Every year, QS offers a combined $7million in scholarships to MBA students who attend one of their events around the world and complete their MBA Applicant Survey.
This year’s winners have now been announced and QS got in touch to learn more about their career goals and how much the scholarship means to them. QS also asked for their top tips to help you with your own scholarship application.
QS Leadership Scholarship: Azubuike Achara
The QS Leadership Scholarship is worth US$10,000 and is awarded to the applicant who best demonstrates an exceptionally strong level of leadership and innovative thinking. This year’s winner, Azubuike Achara, will be pursuing his MBA at Harvard Business School.
Azubuike originally studied engineering and, prior to his decision to undertake an MBA, worked first as a management consultant and then a flow assurance practitioner specializing in solving operations related problems in the oil and gas industry for a major multinational energy company. However, his great passion has always been solving problems that impact humankind and the environment at large.
He told us: “While my engineering career has enabled me to do this to some extent, I can’t help but feel that there’s more. What ‘more’ means is still not clear to me and this is one of the main reasons why I’ve decided to study for an MBA. The MBA is one of the few programs that equips one with a structured thinking approach to solving problems while simultaneously exposing one to life-changing experiences.”
Advice for other applicants:
“Don’t self-select out of the process! I almost did this with QS MBA Scholarship for Leadership. For some reason, I didn’t think I could compete. Fortunately, one of my interns encouraged me to go for it and I did. Imagine my surprise and joy when I got the winner notification email. So, believe in yourself and give it your best.”
QS Community-MBA Scholarship: Omonefe Etomi
The QS Community-MBA Scholarships are worth US$2,000 and are awarded to five different recipients. One of this year’s winners is Omonefe Etomi, who will be studying at HEC Paris.
She told us: “I chose HEC Paris because I want to work across Africa, particularly West Africa so learning French and French culture and building that network is important for me. HEC ticked all the boxes. Not to mention, there’s also an opportunity for exchange programs and the program isn’t too short either.”
The scholarship will provide vital support in funding her studies, especially as the value of her savings dropped after the economic crisis in Nigeria.
Advice for other applicants
“Just go for it. When I was applying for this, I was hoping I would get it but I didn’t think I would. Luckily this didn’t discourage me, because I thought to myself: ‘What do I have to lose by applying?’. Sometimes, you just need to believe in yourself and show people what you’ve achieved. I’m glad it worked out for me and I’m sure it’ll work out for many others.”
QS Community-MBA Scholarship: Ligia Abril Benhumea Flores
Another of this year’s Community-MBA Scholarship winners is Abril. Originally from Mexico, she plans to study her MBA at Hult International Business School, having been attracted to the school by its strong focus on entrepreneurship and innovation.
Abril told us: “I am a very dynamic person with an innate passion for innovation and knowledge. I’ve been an entrepreneur, having been CEO and co-founder of an IT startup in Mexico that develops software and telecom infrastructure for the government and the private sector.
“Hult International Business School’s MBA program will improve my leadership skills, adaptive thinking, resilience, and negotiation abilities, which are fundamental to scale my current business.”
Advice for other applicants
“If it was easy then everyone would do it. Take the chance and never give up. The truth is that the scholarship process isn’t always easy. In fact, it takes hard work and dedication. But this is a fact that actually works in your favor. Take the time to look for specific scholarships and you may find yourself with even more notable odds of winning one if you are able to seize the opportunities.”
QS Community-MBA Scholarship: Luis Richard Larrea
Our final scholarship winner to be interviewed in this guide is Luis Richard Larrea from the United States.
Luis plans to study at Olin Business School, where he hopes to find a like-minded community. He told us: “I chose to attend Olin based on my value alignment. The experiences of my refugee, immigrant family have given me an appreciation for diversity and Olin seeks to ‘embrace the diversity of individuals, cultures, ideas, and opinions’.
“My short-term professional goal is to work for a consulting firm in business strategy. As a consultant, I will continue to progress my skills in the areas that I have enjoyed as an attorney and have my leadership, collaboration, quantitative analytics and technology proficiency skills challenged at a more demanding rate.”
Advice for other applicants
“My advice for other prospective MBA students applying for scholarships is to be organized in identifying scholarships that align with your personal and professional values and goals and allow yourself extra time to complete the applications. I would suggest going through a deep self-reflection process and really being authentic about yourself and your values and your goals in presenting yourself for scholarships.”