Fulbright Winners Essays

My name is Marty Bode, and I am Linfield '08 alum and currently a Fulbright Scholar studying aeronautical engineering at the Universität Stuttgart in Germany.

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Even if they do not directly relate, you may be able to tie them in as evidence that you are prepared for and/or are truly interested in the research or teaching you want to do.

No matter how small they might seem, you might be able to pull some of them together.

Thanks to a motivated, supportive, persistent Fulbright advisor and professors who are always willing to help brainstorm, proofread, email contacts, proofread again, and sometimes just listen when you get frustrated, Linfield has an impressive success rate among its Fulbright applicants.

And even if in the end you aren't selected for a grant, after applying for a Fulbright, you will have learned a lot about a topic you love and you will also know that you have the ability and the determination to apply for just about anything!

Of course, people sometimes have conflicting ideas and so you won't be able to use all of them, but ultimately it is your application.

-Be aware how much time you will need for the application process. Craft it as a 'next step' that builds on skills and experience you gained at Linfield, and will connect you to later endeavors in graduate school, policy work, or the like.And more than anything, re-read and re-write those essays (with the help of literally everyone) until they‚re perfect. As for advice, I would say that the most important thing is to find a project that you personally would love the opportunity to pursue. Find something you love, or a place you love, then during the course of your research add in the specifics that will make it so that this project can only be done by you, in the country you are applying for.If you love what you are investigating, it will be easier to stay motivated and persuasive throughout the long (very long! Find something unique, but make sure that it is something that you enjoy, not just something you think the judges will like.At first it can seem a little overwhelming, and to be honest, a bit humbling to watch as essays which I put so much of myself into, were severely edited and changed.However, by about the fourth incarnation, I finally saw why these changes were being made and how it was helping my application to be stronger and more competitive.This was very much the case during my application process.By the time of my final submission, I had probably been through 6 to 8 drafts for each of my essays with countless critiques for each of them.Talk to people at school and at home about your proposal; you never know who might know someone in your application country, and even if their acquaintance isn't the advisor for you, your friend's friend might know someone who knows someone who can make the phone call that can get your email answered.Don't be afraid to email, email, email a variety of professional people who you don't know (be polite, remember that if they do answer they are doing you a favor, not fulfilling an obligation) and if you don't get an answer from someone you were really hoping to hear from, try calling (very politely, even if you are frustrated).Even when my first or second affiliation fell through I kept persevering until I got the “yes” I was looking for.The Fulbright advisor is phenomenal, so trust that she will steer you in the right direction.

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