How a QS scholarship helped me achieve my MBA dreams | Top Universities

How a QS scholarship helped me achieve my MBA dreams

By Craig OCallaghan

Updated Updated

Alex Pitt was one of the first-ever recipients of a QS scholarship, which enabled him to pursue his MBA dreams. We caught up with Alex to discover how his career has progressed since his studies.

As one of our first-ever scholarship winners, can you share a bit about why you applied?

I would say it was a combination of factors. Part of it was the nature of the prize around social impact and social entrepreneurship. I don't think I was sort of explicitly thinking about that being related to my career, but it aligned with what I care about and how I wanted to be spending my time at business school.

Since then, it’s actually become a core part of what I'm doing now in social impact venture investing. Today, there are obviously so many ways that people can engage in social entrepreneurship and social investment, but back then it was much more niche.

Another reason I applied for the scholarship is that it was a large amount of money (US$10,000) and I was somewhat stressed about having to cobble together a lot of money to fund my business school degree, so that really played a meaningful role in in helping me support it.

How did your business school experience align with your expectations when you applied?

I don't think there were any massive surprises. It can be hard to maximise all the elements of a business school experience, so you have to make trade-offs and identify the areas you want to spend more time on. You can't do everything, especially if you want to sleep for seven hours a night!

I probably didn't devote myself as much as some of my classmates to really studying hard, so maybe there's some some regret I didn't spend more of my time on that. But I have so many wonderful memories and I think, for me, the biggest thing that I've taken away was not what I learned in the classroom but the relationships, the friendships, the community that I'm now part of.

How do you think opportunities for MBA graduates have changed over the years?

It's very hard to generalise. There are certainly more opportunities for people to think about social impact within their careers and I do think generally speaking graduating students are thinking more about their purpose and finding a career that’s rewarding both financially but also in terms of contributing to society.

It's not about changing the world. It's just about getting up every morning and feeling obviously energised by what you do and feeling like you're having a difference.

What would be your advice to the current generation of MBA students?

Get to know people who graduated recently and learn from their experience what they really enjoyed.

If you can afford to do so, try and visit a school before applying and have a look around the campus, meet people there and get a feel for what's so special about it.

In terms of what not to do, it feels obvious to say but be as specific as possible in your application about your reasons for going to your chosen school. What about them resonates in terms of their approach, their values and their people?

Where very smart people often fall short is you sense they’ve not carefully thought through their application and you sense that the school they’ve applied to actually isn’t their preferred choice. It’s why you should speak the truth, from the heart, and not write something just because it’s what you think someone wants to hear.

This article was originally published in . It was last updated in

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