Simrinder Kaur tells us about the impact for her, of receiving a merit scholarship for the Master of Finance scholarship, taking her from Mumbai to Cambridge.
It was midnight and Simrinder Kaur (MFin 2013) was at a friend’s birthday party when she received the email that made it a double celebration.
“I checked my phone, not expecting to see anything remarkable at all, and saw the email from the MFin office at CJBS telling me that I had been awarded a merit scholarship which covered most of my tuition fees. I was stunned. And right there and then I knew I was going to Cambridge.”
Simrinder had been accepted on to the MFin Class of 2013 in March of that year but had immediately written to inform the School that she could not take up her place without substantial financial support.
“At the time an educational loan in India was charged at between 10–12 per cent interest, and I would have had to put up my parents’ house as collateral. We just couldn’t take that risk.”
But since that letter Simrinder had heard nothing, and this was now July.
“I was fully mentally prepared that it was just not going to happen for me this time, and that I would start the process all over again for the following year.”
So walking into her first MFin class at Cambridge just three months later was both thrilling and nerve-wracking.
“I was very aware that it was still a big risk, and that now I had to work very hard to make sure that I lived up to all that had been invested in me. Receiving a scholarship like this means that you want to deliver academically, it makes you very dedicated and focused in class. And it also makes you very committed to giving back as an alumna.”
Simrinder left a job at Citigroup in Mumbai to take up her place on the MFin, and after graduation she was hired by Partners Capital, a global investment management firm specialising in outsourced CIO services.
But the impact of her scholarship is still being felt now.
“My brother is about to leave India for his masters in the US, and he is only able to do that because I am now able to provide additional support for the family. The standard of living and the opportunities for all of us has definitely improved beyond what we could have imagined before I came to Cambridge.”
Emotionally, too, the scholarship boost was priceless.
“Being given a vote of confidence in your abilities in this way from a place like Cambridge underlines that you are on the right path.