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How An MBA Scholarship Can Unlock Your Career Potential

An MBA can enhance your career and boost your personal development, but gaining these opportunities can be costly. Here’s how an MBA scholarship can unlock your potential


Mon Feb 5 2024

Every year ambitious professionals from a wide range of industries enroll in MBA programs aiming to boost their career prospects. 

Offering opportunities to enhance your understanding of business theory while also undertaking diverse and practical experiences, an MBA program can provide you with the tools needed to excel in the workplace. 

But the high cost of tuition means unlocking the many benefits an MBA brings can be expensive. Luckily, today many top business schools offer scholarship opportunities to make studying more accessible. 

The benefits of an MBA 

The typical MBA curriculum teaches business fundamentals—including subjects like marketing, human resource management, and business analytics—helping you to develop  a well-rounded business acumen. 

However, an MBA is about more than just learning from a textbook. 

Perhaps equally important are the other opportunities you gain during your studies. Studying on a top program can help expand your horizons by gaining insights into different cultures and embarking on international experiences.

For example, during the Full-Time MBA program at Sungkyunkwan University SKK Graduate School of Business (SKK GSB)—ranked the number one MBA program in Korea—students embark on global study trips where they spend time with real companies in foreign locations. 

This is bolstered by practical learning opportunities where students work with companies to solve their business issues during consulting projects. This helps SKK GSB MBAs implement their learnings from inside the classroom. 

The blend of both rigorous theoretical learning and practical experiences that a top MBA provides means students graduate with a firm understanding of business concepts and how they can use them to make an impact in the workplace.  

When it comes to securing employment after graduation, among the key benefits of an MBA are the access to career support and networking opportunities that enrolling can unlock. 

The impact of this combination of learning and access to opportunity is demonstrated by the success MBAs have after graduation. Among the graduating class from the SKK GSB Full-Time MBA in 2023, 93% secured employment. 

Unlocking these benefits with an MBA scholarship 

So what’s the catch? Well, accessing these opportunities is understandably expensive. The SKK GSB degree costs around $38,000 (₩51,700,000). 

However aspiring MBA students can often find a range of scholarship and funding assistance options that help reduce the cost of study. 

Those who enroll in the SKK GSB Full-Time MBA have the possibility of gaining an Incoming Student Scholarship, amounting to around $9,000 (₩12,000,000). There are also other similar scholarships offering varying amounts to students based on the strength of their applications. 

Recently, the school also opened its Kelley-SKK GSB Dual Degree Fellowship up to international students. This allows students to undertake two degrees, spending one year studying the SKK GSB MBA and another studying in the US, at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business. 

Students can enhance their study experience while engaging with a diverse range of international MBA peers and alumni. Tuition costs for the year spent in Korea are paid for under the fellowship. 

“This allows you to earn MBA degrees from both institutions and seize a distinctive opportunity to explore Asian culture in the technological hub of Korea while also studying at Indiana University,” says Sarang Zoo, admissions and PR manager for the school. 

Kelley is not the only partner school offering opportunities to SKK GSB MBA students. All students have the option to undertake a semester abroad towards the end of their degree, with the likes of MIT Sloan School of Management in the US, EDHEC Business School in France, and IE Business School in Spain taking part in the scheme. The SKK GSB Study Abroad Fellowship offers participating students the opportunity to gain full a waiver on their first year tuition. 

Scholarships can therefore not only help you gain access to an MBA program and all the opportunities that brings, they can even lead to further opportunities to enhance your learning experience. 

How to land an MBA scholarship? 

Landing an MBA scholarship can be tricky, however. With limited numbers of places available on scholarship and fellowship schemes, admissions teams are often highly selective. 

Scholarship-hopefuls must present a strong application, with elements such as GMAT scores, GPAs, and years of professional experience all playing a part in the selection process. 

Also important are your responses to application essays. A top essay response will cover how you have prepared for pursuing your MBA and demonstrate your understanding of the value that particular program provides. Applicants who can articulate their career plans after graduation, including the specific roles they aspire to, and how the MBA can help them get there, will have the best chance of success. 

“We prefer candidates with over two or three years of professional business experience, explains Sarang. “We’re seeking individuals with a clear career plan beyond graduating from the SKK GSB MBA and possessing the potential to surpass their current career.

“We particularly recommend those who want to experience Korean culture and pursue the leading global MBA in Korea,” she adds. 

A successful application typically results in an invite for an interview. Here, you must explain your motivations for enrolling in the program and put forward how an MBA will help you achieve your goals and guide your post-graduation career. 

“It is recommended to prepare in a manner that highlights these aspects during interviews,” Sarang adds.  

So, with a variety of requirements to fulfil, it’s no easy feat to land an MBA scholarship. However, success during the process will help you gain access to all that an MBA has to offer, and help you unlock your potential as you take your next career steps after graduation.