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About rajafaran

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  • Degree Type
  • Degree Program / University
    Carnegie Mellon University
  • Degree Achieved 1
    Masters in Public Policy and Management
  • Degree Achieved 2
    Account and Finance, LUMS
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    Lahore University Of Management Sciences
  1. As I said in my previous post, take a good night's sleep and be at the interview venue 1 hour before to get used to the environment (not that you'll be sent for interview immediately but some free time is good). The first thing you will be handed over would be a piece of paper on which you have to write a short Essay with the topic of your choice. So if you have asked somebody else to write your essays for you during application stage then bad luck peeps because this exercise is intended to gauge the actual writer of the application essays. As I was the one who wrote my own essays (except that they were proof read and edited by many of my friends) I did not have any issue. I wrote one essay for about 30min if I remember correctly. After you're done with the essays, interview calling will start and one by one you will go into the room. The interview will be done by a panel: one or two Fulbright Alumni, one American, One Psychiatrist and others I don't remember. As I said before in my previous post, know your essays inside out and also your career plans once you will graduate. You have to be specific, not general like mein Pakistan mein aa kr ghareebun ki madad krna chahta hun. So what how else you can ace the interview? Well, let me tell you more It is always a good idea to break the ice during the start of the interview. I usually prefer to do that by joking or making panel laugh. It helps ease the air and relieves you of the initial interview stress. For instance, when they asked me 'How was I' in my interview, I said ' Besides the fact that I had to come overnight in torrential rain from Lahore and am having a upset stomach, I am fine' (100% true this I tell you). Everybody laughed and I was in my element. Mission accomplished: have a good start to the interview.I knew they were going to ask about my personal statement which I had covered of course but I was also expecting questions like why have you chosen this program or university etc. I was prepared for that too, I had researched about some of the course that were being offered in the programs of the university i had chosen. I simply memorized some of the names of the courses and their description so that the panels know that I know what and why I am applying in a university. Therefore, when they asked me about the university I just threw some course names and descriptions (cheeky right?). Regarding questions about your career, research about what kind of jobs are available e.g. I did research about jobs available with Punjab Government as I was applying for public policy. It would have been hard for me to convince them because I had an Accounting and Finance degree from LUMS but I was applying for Public Policy but in my statements and my interview I focused on the social part of my career like my volunteer work and my economics minor in Bsc. It doesn't end here, they will test your choice by tempting you to change your plans e.g. if you are applying for Masters they might tempt you going for Phd instead. This is their way of testing you, I would suggest don't change your stance, if you are going for masters then stick for masters as this tells you are sure about what you want to do. You have to show you are a friendly and open minded person. You will be a cultural ambassador if you get the scholarship and one thing they are gauging you is how effectively can you adjust in the foreign country. Will you keep to yourself? Will present a bad image of your country? Will you be a problem for the community in US? etc. Therefore present yourself as an open minded and culturally sound person. In the end of the interview, it is always nice to ask question from the panel as well. It tells you are serious about this thing and you have not lost your cool during this grilling interview. Ask about the Fulbright experience, university experience, career options once your back etc. So guys these were some of the tips that I have for you. i have tried to provide my personal experience as well. Hope it will help you. Feel free to ask questions That's all folks!
  2. Pre Interview Tip: When I got to know about my interview date, a week after the email I received, I started reviewing my essays. I would go through my essays daily to know them inside out because I was sure that would be the main area of focus for my interview. I also rotated the essays among my friends to get their opinion or answer questions if any would prop up. I would advise to hold mock interviews with friends because that is the time when usually come across the questions that end up appearing in the interviews. Besides that I think there isn't much you can do during the run up to the interview. On the night before the actual interview, getting a proper sleep is really good. If you're coming outside of Islamabad, getting good night sleep and traveling on time is important. Be at the interview place at least half to one hour before just to get the feel of the place and relax before the actual process begins. Next I will share how to conduct yourself during the Fulbright interview.
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