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2024 AMBA Awards Honor MBA Rising Stars

The 2024 AMBA & BGA Excellence Awards saw top MBAs from University of Bradford School of Management and more take home prizes

Wed Jan 24 2024

On January 19th, 2024, the Park Plaza London Riverbank was lit up for this year’s AMBA & BGA Excellence Awards.

Hosted by the Association of MBAs (AMBA), one of the leading business school accreditation bodies, in partnership with the Business Graduates Association (BGA), the Awards aim to highlight leadership, innovation, and achievement in the business education community.

Winners were picked from a global shortlist by a panel of judges comprising AMBA board members, business experts, business school deans, and management leaders, with the awards being presented to an audience of over 200 business school professionals, students, and alumni.

Bradford School Of Management MBA Takes Home Student Of The Year

One of the most coveted awards of the evening was surely the Student of the Year Award, which went to Sonya Bachra-Byrne at the University of Bradford School of Management.

The Award recognized her exceptional academic achievement—she attained the highest average mark in her program at 83.7%—and her commitment to building MBA networks.

In addition to helming a multi-award-winning sustainable startup, Sonya initiated the first MBA Summit with the goal of reinforcing relationships between alumni and students.

“I am deeply honored and thrilled to have been awarded the AMBA Student of the Year 2024!” Sonya said. “This recognition reinforces the profound impact of education as a catalyst for personal and collective transformation on multiple levels, extending beyond academic accomplishments.

“It underscores the pivotal roles of leadership, collaboration, and the creation of a vibrant and inclusive community, which, for me, has been a monumental experience.

“To those considering an MBA journey, I would wholeheartedly encourage you – it has the potential to truly change your life!”

Startup Of The Year Award Goes To University of Canterbury Business School Grads

Another award that prospective MBAs might set their sights on is the Startup of the Year Award, which this year went to Puneet Saini, an alum from the University of Canterbury Business School (pictured).


Puneet Saini accepts the Startup of the Year Award with his co-founder © AMBA

Puneet’s company Script Sense uses cloud computing, process automation, Machine Learning, and AI to reduce errors and boost productivity in New Zealand’s pharmacies. Putting advanced analytical capabilities in the hands of pharmacists has facilitated safer and more efficient healthcare experiences through data-driven decision-making.

“The University of Canterbury really did provide all the right ingredients for us to set up a high growth, high impact, and purpose-led start-up in the form of Script Sense,” said Puneet after his win.

Other accolades up for grabs included:

  • Best Culture, Diversity, and Inclusion Initiative, won by ESADE Business School in Spain
  • Entrepreneur of the Year Award, won by Gaetano Lapenta, POLIMI Graduate School of Management
  • Postgraduate Leadership Award, won by Lorna Conn, a grad from UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School