After eleven years of working as a marketing executive for the likes of Coca Cola and Schweppes, Belinda Mkangwani from Zimbabwe decided that she should set up her own brand strategy consultancy. But after working at it for a year with her business partner, she realized that she and the company would benefit from a formal business education.
After investigating a number of MBA programmes, Belinda soon realized that as a small business owner, she would not be in a position to afford the costs for at least another 5 years. She also did not fit the criteria for many of the scholarship options available. A friend made her aware of the Kofi Annan Scholarship. It is available through the German school at ESMT in Berlin.
"I looked at the Kofi Annan scholarship, which is designed specifically for students from developing nation. I realized that this was one that I was eligible for. I then looked at the three institutions that offered it and decided that ESMT was clearly the best fit for my aspirations. They have a strong focus on leadership and this is exactly what I need to take my business forward. The application was straightforward and involved me writing a short piece on what I wanted to do with my future career. Something must have fitted for them because they awarded me a full scholarship to study on their Full Time MBA."
As Belinda has a business partner who is a co-founder of her company, she has someone to look after daily operations while she is in Germany. The prospect of spending twelve months in a global centre for culture is certainly appealing.
"Studying in Berlin is a very exciting prospect for me. From everything I have been told, it sounds like it should be a lot of fun. I am a firm believer that the more you interface with different types of people, the more rounded you become in business. Up to now the closest I have been to German culture was when I went to Namibia – which I imagine must be very different!"
The Kofi Annan Fellowship provides the opportunity for talented and motivated students from developing countries who do not belong to a privileged class and lack sufficient financial means to study management at ESMT in Berlin and graduate with a prestigious MBA from the most international business school in Germany.
ESMT European School of Management and Technology was founded in October 2002 by 25 leading global companies and institutions. The international business school offers Full-time MBA and Executive MBA programs, as well as executive education in the form of open enrollment and customized programs. The School also features in-house research-oriented consulting services in the areas of competition and regulation. ESMT is a private university based in Berlin, Germany, with an additional location in Schloss Gracht near Cologne.