Fulbright Personal Statement Sample

A Personal Statement sample by a successful Fulbright scholar

Here is Fulbright personal statement sample for aspiring candidates. As you already know, the Fulbright personal statement should be a narrative statement describing how you have achieved your current goals. It should not be a mere listing of facts. The personal statement for Fulbright should include information about your education, practical experience, special interests, and career plans. Describe any significant factors that have influenced your educational or professional development. Comment on the number of years of practical experience already completed in the field in which academic work will be done in the U.S. Do not mention specific U.S. universities at which you would like to study.

Fulbright Personal Statement Sample of a Successful Fulbright Candidate

I was born into a middle-class family in Pakistan. At a very young age, I was taught that I need to follow my dreams. In the year 2000, 738 Million people had access to the internet whereas I was exiled to my room for one year doing something as trivial as using it. I was part of a culture that intends to keep women behind familial bars. Suffering but with a purpose, it took all I had to convince my parents that a BS in Computer Sciences will pave the way for a bright future. I was the first female in my family to go to college. Despite the late nights I spent coding, I couldn’t ignore the fact that the accelerated economic growth of 2004 was carried forward to 2005 universally, all except South Asia. Within Pakistan, even though I could see a rise in IT-related business-service sectors, I also saw that inflation picked up. I saw it in the eyes of the people that were scattered on the streets begging for food. Pakistan’s external debt reached an all-time high at $34.04 Billion. That is when I decided to undertake Finance as my specialty during my MBA degree, as I knew full well that revenue generation was the need of the hour for Pakistan. Culturally, I came face to face with yet a new challenge. I was out on the street. I spent two years of college living in a one-room apartment with a family of five, barely having any food or hot water. Against all odds, I completed my MBA with distinction and got my first paid job at the Royal Bank of Scotland. Advocating women’s right to education and opportunity became second nature to me.

Alongside my job, the era of rapid technological advancement allowed me to combine my creativity and technology to capitalize on my entrepreneurial abilities and establish my own clothing line, amongst other things. Three quarters of the profits from this business were used to fund a trust that I established. As of today, The Giving Hand Trust is supporting the education of underprivileged girls and providing food to nearly 200 families.  

Hailing from a developing country, I am privy to some of society’s biggest problems. I worked with a bank, gained experience working in the private sector and served ample time with a human rights organization to know that even though my IT skills and business knowledge will ensure I earn well in life, I will not be able to eradicate the dilemma of economic inequality within the country, the real plight of the people leading to extreme poverty. No real impact, I said to myself.

It was mainly my aspiration to serve the public interest that finally drove me to join the Civil Services of Pakistan. By virtue of my position within the Inland Revenue Service (IRS) of Pakistan, I know now that a progressive tax system is imperative to an equitable economy, though it is just one aspect. I am also aware that a good tax system cannot be developed without involving all the stakeholders. Improved standards of living within a country like mine have a direct correlation with economic growth making me realize the importance of public policy as a field of goal-driven study. This awareness made me step back into school for my MPhil. The recommendations of my thesis on “Efficient Taxation” are becoming part of the finance bill in 2018.

With twenty years of formal education and six years serving as a Deputy Commissioner in the IRS, I understand Pakistan’s special needs and I know that famous economic theories cannot be blindly applied to inform public policy decisions. I am realistic enough to know that complete eradication of inequality is not an attainable goal. In a developing country like mine, an initiative to improve taxation will address the issue of economic disparity in favor of the poor. The ripple effect of progressive taxation will yield economic growth, reduced inflation, a reduction in tax rates and a tax to GDP ratio that is in keeping with the economic potential of the country.

My unique professional position will allow me to develop and implement an amalgamated approach to tackle socio-economic problems of Pakistan and the developing world, in theory and practice. However, I do need that coveted foreign qualification that a Ph.D. from the US will bring.


For more posts on Fulbright, the GRE and other related stuff related to the scholarship applications, please do subscribe to the blog so that you don’t miss an article that might help you out. All the best candidates. I hope this Fulbright personal statement sample would help you in crafting your own personal statment for your Fulbright application. If you want to know further about the Study objective for Fulbright application you can visit our previous posts on How to write Study Objective for Fulbright application and the sample study objective for Fulbright application.

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Muhammad Sarwar

Muhammad Sarwar is an Electrical Engineer by profession and a blogger by passion. He loves to teach and share knowledge. He's a Fulbright scholarship awardee. He reads books, play games, blogs and program in his spare time.

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