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Reliance Stanford scholarship – essay

June 17, 2008

Things can’t get better than this for Indian MBA applicants. If you are an Indian and your dream hovers around an MBA from Stanford (or you’d like it to hover there! ), please be enlightened about the Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowships awarded by Stanford every year to 5(max) applicants. Yes its a free ride all the way, from applying for GMAT to applying for Stanford, and to attending the programme !

There’s one caveat, if you wish to call it so – one needs to return and work in India within 2 years of graduation, for a minimum period of 2 years in any sector (and NOT necessarily for Reliance). This is more than a fair deal. Its ideal for me since I am looking for a career in India post-MBA in any case.

Question – would I have Stanford in my list if this scholarship was not around ?

No. Its a stretch college, with one of the most selective entrance process in place.

First step is to qualify for the scholarship and be among the 50 finalists. The scholarship application is very basic and simple, with one essay (250 words) – How do you aspire to shape India’s future ?

If you read that in one shot and have grown up in India, and if you were asked to state the question again, chances are that you’ll state the question as – How do you aspire to CHANGE India’s future ? That is, if you think like me. I made that mistake, until I re-visited the question. The wish for changing the way things are is now so strong and inherent in me that I need to remind myself that this is a different question. Just one essay, and a brilliant one.

Do you aspire to SHAPE India’s future ? Or do you aspire to give it some shape ?

The topic evokes a lot of emotions, but this is not a treatise on whats wrong with India or what works for India or anything to do with India. The question is about you – how do YOU aspire to shape India’s future ? Are you passionate about your country, do you feel strongly about something YOU can do, to shape its future ?

Big talk should be avoided. Unless the panelist is just looking at how creatively you write.

So, big question – Do you really think you can shape India’s future in any way, apart from becoming one of the highest tax payers in a few years (oh well, even a Stanford MBA won’t get you in that bracket in India 🙂 ). If you are in it only for big bucks, I would suggest that you try your hand at creative writing. 250 words won’t take long especially if you simply rephrase the question wisely enough and enough number of times.

If you really want to make a difference, and an MBA from Stanford will empower you to achieve the same, go ahead and pour your heart out. It may sound unrealistic in the end, but then so can your dream of getting into Stanford. Remember, a dream isn’t a dream if its not unrealistic.


14 Comments leave one →
  1. June 22, 2008 9:42 pm


    Great Blog…..

    A really good analysis of Reliance Stanford scholarship essay

  2. June 25, 2008 8:42 pm

    Analysis is fine but my god man. It is absolutely mind bending difficult to fit nything into 250 words. Forget my masterplan to shape the future of a country of 1 billion, 250 words is a complete mismatch with the topic at hand.
    All being said , Ive just finished the essay and trust me it was excrutiatingly difficult.

  3. ahembeea permalink*
    June 25, 2008 9:25 pm

    Hi Anandha & Ajay, thx for visiting. Isn’t it fun to fit it in 250 words ? 🙂

  4. July 5, 2008 12:50 pm

    Dear aspirants, I am one among you. I feel that the fellowship screening panel looks for what is your mind about shaping the India’s future (dreams). How well your background, experience and future education gives you the capability deliver such dreams.

    Infact, it is quite difficult to put that in 250 words, but that shows the synthesis of our views in holisitc way.

    Good luck everybody.

  5. ahembeea permalink*
    July 5, 2008 6:46 pm

    Giridhar – that, as well as our suitability for Stanford, I guess. Good luck !

  6. April 15, 2009 1:15 pm

    250 words are enough for essay for MBA in Stenford/Reliance. Rightly said by Shakespeare ‘ Brevity is the soul of wit’

  7. U.S.A permalink
    April 22, 2009 8:25 pm

    hey i want to write the essay but where am i supposed to write it…i cant find any link on this page…plz somebody help me!!!!

  8. mtronz permalink
    May 7, 2009 9:39 pm

    Hiii Guys,
    I’m too like u, have aspired to be STANFORD MBA. Reliance is living to legacy of Shri. Dhirubhai Ambani…n so lot of Indians can now have more dreams about STANFORD… I have still year to enroll in process! neways Best Luck to all u guys!
    ur help is always APPRECIATED!

  9. Vishal Pandya permalink
    May 13, 2009 8:01 pm

    nice insight about the the subject of an essay ! Thanks.

  10. ashwin permalink
    May 27, 2009 8:54 pm

    Hi guys,

    I am too looking to try for this great scholarship. I am in my T.Y.Bsc-IT right now, so just wanted to know if I can apply this year or should i wait for the next year.

    Its the biggest dream of my life to pass an MBA, and getting this scholarship would be the biggest gift to my hard work by GOD.

    I am from a poor family and, dont think would be able to finance my education any further. I worked for international BPOs and any how funded to reach my current qualification. But my struggle to fulfill my biggest dream will continue.

    Though my writing and communication skills are not good. But will try to do my best at the Essay and ‘pour my heart out’. Hehehe, just learned this phrase from the above article.

    Thanks Guys, and Best of luck.

    God Bless

  11. Mayank Jain permalink
    May 28, 2009 5:09 pm

    Can you please help me find some sample essays for reliance stanford scholarship?

    Thanks in advance,

  12. Pankaj permalink
    August 19, 2009 2:59 pm

    I got through to top 50 this year 🙂 yippee !!!

  13. ahembeea permalink*
    August 19, 2009 4:11 pm

    Congrats! Well done ! Go for it from here!

  14. Narmin permalink
    December 15, 2009 12:01 pm

    great blog 🙂 very very nicely put!

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