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UCD Smurfit School Aspire Scholarship applications open for 2020

  • Date: Tue, Mar 10, 2020

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Dublin, Monday, March 9, 2020: UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School today launched its Aspire Scholarship Programme which provides talented graduates from across the country with financial support to complete postgraduate qualification from Ireland’s leading business school.

To date, over 100 graduates have benefitted from the programme and many alumni have gone on to establish their own business ventures or are employed in leading companies such as Google, McKinsey, Citi, KPMG, PwC, Accenture, Microsoft, LinkedIn, and Facebook, among others.

The Aspire Scholarship Programme was established in 2010 after the financial crisis in order to support the recovery and development of future Ireland. Aspire Scholarships help high-potential candidates unlock their unique talent and drive to become future business leaders. The scholarships are specifically for individuals who demonstrate the ambition to study at UCD Smurfit School and who require some financial assistance to complete their chosen Masters programme.

Fifty-percent funding is available for nine MSc scholarships and three MBA scholarships for the 2020/21 academic year.
Applications can be made online at before Friday, 8th May, 2020.

Professor Anthony Brabazon, Dean, UCD College of Business said at the launch of the 2020 Aspire Scholarship Programme: “Over ten years ago, this ambitious scholarship programme was established during the financial crisis to ensure that aspiring business talent had the life-changing opportunity to learn at the country’s top business school.

Recently, Aspire alumnus Cathal O’Reilly’s company Narcis'sips was named as GQ Magazine’s ‘The Next Big Thing’ for its sustainably priced, reusable bottles. Fellow Aspire alumna Claire Dunleavy, is founder of Dunleavy Bespoke Furniture in Kildare which features the best of Irish design and craftsmanship. It is this entrepreneurial spirit combined with a drive to have a positive impact in society and the world of business that is at the very heart of this enduring scholarship.

We thank the donors for their ongoing belief in the talent of Ireland's graduates, as well as the creativity of our business community.”

Grace Bergin, full-time MBA student 2020, Dublin, said: “As well as easing financial pressure, the Aspire Scholarship gave me the opportunity to connect with a wonderful network of UCD Smurfit School students and alumni. Through several Aspire community events during the year, we have the opportunity to get to know the scholars, past and present, and forge lasting friendships.”

Ollie Kelleher, Executive Masters in Business Administration student, 2021, Co. Cavan, said: “The Aspire Scholarship presented a huge opportunity for me by providing financial support to undertake the programme. I never realised what a strong network existed within Aspire alumni and have found them to be extremely welcoming and supportive. It is great to gain exposure to multiple industry professionals with vast levels of experience. I strongly recommend the Aspire Scholarship to prospective students looking to advance their career and network by applying to this year's programme.”

Aoife Kiernan, MSc International Business, 2017, Aspire Alumni President, Healthcare Advisory Consultant, said: “The Aspire Scholarship Programme offers more than any scholarship recipient could envisage. While providing an exceptional benefaction towards tuition fees, Aspire further enables recipients through their progression into the Aspire alumni community. This community consists of over one hundred talented and driven members leading in multiple industries around the globe. The Aspire alumni support new members in the academic, business and social facets of their development enabled through multi-disciplinary backgrounds ranging from private, limited companies to senior leadership roles in global organisations.”

Learn more about the Aspire Scholarship Programme and how to apply at

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