Previous graduates celebrate at the SMF annual dinner.

MBA bursaries open business doors to engineers

Eight new engineers have completed their MBA studies thanks to a Sainsbury Management Fellowship.

Sainsbury Management Fellows (SMF) has set a further eight talented professional engineers on the road to senior management following their MBA graduation. This brings the number of SMFs to 283, with a further eight currently undertaking their MBA study.

The graduates had to persuade a panel that they were the best of the competing young engineers in order to be awarded a £30,000 bursary each to offset their MBA study costs at a leading business school.  

Founded by Lord Sainsbury, the not for profit organisation champions the value of a combined business and engineering education and has, to date, awarded over £7m worth of bursaries for MBA study. The funding enables engineers to add business, finance and marketing expertise to the skills gained through their engineering training and experience.

Most graduates go on to secure posts in blue-chip companies, while 10 per cent of SMFs set up innovative businesses. Already, graduate Kimbal Virdi has been appointed by Samsung to work in the company’s corporate strategy team in Korea. Fellow graduate Phil Westcott has joined IBM’s General Management Leadership Programme and is working in the Smart Grid Consulting Division in London.

“The SMF-sponsored MBA opens doors to exciting new careers for engineers,” says David Falzani, SMF president. “Already SMFs hold 220 directorships, including non-executive director posts. It is our ambition to see many more engineers sitting at the boards of British companies because we know they make a significant contribution to their performance.”

Every year up to ten top young engineers receive the bursary after going through a rigorous assessment process run by the Royal Academy of Engineering on behalf of SMF. On securing their MBA, the graduates become members of SMF and gain access to an international network of contacts, continued professional development and mentoring by captains of industry.  

Applications are accepted for review on a rolling basis and more information can be found at  

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