to impact the country and I have all those component parts of how the US, S. Africa and my development are impacted.

Any added feedback for my scenario is welcome. Telling it like it is, is a good thing.

 

See my reply on the other thread. I will repeat it again so that people using this forum for advice are not confused (I promise I am not repeating this to annoy you). 

 

Fulbright will NOT fund you retroactively and they will NOT fund someone already residing/working in the country they are apply to. 

You may apply for a Fulbright to be a research assistant - but I doubt it will make you competitive enough to be awarded. As long as you are ELIGIBLE though, it does not hurt to try.  

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Hi InnovativeL,

 

I have to say I admire your tenacity and your moxie and I genuinely hope you find your way into the doctoral program of your dreams. You are clearly smart, motivated, resourceful, and resilient.

 

However, it strikes me as utterly perverse to put yourself through this kind of financial (and nutritional!) hardship solely for an invitation to the upper echelons of academe. As Secret_Ninja implied earlier, the "goals" of Fulbright can hardly be assimilated under the heading of "professional development." Paying someone for the privilege of working for them is ludicrous, plain and simple. Furthermore, as someone who is ABD at a R1 university, I can safely say that just about none of my colleagues across the disciplines had publications or conference presentations under their belt prior to admission. We've hired assistant professors who did not have peer reviewed publications on their CV yet. There is a fine line between enthusiasm and desperation, and if there is one thing by which academics cannot abide it's the latter. 

 

I would strongly encourage you to develop a plan B--or even a second plan A, really--should you not gain admission to a PhD program next year. Barring that, you should absolutely polish your writing skills as you move forward. This is, of course, simply an informal message board, but many of your locutions lead me to believe that you are not just a sloppy typist but a non-native speaker of English. Regardless of what the case may be, if you want to be competitive in securing research fellowships or other related academic honors in the US, anything less than crystal clear writing will be a major (if unsurmountable) obstacle. 

 

I wish you more than luck. 

Edited by x\/x\/x

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Yes, I would suggest calling your regional program manager. The notification for my country (in W Europe) totally bypassed my inbox; didn't end up in SPAM, either. I had to call and have someone re-send the e-mail and then contact my university's IT department to ensure that that sort of snafu doesn't happen again! 

Hey, thank you for the advice. I've contacted my program manager before and he told me I should hear back by early May. I guess I'll contact him again?

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Hi InnovativeL,

 

I have to say I admire your tenacity and your moxie and I genuinely hope you find your way into the doctoral program of your dreams. You are clearly smart, motivated, resourceful, and resilient.

 

However, it strikes me as utterly perverse to put yourself through this kind of financial (and nutritional!) hardship solely for an invitation to the upper echelons of academe. As Secret_Ninja implied earlier, the "goals" of Fulbright can hardly be assimilated under the heading of "professional development." Paying someone for the privilege of working for them is ludicrous, plain and simple. Furthermore, as someone who is ABD at a R1 university, I can safely say that just about none of my colleagues across the disciplines had publications or conference presentations under their belt prior to admission. We've hired assistant professors who did not have peer reviewed publications on their CV yet. There is a fine line between enthusiasm and desperation, and if there is one thing by which academics cannot abide it's the latter. 

 

I would strongly encourage you to develop a plan B--or even a second plan A, really--should you not gain admission to a PhD program next year. Barring that, you should absolutely polish your writing skills as you move forward. This is, of course, simply an informal message board, but many of your locutions lead me to believe that you are not just a sloppy typist but a non-native speaker of English. Regardless of what the case may be, if you want to be competitive in securing research fellowships or other related academic honors in the US, anything less than crystal clear writing will be a major (if unsurmountable) obstacle. 

 

I wish you more than luck. 

 

Hello X,

I find it completely hilarious that you hypothesized that I am a non-native speaker. I appreciate your honesty. As you stated this is an informal message board, not a place where grammar and spelling are reviewed and mandatory.  Now that this post is being typed on my lap top rather than my cell phone, the dictionary mode and auto-correct of a cell phone did not inappropriately replace words in this message. Of course earlier when  was using my phone to type those other messages (as lengthy as they may be) the silly word replacement feature reared its ugly head in my post. (ie. "them" instead of "the").

              

1) I'm certainly not starving, its simply called "budgeting."  

2) I wouldn't call it a hardship, there are plenty of budget friendly things to do over the summer, and anyone who loves what they do would not consider it utterly perverse when its enjoyable.

3) I'm not paying anyone anything, (you made an assumption here).  I feed myself and pay for my share house supplies. I don't pay anyone, and i made dang certain of that. I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU, and there are MANY programs out there that require $2000 from people just to quote unquote volunteer for a week and THAT is ludicrous.

4) Just because I mention 1 aspect and did not lay out all components of Fulbright does not mean anyone should assume I did not know the other component goals that make up Fulbright THIS IS NOT AN EXAM.  I am aware that it is far more than professional development. (there's another assumption).

5) Furthermore, as someone who is ABT at a R1 university, I can safely say that I "presume" we are "likely" in different fields, in which case, you would find it interesting to learn that greater than 75% (of those admitted in m field) have publications coming out of UG. Different fields, different trends, plain and simple.

6) Not everyone has the privilege of having passion for their research. There is a fine line between enthusiasm and passion.

7) No publications on CV yet? Now that is ludicrous, as an incoming professor to not have any pubs. Any good program will have their PhD's with minimum 5 before finishing their dissertation. I'm not knocking your school but what top tier school is this? Different locations and fields clearly have different notions of what is and is not a high standard based on each University's expectations of their faculty if what you say about no pubs (in your field) being true.

8) I'm a 5th generation American typing the bulk of these message board replies from a cell phone. When you put 2 & 2 together you get crazy cell phone auto correct and a post between tasks where no one is graded on grammar. Completely hilarious though that you thought I was foreign. TOOOOOO FUNNY!!!

Disclaimer:This next line does not refer to either you or myself

Try this thought on for size: Some student does their UG in Plant Science or Cultural Affairs or something, and then decides those same career goals would be better served going to vet school. So now Mr. Plant guy or Cultural Affairs guy (or girl) has to convey on paper that clearly they meet every single STEM course req. for vet school and demonstrate that they have what it takes for vet school. Although this fictional person has been a vet assistant for  couple years, with a letter of rec from the vet, on paper he/she is still just seen by admissions as "plant guy" or cultural affairs guy/girl with a splash of vet experience like he/she slightly dabbled in it. HOWEVER this light dabbling in vet clinic work does not surpass the Pre-vet background that floods the other more competitive applications.

So WHAT IS Cultural affairs/plant science person to do about this???

#1 they were not admitted because they needed more "subject related" EXPERIENCE despite meeting all UG pre-reqs and despite GRE's in the 96 percentile and glowing LOR's

#2 The best thing to do is find out the weaknesses of the application and then REAPPLY after remedying those components of the app.

Bottomline is that not everyone has the ability to learn from their mistakes, necessary to come back bigger better and greater than before.

None of those subjects are related to me but the gist is the same. When you are either changing fields OR in an interdisciplinary field across depts. then showing that a certain subject/department is the right place for such person to do their PhD is more challenging than for someone who takes a smooth clean cut path by not having a cross-departmental educational background. While breadth in UG is important you have to specialize and focus your concentrated area the higher up you go which means COMPENSATORY DEMONSTRATION OF THE FIELD/SUBJECT IS ESSENTIAL.

Am I going to pay $2000 for a week of volunteering like everyone else does? Heck NO!

Am I going to get 10 months instead of 1 week and pay less for housing than I would in the US?  YES

Was this post intended to tell you about the fulbright required key factors of an application? NO

Does omitting it mean I dont know what Fulbright requirements are? NO  (dont assume.....its bad science).

 So Mr. X, would you mind saying what your "field" of study is?

Thank you for not being assuming or presumptuous with your words. You did get the first 2 lines right, but that's about all that was accurate in any reference to me, Innovative L. Just because I happen to be the under dog for multiple reasons does not mean a plan B is appropriate, and for anyone reading this, it really is all a numbers game and sooner or later anyone seeking a phd will get a phd unless their heart isn't in it, no matter what anyone says about another, assuming or otherwise.

and to you Secret_Ninja

I never suggested that any funding was retroactively applicable. Though I appreciate your implicit disclaimer. Just as you are not trying to be annoying or harsh, keep those same thoughts at the front of your mind when you are reading mine. There is a fine line between conveying oneself as a know it all or as someone who inquisitively looks up information. The short comings of ANY "know-it-all" is often the presumption of correctness by failing to make further confirmational inquiry which leads to a reduction is accurate information. So heed caution in your advisory ways and pose questions for thought rather than attempting to "TELL" individuals "how it IS" without first confirming one's speculations.

Speaking less definitively is ALWAYS better just as using absolutes when you write up your research findings is a clear No-no. The same should be carried over to prevent making accusatory and/or assuming remarks when referring to others. Blunt is good, as you are, but the possibility that is it probable but not definitely the case is always better regardless of the point in reference. Do you see a clear difference when you look at the pronouns you use as opposed to the pronouns I have used when addressing a general point?

 

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I submitted my medical clearance forms on May 1st and haven't heard yet. My medical history was pretty clean, so I'm in the same boat with those of you who are still waiting. ALSO, if any of you are waiting on grant/disbursement info, the package went to my SPAM folder and the Binational Fulbright Commission called me after 2 weeks wondering why I hadn't accepted the grant!

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Hey InnovativeL

If you are getting butthurt for the comments and advise the people on this forum are giving you I suggest you refer your questions to your FPA. We don't need negative vibes in this forum and I also don't see how secret ninja is being rude. With Fulbright you have to be realistic and we wouldn't want you go to through all the trouble of applying if you won't be eligible anyways. Trust me, we were all in the verge of pulling our hair out here while we waited for the notifications to come (some people still are). Your FPA will give you more advise or ask a fulbright representative via phone or if one of then comes to your campus at an informational meeting. Some of us who are giving for you advise have already gotten the Fulbright for next year so we are giving you advise based on our own experiences, so it's not a personal attack on you, we just want to be frank. Again we don't need the negative energy here since this is a place for questions and mutual support.

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Hey InnovativeL

If you are getting butthurt for the comments and advise the people on this forum are giving you I suggest you refer your questions to your FPA. We don't need negative vibes in this forum and I also don't see how secret ninja is being rude. With Fulbright you have to be realistic and we wouldn't want you go to through all the trouble of applying if you won't be eligible anyways. Trust me, we were all in the verge of pulling our hair out here while we waited for the notifications to come (some people still are). Your FPA will give you more advise or ask a fulbright representative via phone or if one of then comes to your campus at an informational meeting. Some of us who are giving for you advise have already gotten the Fulbright for next year so we are giving you advise based on our own experiences, so it's not a personal attack on you, we just want to be frank. Again we don't need the negative energy here since this is a place for questions and mutual support.

 

Thank you japanila - this is why Innovative is now just on my "ignore" list. 

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I've been awarded a fulbright research grant to Fiji! Woohoo! Anyone else on here receive a grant to Fiji or any of the South Pacific Island Nations?

CONGRATULATIONS!

 anigif_enhanced-buzz-654-1368222507-4.gi

It really makes my day whenever anyone announces that they got good news on this forum.

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Hi all, I just learned on Friday that I have received a Fulbright ETA to Bulgaria. I am excited about this but unsure if this is still what I want to do. I am rather concerned about it for the following reasons.

 

-Graduating Spring 2014 with BS in Mathematics, unsure what field to pursue, low chances of attending graduate school in applied math (my dream)

-My ETA side project focuses on Bulgarian folk music and choirs (aligns with my music hobby)

-Financially insecure before and after returning from Fulbright if all that is covered is living costs

 

Should I be worried about taking a year to travel and experience a new culture (okay, wonderful!) since my career/future goals are focused on applied mathematics/programming? Should I be worried about the possible difficulty returning to the US afterward with little money, still few skills in math/programming, and few job prospects? Would it be better to stay in the US and find an internship/entry-level job or take the ETA grant?

 

Thanks in advance for any information!

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Hey InnovativeL

If you are getting butthurt for the comments and advise the people on this forum are giving you I suggest you refer your questions to your FPA. We don't need negative vibes in this forum and I also don't see how secret ninja is being rude. With Fulbright you have to be realistic and we wouldn't want you go to through all the trouble of applying if you won't be eligible anyways. Trust me, we were all in the verge of pulling our hair out here while we waited for the notifications to come (some people still are). Your FPA will give you more advise or ask a fulbright representative via phone or if one of then comes to your campus at an informational meeting. Some of us who are giving for you advise have already gotten the Fulbright for next year so we are giving you advise based on our own experiences, so it's not a personal attack on you, we just want to be frank. Again we don't need the negative energy here since this is a place for questions and mutual support.

I'm haven't taken offense to anything what so ever.

Perception is in their eye of the beholder, that be the reader.

I thanked people for their thoughts on how they think I should or should not live trying to give advice without all the facts and where it was not asked for and I said I appreciate honesty.

I'm not sarcastic and I've been nothing but sincere.

I would however appreciate it if people would stop over analyzing things

CHILL OUT PEOPLE

Good grief LIGHTEN UP

Don't read so much into things.

I say exactly what I mean and mean exactly what I say no hidden message no attach emotion.

Just stop over analyzing circumstances that none of you are informed on in MY scenario.

Things aren't always what they seem, but that was pretty funny that English was thought to be a second language all because the auto correct got too involved in my phone typing. HILARIOUS

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Hey InnovativeL

If you are getting butthurt for the comments and advise the people on this forum are giving you I suggest you refer your questions to your FPA. We don't need negative vibes in this forum and I also don't see how secret ninja is being rude. With Fulbright you have to be realistic and we wouldn't want you go to through all the trouble of applying if you won't be eligible anyways. Trust me, we were all in the verge of pulling our hair out here while we waited for the notifications to come (some people still are). Your FPA will give you more advise or ask a fulbright representative via phone or if one of then comes to your campus at an informational meeting. Some of us who are giving for you advise have already gotten the Fulbright for next year so we are giving you advise based on our own experiences, so it's not a personal attack on you, we just want to be frank. Again we don't need the negative energy here since this is a place for questions and mutual support.

Trust me I'm not taking anything personal. If I asked a question I welcome all answers but if I never asked for information on something I'm already informed on it would be fabulous if people could focus on the questions and not on over stepping their 2 sense where it was not asked for or where over speculation is inappropriate.

To see secret ninjas comments you can find them in the new thread for this the next coming years applicants in case you were looking for these referenced remarks.

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There is a new thread for 2015-2016 and I am sure they would appreciate this information as well. 

 

When you apply in October 2014, you will not be able to use your funds until later in the year 2015. When depends on the country. I know someone who went to Kenya in mid April and found out the day she landed that she was awarded the Fulbright. They processed her information quickly, but she was unable to start using funds until later in the summer (July I think). For Indonesia, the soonest start date is Sept of this year. But also, permit processing makes a difference. For example, some countries delay their permit processing for political reasons. You might plan to go in October, but can't until Jan. It is luck of the draw. 

Basically - don't bank on it. And from what I have heard from past Fulbrighters, not having your own project makes you less competitive. I'm not saying it makes you "out", but think about your application sitting against 50 others, if even 10 of them have a strong case as to what THEIR research will contribute to themselves, their country, and to the US, you will get ranked below them. When a country only accepts 3 or 4 candidates, these numbers should encourage you to make your application as strong and as unique as possible. Yes, you will learn great skills from this endeavor, but it is not your intellectual merit that makes or breaks the research. (i.e. - if you don't go, they can just find someone else to do the work).  

 

I really do not mean to sound harsh, just realistic.

I didn't ask for either advice or approval.

Don't over step ones bounds and try to overstep one's bounds without all the facts.

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Hey InnovativeL

If you are getting butthurt for the comments and advise the people on this forum are giving you I suggest you refer your questions to your FPA. We don't need negative vibes in this forum and I also don't see how secret ninja is being rude. With Fulbright you have to be realistic and we wouldn't want you go to through all the trouble of applying if you won't be eligible anyways. Trust me, we were all in the verge of pulling our hair out here while we waited for the notifications to come (some people still are). Your FPA will give you more advise or ask a fulbright representative via phone or if one of then comes to your campus at an informational meeting. Some of us who are giving for you advise have already gotten the Fulbright for next year so we are giving you advise based on our own experiences, so it's not a personal attack on you, we just want to be frank. Again we don't need the negative energy here since this is a place for questions and mutual support.

Frankly Japaniia I seem to be the only positive one here. I laid out eachbpointbthat "X/..." made and agreed with more than half (for anyone who actually ready the post).

If others are getting butt hurt over it I can't help that. Sometimes people know how to give brutal honesty but the often can't take it and while I overtly stated my appreciations and agreement with many things it clearly looks like its the others taking it personally.

One should only be blunt if they are able to receive it and its silly to take offense which is what appears to be what these others have done.

Sounds like they need a glass of wine or something to lighten their mood. 1-6 was more than half agreement so whose really the offended bitthurt ones over there? LOL

Edited by InnovativeL

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I didn't ask for either advice or approval.

Don't over step ones bounds and try to overstep one's bounds without all the facts.

 

K, but you did ask for advice. Two pages back, you wrote: "ANY THOUGHTS?" So people gave you their thoughts.

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K, but you did ask for advice. Two pages back, you wrote: "ANY THOUGHTS?" So people gave you their thoughts.

haha yes it seems indeed I did open that can of worms LOL specifically thoughts on that info. Specifically from that post.

- I never asked what the fulbrught reqs are

- I never asked for advice on grad school especially since I'm finishing.

- to keep it short there was a ton of bits about what had nothing to do with thoughts on THAT post.

- its like .... and this is how you cross the street ... well duh of course we know that already buddy...no one asked how to cross them street LMAO

- and then repeating the same thing by saying "As i said in my last post..." over and over on something totally unrelated was just ridiculous.

But you are right I did indeed open myself up on ANY THOUGHTS? Lol

Edited by InnovativeL

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Frankly Japaniia I seem to be the only positive one here. I laid out eachbpointbthat "X/..." made and agreed with more than half (for anyone who actually ready the post).

If others are getting butt hurt over it I can't help that. Sometimes people know how to give brutal honesty but the often can't take it and while I overtly stated my appreciations and agreement with many things it clearly looks like its the others taking it personally.

One should only be blunt if they are able to receive it and its silly to take offense which is what appears to be what these others have done.

Sounds like they need a glass of wine or something to lighten their mood. 1-6 was more than half agreement so whose really the offended bitthurt ones over there? LOL

Alrighty then, three long essay replies. Glad you were able to vent out. Good luck with your application. Peace. Edited by japaniia

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Hi all, I just learned on Friday that I have received a Fulbright ETA to Bulgaria. I am excited about this but unsure if this is still what I want to do. I am rather concerned about it for the following reasons.

 

-Graduating Spring 2014 with BS in Mathematics, unsure what field to pursue, low chances of attending graduate school in applied math (my dream)

-My ETA side project focuses on Bulgarian folk music and choirs (aligns with my music hobby)

-Financially insecure before and after returning from Fulbright if all that is covered is living costs

 

Should I be worried about taking a year to travel and experience a new culture (okay, wonderful!) since my career/future goals are focused on applied mathematics/programming? Should I be worried about the possible difficulty returning to the US afterward with little money, still few skills in math/programming, and few job prospects? Would it be better to stay in the US and find an internship/entry-level job or take the ETA grant?

 

Thanks in advance for any information!

 

Hi Tantavi, for what it's worth, I say go for the Fulbright.

 

To me, it seems like you're debating between what you want to do and what you think-you're-supposed-to-do. In my very limited wisdom, the think-you're-supposed-to-do path is safe. It feels Responsible and Adult. The supposed-to-path makes a lot of sense in a lot of situations, but not this one.

 

In this situation you win on all fronts if you take the Fulbright. 

 

You're worried about your job prospects - Take the Fulbright. For every job you apply to, there will be stacks on stacks of resumes from people who, "skill-wise", are just like you. If you rock, which I bet you do, and you stand out, which a Fulbright will help with, you get the interview. If you forsook the Fulbright, one year from now you will stand out as much as the thousands of other math/comp.sci people a year into an entry-level job. Point: Fulbright.

 

You're worried about money - Take the Fulbright. You're playing the long game. The difference between coming out of college broke now, or a year from now is negligible. Spend a year kicking ass and taking names, developing soft skills and honing an interesting interview-narrative. It will pay off. Credentialism is also important (unfortunate or not). This is a big, fat, stamp of approval hiring managers will use when looking at your applications. Point: Fulbright

 

You're worried the Fulbright won't give you "skills" - Program in Bulgaria! Choose a project, knock it out, and add it to your CV. Realize that you will develop communication skills, soft skills, and self-reliance abroad. Recognize that those skills have worth. As an aside, have a look at Sarah Kendzior's tweets about the our modern idea of a "skills gap" here and here. She can be bombastic, but what she writes there is at the heart of my fears of incompetence, it might ring true for you as well.

 

TL;DR: Your Fulbright is a one-year investment in your future - you are paid, housed, and your loans are deferred. It doesn't get more low-risk than that! In the worst case scenario, assuming you don't hate the experience, it will leave you in the same position you are in now (few "skills [...] and prospects"), but with a wonderful year abroad that you will always have memories of. In reality it will provide you with tangible benefits, detailed above.

 

Best,

Isaac

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Hi Tantavi, for what it's worth, I say go for the Fulbright.

 

To me, it seems like you're debating between what you want to do and what you think-you're-supposed-to-do. In my very limited wisdom, the think-you're-supposed-to-do path is safe. It feels Responsible and Adult. The supposed-to-path makes a lot of sense in a lot of situations, but not this one.

 

In this situation you win on all fronts if you take the Fulbright. 

 

You're worried about your job prospects - Take the Fulbright. For every job you apply to, there will be stacks on stacks of resumes from people who, "skill-wise", are just like you. If you rock, which I bet you do, and you stand out, which a Fulbright will help with, you get the interview. If you forsook the Fulbright, one year from now you will stand out as much as the thousands of other math/comp.sci people a year into an entry-level job. Point: Fulbright.

 

You're worried about money - Take the Fulbright. You're playing the long game. The difference between coming out of college broke now, or a year from now is negligible. Spend a year kicking ass and taking names, developing soft skills and honing an interesting interview-narrative. It will pay off. Credentialism is also important (unfortunate or not). This is a big, fat, stamp of approval hiring managers will use when looking at your applications. Point: Fulbright

 

You're worried the Fulbright won't give you "skills" - Program in Bulgaria! Choose a project, knock it out, and add it to your CV. Realize that you will develop communication skills, soft skills, and self-reliance abroad. Recognize that those skills have worth. As an aside, have a look at Sarah Kendzior's tweets about the our modern idea of a "skills gap" here and here. She can be bombastic, but what she writes there is at the heart of my fears of incompetence, it might ring true for you as well.

 

TL;DR: Your Fulbright is a one-year investment in your future - you are paid, housed, and your loans are deferred. It doesn't get more low-risk than that! In the worst case scenario, assuming you don't hate the experience, it will leave you in the same position you are in now (few "skills [...] and prospects"), but with a wonderful year abroad that you will always have memories of. In reality it will provide you with tangible benefits, detailed above.

 

Best,

Isaac

 

I'm biased toward going for the Fulbright, but I think it is really smart to for Tantavi to think it over. I will say that there is the potential benefit that you find something you love while in Bulgaria that inspires great long-term goals or that it at least serves as a nice resume booster becuase it is both a prestigious award and proof you can adapt (an important skill in a globalized world).

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Although my roomie and I's entry for the "Fulbright is___" contest (http://www.photosnack.com/FulbrightPrgm/ptpld8ll), didn't get picked, I thought I'd share as a reminder of what the program means at the end of the day. I think it's easy sometimes during this application process to lose sight of the big picture, especially with comments from professors, colleagues, etc. Yes, it is an amazing professional opportunity and (hopefully) it will be fun, but it's about bridging the differences and creating a better world :)

 

I know that whether I get the grant or not, I will always be grateful to the program for bringing my roomie to the US. She has helped me to see things from new perspectives and has helped me to learn a lot about the world and myself.

 

883904_10152443554512491_799318635278448

 

P.S. Sorry if this is a little bit cheesy ^____^;;

Edited by olioliwoo

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Although my roomie and I's entry for the "Fulbright is___" contest (http://www.photosnack.com/FulbrightPrgm/ptpld8ll), didn't get picked, I thought I'd share as a reminder of what the program means at the end of the day. I think it's easy sometimes during this application process to lose sight of the big picture, especially with comments from professors, colleagues, etc. Yes, it is an amazing professional opportunity and (hopefully) it will be fun, but it's about bridging the differences and creating a better world :)

 

I know that whether I get the grant or not, I will always be grateful to the program for bringing my roomie to the US. She has helped me to see things from new perspectives and has helped me to learn a lot about the world and myself.

 

883904_10152443554512491_799318635278448

 

P.S. Sorry if this is a little bit cheesy ^____^;;

 

It was a little bit cheesy, but I LOVE it! Your cheesy is all kinds of adorable!

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