Reliance Stanford scholarship – essay
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.