QS MBA Leadership Scholarship: 2019 Winner

QS MBA Leadership Scholarship: 2019 Winner main image

We’re pleased to announce that the winner of this year’s QS MBA Leadership scholarship is Krutika Pursnani.

The scholarship awards one student US$10,000. The recipient must attend a QS event, start their first year of MBA study in the next academic year, and the scholarship must go towards tuition fees.

We caught up with Krutika to find out more about her plans and to hear all about her tips for a successful scholarship application.

What are you studying, and why did you choose the university you applied to?

I’m pursuing my full-time MBA at Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.

As someone who thrives independently, exploring opportunities, Haas’ approach of fostering curiosity, collaboration, leadership and a sense of community, while driving change through bold and innovative ideas resonates with me.

The school’s defining leadership principles, which include questioning the status quo and looking beyond yourself by leading ethically and responsibly, truly spoke to me as it is exactly what I am looking to do post MBA. I felt the culture would be an ideal fit, matching my eagerness to merge business and impact.

Additionally, I felt from interactions with alumni and current students that the many unique courses, and the myriad of resources through the Center for Social Sector Leadership, such as the ‘Berkeley Board Fellows’ and ‘Social Sector Solutions’, offered the perfect environment to explore and work with organizations and initiatives across causes and geographies, and gain insight into the dynamic field of impact-based business development.

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

As a Founding Member of SheSays, a non-profit focused on ending gender based discrimination and advancing women's rights, I have gained significant experience in launching and leading an organically grown non-profit.

Post-college, I have also been working with Ernst & Young’s Advisory practice to build my business and analytical acumen.

Through my MBA, I hope to gain hands-on experience in and out of the classroom to better solve complex problems through innovative solutions, capitalize on existing resources and further develop my skill set.

This would help me pursue my goal of merging my experience in business and impact, to further pursue affecting sustainable change.

What was your experience of a QS event like? What would you recommend to future attendees? 

The QS event extremely helpful. Not only did the event encourage me to pursue my MBA through conversations with college admissions staff and fellow students, but it also helped me significantly when choosing which schools to apply to that best suited my interests and goals.

An internet search can only take you so far, but the opportunity to network with the school representatives from across the globe, ask specific questions, and be able to connect with relevant students, alumni and staff that could provide more insight, is one that was extremely valuable for me.

I would definitely recommend spending as much time as possible to explore the various booths and ask whatever questions may come to mind, as well as try and attend the sessions of your target schools to gain better understanding.

What difference will this scholarship make to you? How would your plans have differed without this financial support?

The scholarship will definitely play a role in helping reduce my financial burden. I’m still continuing to take a loan for the remaining costs; however, this scholarship has helped reduce that amount and in turn, the related stress for my family.

What advice do you have for prospective students applying for scholarships?

The best advice I could give to other students is to not be discouraged or flustered with the endless applications and options available to you during the application process.

While applying to them all might seem like the safest bet, it is the right fit that really works out in the end. So be sure to take the time to explore all available options, because time doesn’t allow for you to try every lead.

Try not to focus on every new opportunity you hear or read about, because I spent weeks filling out countless initial applications, only to later be informed that I wasn’t eligible due to some missing component.

That being said, do try your best, because pursuing an MBA is an extremely significant undertaking and you never know what might work out, just like QS did for me!

Written by Niamh Ollerton

Niamh is Assistant Editor of TopMBA.com, creating and editing content for an international MBA student audience. Having gained her journalism qualification at the Press Association, London and since written for different international publications, she's now enjoying telling the stories of the business world.  

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