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How a scholarship could help your Alliance Manchester MBA journey

For many, the biggest barrier to studying an MBA is the cost. Though Alliance Manchester Business School takes pride in having a much more affordable MBA programme than many counterparts, especially our US equivalents for example, securing the next steps of your career and applying to an MBA is still a financial decision in part, and any help that participants can get with funding is incredibly helpful. It could also be more achievable than you might think.

For some applicants, securing a scholarship really is key to achieving their MBA.  Recognising this, Alliance Manchester Business School is proud to offer a range of scholarships to potential applicants in order to not only relinquish the financial burden for participants and give many the opportunity to study, but also ensure that the school’s MBA cohort is as diverse as possible. Approximately 50% of Manchester MBA self-sponsored students secure themselves a scholarship, ranging anywhere between 10% to 50% of the cost of their MBA.

A range of scholarships

Many of those on the MBA programme are supported by scholarships of various amounts, funded directly by Alliance Manchester Business School. The scholarships are awarded as part of the admissions process, normally at the same time as an offer is made. The majority of the scholarships are granted on a rolling basis, so candidates who apply early may have a stronger chance.

The business school also has a number of partnerships to ensure that even more participants have the potential to secure additional funding for their MBA. These include the Forté Foundation and the 30% Club, both tailored towards outstanding female applicants, as well as geographic-specific partnerships in both Mexico and Colombia.

A moment of pure joy

“I can still vividly recall the moment I received the scholarship email; it was 2 AM in China. I screamed in front of my computer and leaped onto my sleeping flatmate's bed, eager to share my moment of joy immediately”. Joey applied for the AMBS scholarship, in order to study at Alliance Manchester, as she was worried about the financial cost of an MBA prior to application.

“Before applying for this programme, I hesitated for a long time due to financial concerns. Even though I firmly believed this programme was the perfect fit for me, the anticipated expenses were slightly beyond my financial capability. Without this scholarship, I wouldn't have been able to afford the MBA programme at Manchester entirely and merely from my savings,” Joey says.

The scholarship has helped Joey to have the opportunity to pursue an MBA programme, and she believes this will not only help her future career, but also allow her to make cherished friendships and potential business partners with her outstanding classmates.

Insights form networking

The potential to network with others on the programme and gain insights from those with experience from all around the globe is also something that Charlotte Overli finds most exciting about the Alliance Manchester Business School MBA programme. Charlotte applied for the Forté Foundation scholarship – a scholarship aimed specifically at outstanding female applicants to MBA programmes globally, in order to empower and advance their careers – which “made it much easier to make the choice to temporarily put my professional career on pause for 1.5 years and pursue my MBA,” she says.

Learning by doing 

One of the key reasons Charlotte was drawn to the Alliance Manchester MBA programme was because of the ‘hands-on’ approach to learning.

“I spent a lot of time researching the various MBA programmes in Europe, before eventually landing on AMBS for its emphasis on real-life consultancy projects and its renowned faculty,” she explains, believing that it is incredibly important in the scholarship application process to “have faith in yourself, your accomplishments, and your abilities. Highlight your relevant experiences and don't hesitate to showcase your achievements. Finally, be your authentic self and let your personality shine through!”

Forte Foundation

Also a Forté Foundation scholar, Trinh Huong says that securing her spot at Alliance Manchester and the scholarship “validated my hard work, dedication, and academic accomplishments, making me feel honoured and motivated to excel in this MBA journey.”

Trinh says that you should ensure your application showcases how your own personal goals and values align with those of the scholarship, and be ready to “to discuss your accomplishments, aspirations, and how the scholarship will support your goals.”

This is something that helped Trinh secure her scholarship, an important factor to accepting a place at Alliance Manchester Business School, as it “alleviated financial concerns and reinforced my belief that this programme was the right choice for my academic and career goals, showing the university values diversity and supports aspiring female leaders like me,” she says.

Applying for a scholarship from the US

For Joanna Bailet, the Alliance Manchester MBA is a great opportunity to “learn from people who have come from all walks of life, work backgrounds, and cultures.” The diversity of the business school, and the different perspectives that come from that, is something that inspired Joanna to apply to Alliance Manchester Business School. Joanna, originally from the United States, applied for the Forte scholarship, confident in her own ability but aware that scholarships are incredibly competitive.

Joanna found the cost of an MBA to be the main driver for applying for a scholarship too.

“I knew that MBA programmes were going to be an expense that I needed to prepare for and a driving factor for me to apply for programmes outside of the US was the cost of education. I was determined to keep my loans to a minimum, or zero, if possible.” Receiving the scholarship allows Joanna to feel confident following her MBA, as she knows it is affordable, and says that prospective students should do plenty of research into scholarships, as they’ll be surprised how many are available.

Finding the right scholarship fit for you

Someone who certainly did their research into available scholarships was Esteban Aristizabal Isaza, an MBA student who took advantage of the business school’s agreement with COLFUTURO, a scholarship which allows Colombian students to receive a discount on their Full-Time MBA. Esteban says that the scholarship was a key factor in his application to Manchester, as coming from Colombia he had high hopes of securing the scholarship, and it is helping with the financial burden in a currently challenging economic market.

“The financial support provided a crucial buffer due to global economic challenges and increasing inflation. It made pursuing the MBA more feasible, alleviating concerns about the economic strain,” he says.

Esteban’s key piece of advice, other than researching rigorously into available scholarships, is to apply as early as possible. “I would advise prospective students aiming for a scholarship next year to apply early. The university operates within a budget, increasing the likelihood of securing financial support if you're among the early applicants.” He also believes that it is important to invest as much time as possible into your application, articulating your aspirations, purpose and vision to really standout.

The AMBS scholarship

Also from Latin American, Lucas Cordoni was able to take advantage of the AMBS scholarship and secured funding towards his MBA at Alliance Manchester Business School too. The key motivation for Lucas in pursuing an MBA was “to explore new career paths” and is most excited about “participating in business competitions, network events and the internship,” he says.

Lucas attended an MBA event in Brazil prior to applying to the business school, where he was able to speak with the admissions team about both the programme and the potential scholarships available. Lucas believes that this part of the application process is incredibly important as the admissions team “can give you more information about how likely you are to receive a scholarship and what you need to do to make your application stronger.” Whilst he also suggests that applicants should apply in earlier rounds, as a way to ensure you are more likely to receive a scholarship.

Be authentic when applying for scholarships

Whilst for Juliet Maina, being as authentic as possible in telling your story and not following any formulaic techniques or templates is key to a successful scholarship application. Juliet applied for, and secured, the Forte scholarship to study her MBA at Alliance Manchester Business School, and also advises other future applicants to “spend enough time to do self-introspection, to know who you are and what motivates you, and have a sense of pride in your accomplishments and excitement to share that with others.”

Juliet says that she was aware that the scholarships were incredibly competitive, so after finding out she was accepted for one she felt “very privileged, humbled, and indebted to confirm to the scholarship programme that they had made the right decision, by exploring full potential of the Manchester MBA and growing into a great ambassador for the programme.”

For Juliet, the chance to explore new career alternatives, expand her networks and immerse herself into the Manchester culture and community are new and exciting opportunities that have arose from receiving the scholarship.

Receiving funding makes life a lot easier

Career opportunities and the chances to network that come with an MBA programme were also key drivers to applying for the Alliance Manchester MBA for Viet Nguyen, who is particularly interested in the opportunities that the student clubs bring, specifically in venture capital and private equity. Viet applied for the AMBS scholarship and secured 50% funding towards his MBA, which he says will “significantly help with my financial situation and makes me believe that the university is truly devoted to diversity and embraces excellence.”

To successfully secure a scholarship, Viet says that emphasising how a scholarship’s objectives and criteria resonates with your aspirations is key. “You should be ready to discuss how the scholarship aligns with your goals and values, particularly in promoting diversity and inclusion within both academic and professional spheres. This entails showcasing your academic and professional accomplishments and demonstrating your commitment to these principles,” he says.

The key to a successful scholarship application

Highlighting those key personal, professional and academic achievements is also something that Sam Williams says is key to a successful scholarship application. Sam, who is from the UK, applied for the Joseph Wright scholarship and advises future applicants to “be very clear on your motivations to study an MBA specifically at AMBS. And importantly, articulate what you hope to contribute back to the business school and wider community. Think of it as AMBS are considering to invest in you, what would their ROI be? Why should they invest in you?”

Like many other participants of the Alliance Manchester MBA, Sam was attracted to the school’s unique “Manchester Method” of teaching, which emphasises hands-on, practical learning, and Sam says that “being awarded the scholarship further cemented my desire to study here, as it showed the school’s commitment to investing within the next generation of future leaders - some of whom may not ordinarily have had the opportunity to undertake an MBA.” For Sam, like many applicants, the global nature of the MBA was also a key selling point, and the “diverse mix of cultures and perspectives” is something he looks forward to experiencing more.

If you would like to learn more about the scholarships that are available to MBA participants at Alliance Manchester Business School, we would encourage you to reach out to one of Lewis, Nan, Charlotte, Rupert, Ekaterina or Chris in the MBA recruitment team who will be delighted to have an informal conversation with you to learn more about your study interests, career goals and how our scholarships could help you. Please email and a member of the team will set up a call with you.

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