Aspiring to Achieve

21st March 2022

Posted In: WMB Careers

Ifeloluwa William Funmilayo, an MSc in Finance student at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, was awarded the Aspire Scholarship on the basis of her exceptional academic and professional achievements, as well as future potential.

The Drogheda native recently graduated from UCD with first-class honours in undergraduate Economics with a structured elective in French. In addition, she also received a first-class grade in her research project.

“Receiving recognition for my accomplishments to date has given me the confidence to set new, more challenging goals to become the best version of myself,” said Ifeloluwa William Funmilayo.

The Aspire Scholarship Programme was established after the 2010 financial crisis in order to support the recovery and development of future Ireland. The initiative provides talented graduates from across the country with financial support to complete a postgraduate qualification from Ireland’s leading business school. As the country faces new economic challenges, Aspire Scholarships help high-potential candidates unlock their unique talent and drive to become future business leaders.

To date, close to 130 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.

“One of the main opportunities that the Aspire Scholarship has presented to me is the chance to become part of an international alumni network where everyone is committed to helping each other develop professionally,” continued Ife.

Stuart Garrett, Directorate Services Manager of Ambulatory Care, Out Patients and Clinical Programmes at St. James’s Hospital, Dublin, is the President of the Aspire Scholarship Programme, as well as a former recipient.

“The scholarship ensured that I met and learned from other students and professionals completing Masters and MBA programmes at UCD Smurfit School,” said Stuart. “The learning experience and notably, these relationships and networks, have supported me greatly in my career as a leader in the health service.”

“The donor has made a calculated philanthropic investment in future Irish leaders and society, which is critical at a time when we find ourselves emerging from a global pandemic and working to recover and progress in the face of the emerging challenges of war in Europe and a crisis for humanity in the form of climate change,” concluded Stuart.

Professor Anthony Brabazon, Dean, UCD College of Business said at the launch of the 2022 Aspire Scholarship Programme, “For over a decade, we have seen the transformational power that the Aspire Scholarship Programme has facilitated for Ireland’s emerging business talent. Studying and learning alongside the country’s leading business experts, we have seen our students thrive as the scholarship empowers them to pursue their goals. We thank the donors for their unwavering support in the potential of Ireland’s graduates.”

The 2022 Aspire Scholarship Programme is now open for applications. Fifty-percent funding is available for up to nine MSc scholarships and three MBA scholarships for the 2022/23 academic year.

Applications can be made online at before Friday, 6th May 2022.

Pictured: Professor Gerardine Doyle, Director of UCD Smurfit School and Associate Dean of UCD College of Business joins Aspire Scholars for the launch of the 2022 application window. Scholars include Alexandra Doyle (MSc Marketing), Laura Kerin (MSc. HR), Ife William Funmilayo (MSc Finance), Oluwadem (Demi) Awosika (MSc HR), Riona Blaney (MSc Finance), Favour Ogundare (MSc Digital Marketing), Rebecca Desmond (MSc Renewable Energy), Jordan O’Connor (MSc Quantitative Finance) and Rhiannon Gilvarry (MSc Digital Marketing).