Show me the money!
By Shola Adenekan
MBA programmes, as well as being valuable educational experience and good investments are also expensive.
A two-year program at top business schools like Harvard or London Business School may cost over US$100,000 in tuition and living expenses.
Fortunately, there are many options and opportunities for talented minorities to obtain assistance with funding their MBA studies.
With minorities currently under-represented in Corporate Europe and Corporate America, many organisations offer scholarship and fellowships to encourage prospective students of colour.
Independent foundations are another important source of scholarship funds. You can find lists of their scholarship and eligibility criteria on the internet, local library and agencies like the British Council.
The key point is to do thorough research to see that you meet eligibility criteria for sponsorships.
Some business schools offer students financial aids in the form of part-time employment under what is known as a work-study programme. These jobs help students earn money for educational expenses but cannot be expected to provide enough money to cover living expenses.
Jobs under work-study programmes are usually based on campus and accommodate the student’s academic schedules. These may involve teaching undergraduates, research and resident assistantships for students with the appropriate experience.
If you are interested in work-study programmes, you should contact the school to which you are applying, for information on these opportunities. But be aware that work-study programmes are highly competitive and are often dish out on first-come first-serve basis. So, you need to apply early.
If you are currently in a promising managerial position, your employer may be willing to pay for your MBA studies whilst working for them. In most circumstances you will have to study part-time while working full-time.
But believe you me, this is a worth-while move as you’ll be getting a meal-ticket for life, paid for by someone else!
In Britain, some Black students finance their students through special loans designed for MBA students by reputable High Street banks like Natwest and Lloyds TSB. For prospective students in the UK, it might be worth your while to speak to your bank manager or shop around for good loan deals.
However, in America, many Black students finance their MBA studies through merit graduate loans. US citizens and permanent residents are also eligible to apply for the Federal Government-funded loan programmes.
Business Education loan, the Federal Stafford loan and the MBA loan have competitive repayment rates and overwhelming majority of applicants are successful with their applications.
Helps and advice:
Black and ethnic minorities with MBA under their belts are often sought after by several organisations trying to reflect the diversity of their societies. An MBA is therefore not just for the big corporate boardrooms, public and charitable establishments are turning to MBAs as they seek to develop future leaders.
Almost all business schools provide help and guidelines in career development for prospective students. You can also join the National Black MBA Association, which has branches in several states in America and a branch in the United Kingdom.
In Britain and America, there are also organisations that cater for MBA students from Africa and the Caribbean.
These organisations provide an excellent platform to network and develop what may turn out to be life-long connections and friendship. If you are successful in your MBA application, you should therefore network because this is how you’ll do most of your business when you graduate.
Learning the information is only half of the business school experience, leaving with a rolodex is also very important!
For further information, please see the following websites:
National Association for Black MBAs
Please note that views expressed by external websites may not be that of The New Black
Shola Adenekan is the publisher of The New Black Magazine. He also covers education, careers and obituaries for publications like BBC News Online, The Times (London), The Guardian (London), The Independent (London) and The Christian Science Monitor (Boston).
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