NEWS | Tips on seeking financial support for your MBA

Published On: Wednesday, 5th Jun 2024


MBAs can be extremely rewarding, helping you to progress your career to new heights. But studying for these at the world’s leading business schools can be expensive. That’s where the £50,000 Sainsbury Management Fellows scholarship can really help.

Some of our recent scholarship awardees reveal their top tips for seeking out financial support to help you tackle those all-important financial decisions.

David MacDonald (Imperial College Business School)

I would recommend reaching out to current MBA students to ask about any scholarships that may be available at their target school. This can help you understand any tips for applying and also connect you with someone who can give you up to date feedback on the MBA course you are interested in.

Alexander Iley (Harvard Business School)

I would recommend starting as early as possible. University websites, like Harvard’s, have a lot of information and advice on what support is available and potential external scholarship opportunities. Many of the external scholarships allow you to apply prior to getting an offer and often have deadlines earlier than MBA admission decision days – so don’t wait!

Konstantinos Moustidis (IMD)

Start your research early and make sure you reach out to the business schools as well. They know what available options might be there for you.

Lia Turrini (Harvard Business School)

Know your value and figure out how to tell your unique story. Seek financial aid based on merit to support your MBA journey: identify sponsoring organisations, like SMF, that value your professional profile, and submit applications that authentically relay your motivation and aspirations for the future.

Chris Holmes (Imperial College Business School)

Talk with your programmes coordinators and research all the options – they are really helpful and often know opportunities for support that are not advertised online. It is well worth identifying what organisations can help you and then putting in the effort to make a good application.

Lynda Nwike (Harvard Business School)

I would say that there are many opportunities available for financial support for the MBA, but you need to appreciate the time to firstly find them and to apply to them. Additionally, don’t discount yourself for any opportunity – yes there are many competitive applicants, but focus on putting your best foot forward and articulating the reasons why an MBA is the best next step forward for you. Being honest, transparent, and genuine in your intentions shine through any application – whether it be for financial assistance or the MBA itself.

Xavier Echegaray (INSEAD)

Firstly, I would say that there are many more financial support options available than one would initially think! There are many institutions that recognise the value that business education brings to society, and it is just a matter of finding the one which best aligns with your background, interests and vision. Once identified, speak to scholars to understand the process and learn how to submit a strong application. Even if the process is highly competitive, don’t be intimidated; a genuine, compelling and well-articulated motivation can go a long way.

Andrew Galpin (Kellogg School of Management)

“Ask, and ye shall receive”- you lose 100% of the scholarships you don’t apply for. Be intentional. Channel the effort you’ve placed into the reflection process of applying to business school into your applications for scholarships. You’ve already done most of the work! Ultimately the MBA is an investment. You need to be comfortable the MBA pays off for you in the long term. Be happy about that, and any scholarships you receive will be the cherry on the cake.

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