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SMU recipient of the Mastercard MBA Scholarship for Women 2018 holds a focus on serving the community

10 Jul 2018

“Community service has always been my passion and an area in which I have invested a lot of time throughout my student and professional life,” said Lin Qian, recipient of this year's Mastercard MBA Scholarship for Women 2018 and a full-time MBA student with Singapore Management University’s (SMU) class of 2018.


In line with its objective of nurturing the next generation of female leadership, Mastercard announced Lin Qian as the 2018 recipient of the Mastercard MBA Scholarships for Women at SMU.


Recipients of the bond-free Mastercard MBA Scholarship for Women are evaluated and selected based on a number of factors that extend beyond academic track record. Selection criteria include an individual’s work experience, entrepreneurship potential, goals towards career and education and commitment towards community service.


Through the scholarship, which is in its eight year, Mastercard aims to empower full-time female MBA candidates from Asia Pacific, who demonstrate strong potential to become outstanding leaders. The scholarship is part of a broader partnership between Mastercard and SMU to nurture the next generation of female leadership and develop global-ready, business savvy professionals, who are equipped with a passion towards bettering society. To date, 18 young women have received this scholarship.


Lin Qian said, “I am very honoured to have received the prestigious Mastercard MBA Scholarship for Women. In today’s fast changing business environment, it is critical for us to keep our commitment to social responsibility as individuals and corporate organizations. Throughout the years, Mastercard has continuously provided their best support to nurture future women leaders and professionals. The scholarship together with the internship opportunity empower me to pursue my career and professional goals. At the same time, it strengthens my conviction to continue to make positive impact on our community.”


With a passion to serve the community, Lin Qian had chalked up more than a decade worth of experience in community service since her days as a student in Nanyang Girls’ High School. She received the Singapore National Youth Achievement Award (Silver) at the age of 18.


“With the thought to contribute back to the community, I started my first voluntary project at Singapore Boys’ Town in 2006,” she shared. “Many of the children and youth there come from disadvantaged families and face difficulties and hardship in their life due to various reasons such as financial struggles, family issues, emotional trauma and abuse. We went there on a biweekly basis, giving Math and English tuition to them, talking and befriending with them. As a young student, I wished I could contribute in my own way to help them feel loved and valued by the community.”


The rigours of working life did not dim her dedication to making greater social impact. Her five years working in Micron Technology (a fortune 500 company with #1 broadest memory solutions portfolio in the semiconductor industry) heightened her observation that women leaders were underrepresented in technology companies. It got her thinking of how this was something that could be reshaped for more positive outcomes.


According to Lin Qian, “With the goal to help women achieve their full potential in their career, I joined Micron Women’s Leadership Network (MWLN) which was founded in 2017. It helps women in the company to realize their potential, encourage them to take advantage of professional development opportunities and advance their career. We organised discussion forums, training sessions, mentoring activities and networking events for women in the network.”


Quoting Facebook COO’s Sheryl Sandberg on how women may systematically underestimate their own abilities, Lin Qian commented, “I often shared my personal growth journey with many women colleagues during the company organised talks and events. I was the youngest certified quality management system auditor in the company history. Looking back on my professional journey, I achieved a fast career progression with an average of one promotion every year, leading me to the position of senior lead auditor when I left my company at the end of 2017.


These personal career achievements are the results of my strong belief in my capability and potential, my courage to take actions and the support from my managers and many great colleagues around me. In the years to come, I will continue to encourage more women around me to “lean in”, believe in themselves and own their success.” 


On her experience with the SMU MBA programme, Lin Qian said, “Interacting with people of different nationalities exposed me to their different ideas. In such an environment where you encounter fellow graduates from different cultures and diverse backgrounds, it challenges us to smash any stereotypes we may unknowingly hold and to collaborate together effectively on the multiple projects we have on hand. The exposure to classmates of different nationalities helps us to be more self-aware, practise empathy and to understand how others may look at a certain issue due to the different experiences they had.” 


The SMU MBA programme offers a purposefully planned curriculum with an Asian perspective, delivered by a strong faculty panel with extensive teaching and industry track records. The 12-month programme comprises real-world learning from award-winning case studies on Asian and Western companies, interactive seminar-style pedagogy and exposure to an internationally diverse faculty. Participants have the opportunities to engage with outstanding leaders from the business community, and to benefit from an immersive and international learning experience comprising overseas exchanges and business study missions.


SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business has proven itself to be home to one of the world’s best MBA programmes. It was ranked 49th worldwide in its inaugural participation in the Financial Times Global MBA Rankings 2018, where the findings of the Rankings revealed that SMU’s MBA alumni experienced an impressive 134 per cent increase in salary after graduation. Of note, the School placed 37th worldwide for being ‘value for money’, and was named among the best in terms of offering a diverse and global learning environment for students and faculty.

Last updated on 14 Jul 2018 .