Fulbright-Platinum Triangle Award in Business

The Fulbright-Platinum Triangle Award in Business is for an emerging New Zealand business leader to complete a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree at a US institution and gain professional work experience in the US and New Zealand. Two awards valued at up to US$75,000 plus a paid internship are offered each year, towards two years of study.

Closing date: 1 June annually

These awards are for talented future business leaders and entrepreneurs who have the academic credentials, work experience, leadership potential and ability to make a real contribution to the development of New Zealand’s economy. The awards ensure grantees further develop the business acumen, leadership skills, networks and aspirations that will accelerate you in your business ambitions.

Fulbright New Zealand Graduate Awards
Fulbright offers a range of graduate awards for New Zealanders, in different fields of study:

You may only apply for one award, and should apply for the award most relevant to your proposed field of study. Your application may, at the discretion of Fulbright New Zealand, also be considered for another of our graduate awards providing you meet the criteria of that award.

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To be eligible, you must:

  • have completed the equivalent of four years full-time study at tertiary level and obtained a bachelor’s degree by the time you take up your award;
  • have a minimum of five years’ work experience;
  • plan to complete a Master’s degree in Business at a US institution;
  • have a realistic vision of how you will aid in the development of New Zealand’s economy. Implicit in this is a commitment to return to New Zealand on completion of your award; and
  • meet the citizenship requirements for this award.

Citizenship requirements

You are eligible to apply for this award if you:

  • are a New Zealand citizen;
  • and are not a permanent resident or citizen of the US;
  • and are not currently living in the US.

Preference for Fulbright graduate awards is given to candidates who have not previously received a Fulbright graduate award, or had extensive recent experience in the US (ie. have not studied, taught, researched or worked in the US for a period aggregating more than nine months/one academic year during the past five years).

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  • Return airfare to the US;
  • US$30,000 per year for two years towards the cost of your study;
  • An internship component of up to nine months duration (three months over the summer break between academic years, and six months on completion of degree);
  • Assistance with access to employment networks or venture capital contacts upon return to New Zealand;
  • Access to the Institute of International Education (IIE)’s University Placement Services to assist you with identifying the most suitable US university and academic programme, your application and applying for financial support; and IIE’s ongoing support whilst you are in the US;
  • Participation in a pre-departure orientation run by Fulbright New Zealand before your departure to the US, and enrichment seminars run by IIE throughout your stay in the US;
  • A basic health benefit plan covering a maximum of US$100,000 per sickness or injury.

The value of the Fulbright award is unlikely to fully fund your entire course of study. For this reason, you should investigate additional funding from any US institutions you plan on applying to and other scholarships and private sources. Fulbright students can often source additional funding through the US institution they attend. We have also compiled a spreadsheet of complementary scholarships available in New Zealand which may be held concurrently to a Fulbright award, and encourage you to investigate these sources of additional funding.

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Award conditions

  • Your award must be approved by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board in Washington, DC;
  • Your award is conditional on acceptance into an approved institution and a Master’s degree programme in business;
  • The period of your award is two academic years (usually 20 to 22 months, not to exceed 24 months);
  • Your award must be taken up in the American academic year following official confirmation of the award, and no earlier than July of that year;
  • You will be required to undertake a full medical examination before applying for your visa;
  • You must travel on a New Zealand passport, and US immigration documentation must be completed from within New Zealand. Grantees must use the DS-2019 form provided by Fulbright New Zealand to obtain an Exchange Visitor (J) non-immigrant visa to enter the United States. You will be required to attend a visa interview at the US Consulate in Auckland in order to obtain your visa;
  • International travel will only be funded between New Zealand and the US, and must be on either an American or New Zealand carrier;
  • You may be required to fulfil some Fulbright New Zealand media requirements before your departure for the US, during your exchange and/or on return to New Zealand;
  • You must provide Fulbright New Zealand with copies of any articles, research papers or theses resulting from your award. A final report must also be completed before you depart from the US;
  • You must fulfill your obligations under this particular award programme – complete your Master’s degree and the internship component and return to New Zealand to work in an area of business. Grantees are expected to contribute to New Zealand’s economic welfare over time and, if successful in the business world in the manner anticipated, to contribute back to the Fulbright programme to enable other grantees to have the same experience and benefits as your own;
  • Fulbright grantees must travel to the US on an Exchange Visitor (J) non-immigrant visa. A requirement of this visa is that you must return to your home country for a cumulative total of two years at the end of your exchange visitor programme before becoming eligible to apply to live in the US. This home-country foreign residency requirement is in keeping with the philosophy of the Fulbright exchange programme, that you return to New Zealand to share your experiences. Note that you will not be prohibited from travelling to the US for short-term visits on the visa waiver program or a non-immigrant visa.

Fulbright orientation

It was Senator J William Fulbright’s mission to build peace through the mutual understanding of cultures. Fulbright applicants and grantees are expected to understand and support this mission and be effective ambassadors for New Zealand. In addition to the monetary, educational and cultural exchange benefits made possible by the award, Fulbright grantees carry the prestige of the Fulbright programme along with them throughout their careers. Alumni are expected to succeed and be ‘thought leaders’ in their respective fields/careers, and to support and remain engaged with the Fulbright programme for the rest of their lives. To support their understanding of the Fulbright mission, New Zealand grantees are required to attend a pre-departure orientation programme held each June in Wellington.

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Application process and forms

  • You must complete and submit an online application by the application deadline*;
  • You must also submit all required support documents to us by the application deadline;
  • Interviews will be held in Wellington during the week of 21 July 2014. Fulbright New Zealand will pay the costs of travel to Wellington only for applicants residing in New Zealand. Applicants outside New Zealand who are unable to attend an interview in person may be disadvantaged;
  • We will advise you of the outcome of your application in early August.

* Note that if the application deadline falls on a weekend or public holiday, the deadline is extended to 5:00pm on the next business day.

You should begin researching US institutions as soon as possible while awaiting the outcome of your application, bearing in mind that the closing date for applications to many institutions will fall in December. You should also plan to sit GMAT or GRE tests as required by the institutions you intend applying to. Ideally you should sit the tests in time to include results with your applications (note that for paper-based GRE tests this means sitting the tests by October at latest).

Application form

Applicants must complete the official online application for the Foreign Fulbright Program, which requires support documents to be uploaded and the names and email addresses of three references to be registered. You must apply to the Fulbright Foreign Student Program, not the International Fulbright Science and Technology PhD Program.

Please download and refer to the instructions document within the online application, and refer to it as you complete your application for detailed guidance about what is and isn’t required from individual New Zealand applicants.

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Further information

Graduate Award FAQs

The Fulbright New Zealand Graduate Award FAQs document answers many common questions about our awards:


For further information, contact Programme Manager for this award, Kara Wood – kara@fulbright.org.nz / (04) 494 1504

Fulbright New Zealand has Campus Advisers stationed on all major New Zealand campuses. Our Advisers are all Fulbright alumni who are available to discuss their exchange experiences with students and staff, as well as to give basic information about our awards.

More on Study in the US

The Study in the US section of our website gives you all the fundamental information you need to know about studying in the US, including details of how to identify and apply to suitable universities, which standardised tests might be required for admission and an application timeline.

Past grantees

Fulbright New Zealand graduate student Lucila van Dam discusses her exchange experience in this video:

You can see other Fulbright grantees discuss their experiences in the Video and audio section of our website or on our YouTube page.

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