Aspire Scholar Network Accepting Applications

11th April 2023

Posted In: Be In The Frame

“The Aspire scholarship programme was the key facilitator in allowing me to undertake the MSc in Aviation Finance and pursue my goal of further education,” said Nicole Matko, who graduated from UCD with a BComm degree last year.

Born in Wexford, Nicole was raised speaking Hungarian with her mother and Romanian with her father. The family later moved to Dublin where she attended St Joseph’s Secondary School, Stanhope Street, an inner-city Deis school, where she was prefect and deputy head girl.

Nicole was awarded the Aspire Scholarship on the basis of her exceptional academic achievements, as well as future potential.

“Due to the generosity of the benefactors, alongside the community of scholars and alumni, my career journey has been guided by an invaluable support network,” continued Nicole, a native of Dublin.

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 and helps high-potential candidates unlock their unique talent and drive to become future business leaders.

To date, 138 graduates have benefitted from the programme and alumni have gone on to establish their own business ventures or are employed in leading companies such as Accenture, Citi, Google, KPMG, McKinsey, Microsoft and PwC, among others.

In 2022, nine Aspire scholarships were awarded, with four towards students pursuing an MBA and the remaining five spread across Masters degrees in Aviation Finance, Financial Data Science and Digital Marketing.

Karl McEntegart, Associate Director in Management Consulting at KPMG, is the Vice President of the Aspire Scholarship Programme, as well as a 2017 scholar recipient. “The Aspire network and UCD Smurfit School MBA were the catalysts I needed to transition from running my own business to pursuing a professional career with a globally recognised firm like KPMG.”

“The donor’s generosity is helping to shape the Irish leaders of tomorrow,” Karl continued.

“The financial support provides high potential candidates an opportunity to study at Ireland’s leading business school, but what is even more beneficial is the network and strong bond that has been created amongst the Aspire scholars.”

Upon the launch of the 2023 Aspire Scholarship Programme Professor Anthony Brabazon, Dean of UCD College of Business said, “Over the last thirteen years, we have seen how the power of the Aspire Scholarship programme continues to support recipients well into the future through the dedication of the Aspire Alumni Network to support the incoming cohort. We have seen our students thrive as the scholarship empowers them to pursue their goals. We extend our sincere gratitude to the donors for their vision and continued support of Ireland’s future leaders.”

The 2023 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 2023/24 academic year.

Applications can be made online here before May 16, 2023.

Pictured: Nicole Matko graduated from UCD Lochlann Quinn School of Business in 2022 with a BComm degree before being awarded the Aspire Scholarship on the basis of her exceptional academic achievements, as well as future potential.