To date 283 engineers have succeeded in winning an SMF
scholarship to study for an MBA at a world class business
school. You could be about to join this group of talented
individuals who, once qualified, forge outstanding careers in major
companies or develop their own thriving enterprises, thus helping
We asked SMFs and candidates currently studying for their MBA to
think back on their application and assessment experience and share
their thoughts and tips on making a strong case for a scholarship.
Here they tell us what things to consider and how to impress
the panel while being true to yourself.
There is bound to be something here to inspire your application,
so do dip into to this valuable source of advice throughout your
application process - good luck!
Are You Really
- Ensure you have completed your professional engineering
registration and are close to reaching Chartered status.
- Be very clear about why you want to go to business school, and
how you see it accelerating your career. Ideally, you should
have a 3-year and 10-year plan.
Don't be Shy - Sell your
- Make sure your application tells a story about you, about the
capabilities you think are important and about the way you have
demonstrated them to colleagues. Learn how to tell that story using
illustrations of successes and failures in words and for your
- When filling in the online form, think about the various skills
and qualities you are being asked to demonstrate, and also show how
you expect these will be supplemented by your MBA. Don't
limit yourself to your professional experience - extracurricular
activity is useful too, particularly if it demonstrates leadership
A Winning Application
- Don't waste space in your application on unnecessary filler
words. Every sentence should, if possible, say something meaningful
and interesting about you and demand a follow-up question.
Don't forget, it's not just work and career that is your
ammunition to enrich the picture. Your leadership,
communication and innovation skills will be evident in many other
areas of your experience.
- Demonstrate your professional achievements as well as your
contribution to the broader society. Include details of
extracurricular activities such as charity work, competitions,
committee work, training workshops for students and
professionals, working for professional institutions and writing
research papers. Detail these activities, their impacts
and any awards received.
- Consider your presentation opportunity very carefully.
It's your unique chance to dictate what the selection panel
hear and see. It's your best opportunity to sell yourself.
Think about your preparation as well as technical and
- In your presentation know that your message is not what you did
or how you did it but why you did it and how
you impacted people around you. History or a
technical review means nothing if you can't integrate it with what
you are trying to say about you. Remember,
Technology is only a very small component of Engineering
Leadership. People are by far the largest factor.
- Don't just present to the panel. Engage them to draw out the
questions you want them to ask. Your Q&A session should
never be regarded as a passive exercise.
Winning Interview - The Devil's in the
- Your interview will fly by so make the most of it!
- Be prepared to talk about your achievements when you
were 7 years old! You can be asked questions about your
very early life and travel experiences - things that may not
feature on your CV. Also, be prepared to discuss
technical details of your projects as well as your leadership
- The interview panel is looking for colour around what you've
put in your application and get an understanding of you and what
you're hoping to get from your MBA.
- As the panel may be interviewing candidates back-to-back, they
may not have remembered all the detail in your application, so it's
up to you to cover all the areas you want to highlight.
- Don't be afraid to use your time at the end of the interview to
mention one or two aspects of your candidacy if you haven't been
able to discuss them during the main part of the interview.
- Be natural and genuine during the interview. The interviewers
are your future SMF colleagues, and are looking for individuals
that bring richness and diversity to the Fellowship.
Produced with contributions from the following SMFs
and MBA Candidates:
David Falzani - Chief Executive of Polaris
Associates & SMF Executive Committee Member
James Raby - Investment Director, SEB Venture Capital
& SMF Executive Committee Member
Phil Westcott - Business Consultant, IBM Global
Fang Fang - MBA Candidate, London Business School
Faisal Bachlani - MBA Candidate, London Business