Shopping for scholarships

Studying Abroad

Shopping for scholarships

Dear sir,

I am currently doing my third semester in Mechanical Engineering. I plan to pursue higher studies abroad, preferably in the US, and I’m wondering whether to do an MBA or an MS. Can you help me prepare for this? I would also like to apply for a scholarship.

Anirudh

Dear Anirudh,

Please think deeply about your options. You are looking at two different streams. An MS keeps you in the field of technology while an MBA is management related. At this point, I want you to be very clear about what your strengths are and what your unique selling point (USP) is. The point to be kept in mind is that you can definitely do an MS and pursue a career in technology and later move towards management. You cannot move back from management to technology unless you pursue an MS programme at a later date. Since both options are within your reach, go by your passion. To pursue MS in USA, you need to perform well in GRE and TOEFL. To pursue MBA in USA, you need a minimum of two years’ work experience and a good score in GMAT and TOEFL. If you are looking for a scholarship, you need to maintain a very high level of performance. So do not neglect your studies. Websites that can give you information on financial aid or assistance of any sort are: www.finaid.org, www.nafsa.org. Keep in mind that financial assistance of any sort for management studies is very hard to get, while for courses on technology, it is relatively easy to find funding.

Dear sir,

I have a B.E. in Computer Science and I am taking the GRE this year. What are the scholarships available for a course in Computer Science?

Arun

Dear Arun,

Any financial assistance by way of scholarship, assistantship, fee waiver, etc is hard to come by these days because of recession. It does not mean that they are not available. 

The kind of project work you have participated in matters a lot. Your GRE and TOEFL scores must be high. It also helps if you have leadership skills, community work experience and extra curricular activities, a strong Statement of Purpose and good communication skills.

Apart from the university, there are other sources for funding. Browse the following websites for more information: www.finaid.org, www.nafsa.org, www.fulbright-india.org, www.fulbrightonline.org, www.IEFA.org, www.uiowa.edu, www.fordfound.org.

There are some Indian sources such as Tata Endowment (www.tata.com) and Agha Khan Foundation (www.akdn.org). You should also contact Indian nationalised banks which give soft loans for higher education with liberal repayment schemes.

Dear sir,

I am a B.Sc. graduate. I got a job at Goldman Sachs through campus recruitment and from then on, for the past 3 years I have been working in the Operations division. I do not have a foundation in Commerce. So I am currently pursuing a diploma (distance learning) from IIBF, which covers the basics of Commerce and Statistics. Once I finish this course, I plan to do an MBA. What are the best colleges abroad that I can apply to?

Praseeda

Dear Praseeda,

You have a  three-year degree which makes you eligible to pursue an MBA programme in any stream of management, including finance. This diploma along with a work experience of three years in a reputed organisation is an advantage while pursuing an MBA degree.

You need to look at universities in the UK, Australia etc as USA needs 16 years of university education as entry requirement for their MBA programmes. One option to compensate for the one year is to take up a Commerce related course in a community college in the US, where the fee is reasonable. You can then seek entrance in a good management institute depending on your performance. Since each university has its own admission standards, browse the Internet to narrow down your list in the US. Apart from the English language proficiency test, universities in the UK and Australia do not require any other clearance such as GMAT.  For universities in Australia log on to www.infozee.com, www.gradschools.com. For universities in New Zealand: go to www.mynzed.com or www.educationnz.org.nz. For universities in the UK, go to www.britishcouncil.org or www.ucas.co.uk.

Dear sir,

I have a B.E. degree in Computer Science and I am planning to pursue post graduation in the same field from the US. I would like to specialise in Network Securities.  Now with all the new developments surrounding the US visa, I am wondering if I should apply to other countries as well.

Gagan

Dear Gagan,

You are certainly eligible to follow a Master’s programme in Network Securities. I presume  your academic performance is up to the mark and you have cleared GRE and TOEFL. Regarding a visa to study in USA, it is not really a problem provided your documentation, as required by the American Consulate, is appropriate. Moreover, this year the number of students going to America to study has come down because of the recession. Universities in USA are encouraging foreign students as it is a very good business proposition for them. As said earlier, one can never be 100  per cent sure and hence, you may look at either the UK or Australia as alternatives.

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