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QS-Alliance Manchester Business School Scholarship: 2019 Winners

QS-Alliance Manchester Business School Scholarship: 2019 Winners main image

Every year, QS partners with Alliance Manchester Business School to offer the QS-Alliance Manchester Business School Masters Scholarship, offered exclusively to attendees of the QS World Grad School Tour who have been accepted at Alliance Manchester.

The scholarship covers 50 percent of tuition fees for two students to study a one-year MSc program at the school, and this year’s winners were Gabriela Souto Cardoso and Umberto Banfichi. We spoke to both of them to learn more about their plans and to ask what advice they’d offer other scholarship applicants.

Why did you choose Alliance Manchester Business School?

Gabriela: I chose the University of Manchester and Alliance Manchester Business School because it’s one of the best ranked institutions and among the most innovative universities in the United Kingdom. It also has an impressive employability rate according to recently published surveys.

Additionally, the city of Manchester manages to be the perfect blend of a warming environment and vibrant student city, with vast multicultural diversity. This is constantly celebrated by outdoor events, museums, restaurants, sports events, and music scenes, which makes Manchester the perfect city for me.

Umberto: I chose the University of Manchester because of its resounding academic reputation and because it provides a program that seems to better meet my needs. Indeed, I was looking for a course where the class composition would have a blend of cultures, and I found Manchester to be the best option, with more than 22 nationalities represented on the course.

What do you hope to gain from your degree? How will it affect your career plans?

Gabriela: With this course, I hope to acquire knowledge of the most important aspects in the field of administration, so I can develop myself professionally.

Umberto: During my bachelor’s degree, I had the opportunity to study in other two countries thanks to the Erasmus+ program. In those years, I realized how important it is to develop the ability to think and work across boundaries and borders.

For these reasons, I chose this program and I expect to acquire and develop skills to help me better understand today's globalised economy.

How did you find the scholarship application process? How many sources of financial aid did you approach?

Gabriela: I constantly used TopUniversities.com to consult rankings and I knew QS also organized several events about studying abroad. During one of my visits to the website, I came across the scholarship pages and since I’ve attended the fairs, I found out I could apply.

Umberto: In my opinion, the scholarship application process was very clear and intuitive. Once I had satisfied the eligibility requirements, I had to write an essay of 700 words explaining how this master’s would affect my career. 

I have to admit that I was quite lucky to have won this scholarship because it was the only one that I applied to. I wrote the essay just a few days before the deadline due to being busy with exams and this is also the reason why I did not approach other sources of financial aid.

What was your experience of a QS event like? What were the highlights of your time there, and what would you recommend to future attendees?

Gabriela: My experience of the QS event was wonderful. I discovered some great institutions with scholarships that I did not know existed. There were some interesting panels and discussion groups with some relevant topics and tips for students that were in the same situation as me.

I took many notes and asked questions and it was splendid to have contact with people that knew exactly what I was going through.

I had the chance to meet someone from the Alliance Manchester Business School. Jemma was the most helpful person, giving me advice on scholarships and loans. Meeting her gave me confidence and was the step I needed to be sure I wanted to attend The University of Manchester for my master’s.

Umberto: I attended the QS World Grad School Tour in Bologna and it was a fantastic opportunity to meet and better understand the universities that were there. Thanks to it, I had the pleasure to talk with the admissions officer from the University of Manchester who answered all my questions with incredible patience.

Some face-to-face meetings were also arranged with representatives of highly ranked business schools which I really enjoyed. Having the possibility to talk privately with them was very helpful as I could find out what admission managers were looking for in a student. 

What advice do you have for other prospective students who are applying for scholarships?

Gabriela: My most valuable advice is to plan ahead! The earlier you start planning, the better.

You will be able to spot every possible scholarship, work on your essays as much as you need to and make your applications as strong as possible.

Make a list of priorities, write down the name of your favourite universities, search which ones have scholarships and check what you need to apply for them. When you have all that information, make a calendar with all the scholarships and application deadlines so you don’t miss anything. It’s all about organization and always having a backup plan.

Umberto: My advice for all future candidates is to try to stand out. Try to catch the attention of the person reading your application right at the beginning and then maintain their interest for the entire length of your essay.

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Written by Craig OCallaghan
As editor of TopUniversities.com, Craig oversees the site's editorial content and network of student contributors. He also plays a key editorial role in the publication of several guides and reports, including the QS Top Grad School Guide.

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