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Roberto Roldan's Fulbright Experience
Roberto Roldan is a two time USF Fulbright Scholarship Recipient. As a sophomore, he participated in the Fulbright UK Summer Institute Program to Wales, and as a senior he received a prestigious Fulbright US Student Program study grant to return to Wales for a master's degree, studying multimedia journalism and international affairs at Aberystwyth University.
He successfully navigated his national scholarship journey with advising and mentoring from the Office of National Scholarships.
Check out Roberto's interview below for a sneak peak of the ONS experience.
How has your Fulbright study abroad trip to Wales enriched your experience as a USF student?
The Fulbright study abroad trip to Wales opened my eyes to the possibilities of where I could take my studies at USF. I never had the opportunity to travel abroad before, and the experience really showed me just how interesting and diverse the world could be. It inspired me to take advantage of courses and events at USF, which allowed me to learn about different cultures and languages after I returned to Tampa.
How would you describe your experience with the Office of National Scholarships?
When applying for the Fulbright Summer Institute and the Fulbright Scholars program, the advice and support from ONS and their staff was invaluable. The ONS staff was always available to answer any questions I had during the writing of my grant proposals and really helped me to hone in on my pitch when it came time for the interview. The experience of applying for a Fulbright grant is always nerve-wracking, but with the help of the ONS I felt that I was as prepared as I could possibly be for the grant application process.
How did the ONS advisors help you achieve your goals?
ONS helped me to secure two Fulbright grants. I participated in the Fulbright Summer Institute Program in Wales as a sophomore at USF in 2014 and am currently a Fulbright Postgraduate Scholar at Aberystwyth University working on a graduate degree in international relations. Throughout the grant writing period, ONS helped me form my proposal and gave great feedback during the editing process. Once I secured an interview, they held mock interviews which prepared me for some of the questions I would be asked by the Fulbright commission. The mock interview process also helped to shake off some of my nervousness. They even went above and beyond by following up with me as I waded through the grant paperwork, applied for a visa, and prepared to live in a foreign country for an extended period of time.
What advice would you give to students who are interested in applying for the Fulbright Scholarship?
The most important piece of advice I would give to students thinking about applying to national scholarships would be to really take advantage of all of the services offered at ONS. Applying for national scholarship awards can be hectic, but it doesn't have to be. For a student it may seem overwhelming, but ONS staff have done it all. That is such a wonderful resource to be able to have.
What are your future plans/career goals?
Ideally, I hope to work in a career that combines the skills I've developed during my undergraduate work in journalism at USF and what I am currently doing in my international relations graduate program at Aberystwyth University. When I graduate in September I will be applying for jobs at foreign policy think tanks and publications.
Thinking about applying for a competitive national scholarship?
Attend an information session series, and schedule an appointment to meet with a ONS advisor to start mapping out your journey!
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