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Posted by Chioma Isiadinso
For students who are finishing business school and considering a job in Africa, Harvard Business School is providing a little extra incentive: $150,000.
Recently, the school announced the launch of its Global Opportunity Fellowship, “GO: Africa” for short. The main requirement is to be an HBS alum who is going to work in Africa after graduation.
GO: Africa is intended to cover the difference between alums’ annual salaries and $100,000. The maximum award offered is $50,000 annually and $150,000 total. Starting with the Class of 2018, HBS students will be eligible for the award during the five years following graduation.
Chad Losee, the school’s admissions director, said that the new fellowship would “support HBS graduates who want to make a difference in emerging markets” and would therefore “help attract top talent to Africa and expand the School’s global impact.”
Currently, HBS estimates that it has 1700 alums working in Africa. The launch of the GO: Africa fellowship fits in more broadly with a recent push by the school to expand its presence on the continent.
Last year, for example, HBS opened its Africa Research Office in Johannesburg. According to the school, the new research office will play “an important role in helping HBS develop and strengthen relationships with business and academic leaders across sub-Saharan Africa.”
This year also marks the debut of what HBS calls its “first Africa-intensive course,” titled Africa Rising: Understanding Business, Entrepreneurship, and the Complexities of a Continent.
And in a convenient bit of timing, 2018 will be the year HBS celebrates the twentieth anniversary of the student-run Africa Business Conference.
That said, HBS isn’t the only top business school that offers a fellowship for students who plan to work in Africa after graduation.
Stanford Graduate School of Business awards up to eight Africa MBA Fellowships a year for citizens of African countries who commit to working in Africa for at least two years after receiving their MBAs. However, that award covers tuition whereas HBS’s is intended to supplement salary.
The application for HBS’s GO: Africa fellowship involves writing an essay and elaborating on job offers and career plans. Students can apply in their second year or as recent alums – see the GO: Africa webpage for more information.
Of course, there’s one more significant application requirement: before you can apply for the fellowship, you have to go to HBS!
You might be wondering how your profile lines up at HBS and how you can best communicate your strengths through your application. We can help you figure that out – ask us for a free MBA assessment!