Can a scholarship really assist new graduates in accelerating their career goals? And do you need special skills or knowledge to gain one? Bianca Thatcher IMLa is the inaugural recipient of the IML Eka Suputra Scholarship.
The scholarship is a partnership between the Institute of Managers and Leaders Australia and New Zealand (IML ANZ) and Griffith Business School and is worth $5,000 per year for three years. The recipient also gains an internship with IML ANZ.
We spoke with Thatcher about the scholarship and her internship. She reveals how both these experiences boosted her career prospects as a new graduate.
Q: How has the IML Eka Suputra Scholarship helped you in ways other avenues of career development couldn’t?
A: One of the main reasons I was attracted to apply for this scholarship was that it also included the opportunity to complete an internship with IML ANZ. When studying business, there are so many students but limited opportunities to get experience with professional organisations, so that was a big drawcard.
Q: How was your experience interning with IML ANZ?
A: I really enjoyed the experience. I learnt a lot about different aspects of business which was great because learning about business in theory while you’re studying and then experiencing it in a workplace is very different. Also, everyone I got the opportunity to meet was pleasant and helpful, and they were all keen to support me during and after my internship, which I appreciated greatly.
Q: Did the internship assist with your career and leadership skills development?
A: It definitely did. Undertaking the internship provided me with more practical experience, which gave me the confidence to apply for the job I just secured as a Marketing Assistant. In addition, during the interview process, I was able to draw on things I’d done throughout my internship to demonstrate my experience, which helped a lot.
Q: What made you apply for the scholarship?
A: I first saw the opportunity to apply for the internship on Instagram. When I clicked into the IML ANZ account, the organisation’s work around highlighting female leaders and promoting diversity drew me in. It was so inspiring, and it made me want to be a part of it!
Q: Are there misconceptions about scholarships that you cleared up?
A: Before I applied for this, I thought only a special kind of person could gain a scholarship. I thought you either needed to have the best grades or be the best at a particular skill or activity. I think many students have the same preconceived idea, but there are many opportunities out there if you look and take the time to complete applications. I’d recommend everyone having a go at applying for one as you never know what might happen.
Q: What are the main benefits other students should look for in a scholarship or internship opportunity?
A: Any scholarship or internship is going to benefit you. Most students are at university to ultimately get a job at the end, so any extra experiences or recognition you can get will help your CV stand out from the crowd, especially in a competitive field like business.