Konstantinos Pierros knows how daunting an MBA can be. Weighing the financial risks of a postgraduate career-enhancing program against its potential benefits is a formidable task at the best of times. In the context of looming economic uncertainties, the prospect can be even more intimidating.

However, researching and applying for scholarship support for an MBA program provides a positive pathway to offset its financial burden. Additionally, it offers participants a much-needed assurance that their leadership potential is worthy of investment, plus a second network of support from which to draw sector-specific mentoring and advice.

For Pierros, who was awarded a scholarship from the Sainsbury Management Fellows (SMF) towards his MBA, gaining the funding provided several complementary streams of assurance as he embarked on his study program.

“I was very eager to apply for the SMF scholarship, as I considered it to be far more than a substantial financial support. For me, it offered a further confirmation of one’s potential and an opportunity to become a member of the SMF network, a diverse and outstanding collection of like-minded business leaders with an engineering background,” he said.

The Sainsbury Management Fellowship was set up to address the low representation of engineers at management level in British business. By funding top-tier business education for candidates with a strong engineering background and leadership potential, and providing mentorship and networking opportunities, SMF’s intention is to refresh British business culture.

For more than 30 years IMD has been one of the few European business schools evaluated to be of high enough caliber to be considered as part of the SMF program. Of SMF’s 365 fellows, 70% are based in or work in the UK and a majority has had international exposure either through work or study.

Before his MBA program, Pierros had spent eight years at ENERCON, a manufacturer of wind turbine generators and was a vocal part of the global thought community sharing best practice on the transition to renewable energy systems.

His passion for sustainability led to his decision to pursue an MBA program. From it, he hopes to gain the requisite insights and business acumen needed to assume a leadership role in an organization engaged in transformational change to achieve carbon neutral power systems. His search for funding paths led him to the SMF scholarship application process, which he found both challenging and rewarding.

“I got notified that I was invited for an interview and was thrilled and anxious. During the interview, I was asked to present on a subject and then interviewed by a panel. I felt they were trying to get to know me and how I think, so this helped reduce my stress and allowed me to enjoy the last step of the process,” he said.

Pierros’ advice to prospective MBA candidates interested in seeking funding is to cast their nets wide. By planning early, researching thoroughly and getting advice from a number of sources, a strong application can be produced. Finally, he emphasized perseverance as a crucial methodology to apply.

“Do not lose heart if some of your applications are not successful, this process is not easy. However, speaking to people is invaluable; you will be surprised by how much others are willing to help and pass on knowledge,” he said.

 

For more information on the Sainsbury Management Fellows scholarship please visit the Royal Academy of Engineering’s website https://www.raeng.org.uk/grants-prizes/grants/schemes-for-students/sainsbury-management-fellowship