Moving and making it abroad means much more than learning a different language or new customs and traditions. The reality is that there are significant logistical, legal, or financial setbacks that can arise and get in the way of one’s success. This is the case for many prospective students who pack their bags hoping to start an academic program in Europe. WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management believes that the path to an excellent education should be as free from obstacles as possible and seeks to honor talented young people hailing from all over the globe. For over ten years, and with the goal of making the academic journey as smooth as possible, WHU’s alumni organization In Praxi of over 5,000 members has been awarding its Diversity Scholarship to master’s students from outside the European Union. This year, the association has announced the first ever recipient of the MBA Diversity Scholarship: Laura Junqueira, a marketing professional originally from São Joaquim da Barra, Brazil, on a mission to, in her own words, “foster diversity in [her] surroundings.”
Considering herself a “product of diversity,” Junqueira first cut her teeth as a lawyer and later made headway in the corporate world. Her extraprofessional efforts—from mentoring a young academic as they enter university to establishing a women’s committee at her office—continue to have a positive impact on those around her. After many years studying and working in São Paulo, she is now bringing that same tenacious spirit to WHU. And she will be in good company, as international students with a diverse professional background make up 80% of the MBA student body at WHU. The second scholarship recipient will be announced later in the fall.
In Praxi understands that claiming a seat in the classroom can be much more complicated for anybody coming in from outside the European Union. Apart from navigating a complex and continued visa process, international students are sometimes excluded from certain public funds reserved for European nationals or long-time residents, and many often encounter difficulties when attempting to secure loans from local banks. The MBA Diversity Scholarship is designed to ease these worries, offering two students each year (one per cohort) financial aid to cover part of their tuition. The ideal candidate, such as Laura Junqueira, reflects the school’s core values and exhibits a passion for promoting diversity—both at WHU and in their personal and professional lives.
WHU alumnus Stephan Schubert, executive partner at STS Ventures and board member of the In Praxi Foundation, said, “In Praxi launched the In Praxi Diversity Scholarship more than ten years ago to promote a diverse student body, and, since then, we have sponsored more than 30 students. As an alumni association, we want to contribute to equal opportunities for talented young people.”
Klaudia Wilde, Director of Development and Coordinator of the In Praxi Diversity Scholarships, emphasized that “diversity and inclusion are increasingly relevant and necessary in all areas of life—including business, society, and politics. As a university, we are advocates for diversity and are striving to give the new generation what they need to live and work in a diverse society.” She urges those interested in the In Praxi Diversity Scholarships to reach out to her directly to learn more about what can be done to generate impact and change.
WHU has partnered with some of today’s most well-respected companies, financial institutions, and academic organizations, as well as its own robust alumni network, to offer scholarships targeted at a wide variety of students—including budding female entrepreneurs, academic high achievers, social activists, and more. Those in need of financial support for their studies at WHU are encouraged to browse the scholarships catalog.