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Ahsan last won the day on July 23 2015

Ahsan had the most liked content!

About Ahsan

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  • Degree Achieved 1
    MS Public Policy and Management (MSPPM)
    Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), USA
  • Degree Achieved 2
    Bachelors (Hons) Economics
    LUMS, Pakistan
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    Lahore University Of Management Sciences
  1. Hello Naveed, I don't think that one necessarily correlates to the other. You can get into a Public Policy program if you can show that you have the requisite skill-set and desire to get into one. Several people change careers at multiple stages of their employment cycle and admissions committees are cognizant of such decisions. However, it is true that the more time you spend in a certain career the less likely it will be for you to make a switch. If you can share your exact situation right now ( work experience, education etc) perhaps we can help identify what you need to do to get into the program you want. Hope that helps. Ahsan
  2. The hardest part of the grant is done. You've got the grant and the visa and you can breathe a huge sigh of relief. Now comes the operational work; like planning where to live. I'm going to try and give a brief run-down of the things you should look into before finalizing a place: Never pay more than 50% of your stipend in rent. If you stick to this basic rule you should have more than enough money to eat what you want and travel whenever you want across the country. Make use of previous Fulbrighters/undergrad alumni that have travelled to your city. In case you can't find one yourself ask USEFP to get you in touch with one. Nothing can replace the advice of someone who has been there themselves and comes from the same cultural context. All Fulbrighters have been where you are now and would be more than willing to help. Always get someone to corroborate places that you find online for potential housing. If you have done (2) above Fulbrighters who are in the city can be requested to check out the place on your behalf or at least give an opinion about the deal you're getting. (Yes, some Fulbrighters have actually even gone and inspected places themselves for incoming students!). If you cannot get someone to inspect/comment about the potential housing prospect then get a sublet for a week or two and inspect places on your own time when you get there. Sublets are inexpensive and can be found via multiple sites such as Craigslist. Generally, the closer you live to your University the better. Ideally, never be more than a 30 minute walk from your campus. Yes, public transport is great generally but it's practically non -existent on the West Coast with San Fran being the notable exception. Also, if you're on the East Coast, you never know when a bus misses its schedule and you get late for your final presentation; public transport is good but not infallible.
  3. Hello, Overall, Uzair's post is pretty comprehensive. I would just like to add/reinforce a few points though: Before each interview you are given 10 minutes to write an essay. The essay is sometimes regarding a specific topic or in my case, about anything you want. Most people disregard this part of the process but it can really play an important part in your subsequent interview. I would advise to try and be unique; stand out from the crowd. I wrote about my love for cricket and how I would never forgive myself if I had chosen this opportunity to write about anything else and it worked! The first comment of the interview was about my essay and it really helped set the tone for my interview. Knowing what you want to do with your degree is the key, or at least convincing the interview panel that you know what you want to do. Be specific, do your research, sell your vision even if you're not sure about it your self. Doubt or hesitance could torpedo your chances. Be calm. Most interviews will have one interviewer who seems to be having a particularly bad day and wants to take it out on you. It's always a good idea to smile and take all such questions in your stride. How you react to opposition could be a factor in your scholarship decision. Hope some of the above helps you in your interviews!
  4. Why get a State ID: The best thing you can do when you land in the States is to get a State ID as soon as possible. Some states are more lenient than others, but generally, you will not be allowed in any establishment or at any event where alcohol is being served if you do not have a proper form of identification. Unfortunately, even if you're above forty and if you don't have proper ID, you will not be allowed to enter the premises. Any of the below 3 options can serve as viable ID: 1. Passport 2. Driving License 3. State ID If you think that since you do not consume alcoholic beverages this is not such an important issue for you, think again. Most networking events or school functions serve alcohol and there are some events you just cannot avoid. The last thing you want to do is to take your passport to a crowded event and have it lost in the rush. Trust me, it has happened to more friends than you would think. Also, getting a driver license involves multiple tests and access to a car and is harder to get than a State ID but does suffice as well. How to get a State ID: Each state has its own particular quirks regarding the state ID but generally you would need an SSN/SSN rejection and at least two forms of identification such as a utility bill or lease agreement with your name on it. The exact requirements for each state can be found via this link: http://www.dmv.org/id-cards.php If you are working part time or on campus you are eligible for an SSN and can apply for it after providing the relevant employment details. If you don't have a job you can apply for an SSN and use your subsequent SSN denial and still apply for the State ID. More details on how to get an SSN can be found here: http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10181.pdf
  5. Sara is right. My friend found out in March that he had been moved from alternate to principal and then went on the fulbright for the same academic year. You'll be informed in either case, unfortunately all you can do till then is wait or hound your program officer.
  6. Hello. I have a reply from a friend who was in the same situation and eventually got changed to a Principal candidate. The reply is as follows: You'll be in the same process as the principals, and only find out if you've been bumped up from an alternate to a principal candidate in March/April, when the principal candidates begin responding to the Fulbright about their participation in the program. This is obviously after applicants get responses from universities and make decisions about whether they want to go to the recommended universities on the Fulbright Regarding the likelihood of everyone getting promoted to Principal candidate: Everyone in our year and the two years prior was bumped up. Might have changed after that but really depends on the Fulbright program's overall funding etc Hope that answers your question!
  7. Hello Farhan, Unfortunately there is no direct way to check such cost sharing unless you approach the relevant universities Office of Financial Aid. A good check would be to however look at whether a school has a strong financial aid program or not. Such information can be gained by looking the relevant websites or contacting somebody from the financial aid office and explain your case. Secondly, you do not have one stipend. Each city has its own stipend based on lifestlyle costs. For example, Pittsburgh has a stipend of $1400 whereas Boston would is approximately $2200 if I am not mistaken.
  8. NYC probably has more halal food options than any other city in the US. If you’re studying at NYU you’re even luckier as you live pretty close to what is locally known as “Curry Hill”. It runs from 25th to 30th street on Lexington Avenue in lower Manhattan. Handi and Lahori kabab are two of the best low priced desi options. Chinese Mirch is also a nice Halal desi/Chinese place there. There are also several shops in the area from where you can get stuff like Biryani Masala to the local Lipton tea you drank back home. However, there are several places that are much closer to campus and Halal if you do not want to venture so far out. The Halal Marketplace in NYU’s Kimmel Center offers Halal food every weekday from 12-3 and 5-8. Besides that, Mamoun’s Falafel ,Kati Roll Company and TurKiss in the Greenwich Village are also good snack points. Lastly, almost every food cart in the city is Halal. A particularly famous one near NYU is Sammy’s Halal cart on West 4th & Broadway.
  9. NYC has it all. Finding an apartment close to campus is obviously preferred but finding something in the lower Manhattan area can be expensive even if it means it comes with the occasional celebrity sighting. The best advice I would give is to find a place that has easy access to a train station. Even if you live farther out, being close to the subway reduces half the travel time, especially if it’s an “Express Line”. On average, NYU housing for graduate students is limited and even if you do find something, prices usually range between $1500-$1700 for the whole year. Exact rates etc. can be viewed via the link below: (http://www.nyu.edu/content/dam/nyu/resLifeHousServ/documents/20142015Rates.pdf). Considering the proximity of the A line (Express) to NYU’s campus you might consider living in Brooklyn even. I spent the summer in the Bed Stuy neighborhood in a shared apartment, with my own room, for just $900 a month! Rents are lower because there is a perception that Brooklyn hosts a lot of “unsavory” characters but due to gentrification and the sort, there are a lot of available housing options in the area that are as safe as any other part of the city. Plus, you’re closer to hipster localities such as Williamsburg etc. So in a nutshell: Live near an Express subway line if you decide to live away from campus. Explore living in boroughs such as Brooklyn for NYU and Queens/Bronx for Columbia. DO NOT spend more than 40% of your budget/stipend on rent. (Trust me!) All colleges have links to sites with apartment listings; often though, Craigslist works just as well as any. If you still want to explore though, here are some good resources to go through: http://www.nyu.edu/life/living-at-nyu/off-campus-living/apartment-listings.html
  10. Hello Madiha. I have some input to share regarding your situation. In my Fulbright cohort (2012), we had cases of individuals who got their submissions changed and some who could not. Unfortunately, your PO plays a big part in whether you can or cannot get your options changed. I know of a girl who managed to get Columbia into her submissions and then get sent there but I know of another who got into both Delaware and Columbia and was sent to the former; much to her chagrin. The good news is its not impossible, the more realistic piece of advice is, make a strong case or otherwise you won't be accommodated. Strong cases can be made via possible increased scholarship options at the University you want included. Fulbright would love to send you to a cheaper university, you're going for free but they're still footing the bill. In the same vein, if the University is located in a "cheaper" city your PO would be more willing to consider sending you there. Cheaper cities include Pittsbugh, Durham, St. Louis etc. The most expensive cities are Boston and NY, anyplace is cheaper than those two! If you cannot make an effective case financially it would be important to impress upon your PO how the very crux of your postgraduate existence relies on him/her sending you to the University you want. Appropriate arguments include but are not limited to; " This program is the best for what I want to do" , " This program ties in better with my level of work experience " , " My interviewers told me I should change my choices" and the most used; "Please, Please, Please!!". Hounding your PO politely and incessantly could do the trick. In a nutshell: 1) It's possible 2) Appeal to their finances 3) Appeal to their academic duty to provide you with the best opportunity 4) Appeal to their humanity. Hope it helps and don't be disappointed if it doesn't, I have not yet met a Fulbrighter who disliked their experience in its entirety because of where they ended up!
  11. @ confused I don't think there is any set template. I myself worked for a corporate FMCG company and still managed to secure a Fulbright for Public Policy. It's important that you have a narrative to back up your aspirations though. What you want to do with your degree and how it will help you in the long run is what really matters. If you can convince the decision makers that you know what you're doing then there is not necessarily problem.
  12. @AliKhalid. Funding for MBA's is remarkably low. However, if you are in the top 5% of the candidates applying you are usually eligible for whatever scholarships the University has to offer. Usually these tend to be partial tuition scholarships while some notable schools such as Haas do even offer full scholarships. But to win these scholarships you should have almost perfect GMAT scores and an almost perfect MBA application altogether. A more relevant option might be Non Co-signer loans that top MBA schools offer. HBS, Stanford, Fuqua, Darden all offer such loans. After graduating from such top tier schools you can pay off your debt within a couple of years even and hence investigating such opportunities might be an option. You can explore this Business Week list: "http://images.businessweek.com/slideshows/2013-02-26/most-generous-top-b-schools" if you want for more details regarding scholarships but scouring the "Funding your MBA" section of each B School might also be a good idea.
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