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Rebecca Kilbane

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Scholarships play such a critical role in reducing the gender imbalance in MBA programmes. The support from Forté has enabled me and hundreds of other women to follow our ambitions, which will continue to pay dividends for the rest of our careers.

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

The international diversity of the Cambridge MBA attracted me. There are 51 nationalities represented in my new class. The international diversity offers a unique opportunity to learn from peers who have lived and worked in regions I’m interested in. The international knowledge shines through during every conversation from the queue for coffee to the classroom. It's incredible to become part of this global network with friends all over the world.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

I had the privilege of working with Dr Sanjeev Arora, Founder and CEO of Project Echo, an award-winning healthcare model that ensures patients in underserved communities have access to care. The Echo model has been implemented in 31 countries and across 100 diseases and conditions. I was responsible for implementing Project Echo in Ireland, which involved identifying partner hospitals and consultants to participate in the pilot. I was also responsible for lobbying the Minister for Health. After securing the support of the Northern Irish government, a Palliative Care Echo was launched, linking 22 community nursing teams with consultants in teaching hospitals to increasing patient access to care.

How do you feel about being awarded your scholarship?

I am very thankful to the Forté Foundation for this generous scholarship. It is an honour to be selected by an organisation that I greatly admire for their significant contribution to increasing the number of women in leadership positions through advocacy, training and scholarships. Scholarships play such a critical role in reducing the gender imbalance in MBA programmes. As of 2017 women make up 37 per cent of MBA classes globally. The support from Forté has enabled me and hundreds of other women to follow our ambitions by pursuing an MBA, which will continue to pay dividends for the rest of our careers.

What do you want to get out of the MBA most of all in the next year?

My top goal for the next year is to invest time in getting to know and learning from my fellow classmates. They come from over 50 countries and a wide diversity of industries. Every day brings a new friendship and conversations that ranges from growth trends in South Africa to the best kept secret restaurants in Hong Kong. Cambridge provides a unique historic backdrop for these friendships to blossom. And long after we have finished the degree, I look forward to visiting my MBA friends in every city in the world.

Where do you see your MBA journey taking you in your future career?

I want to launch a company that improves access to healthcare for women in developing countries through technology. The MBA will play a central role in my journey towards this goal by equipping me with critical skills and filling gaps in my commercial knowledge. The MBA has also given me unqualified access to a support network of peers and alumni who I can connect with to help advance my goals.

Something that not many people know about you

I lived in Copenhagen during my Erasmus study abroad programme.

Scholarship awarded

The Forté Foundation Fellows Scholarship

Nationality

Irish

Education

Bachelor of Arts Trinity College Dublin

Pre-MBA career

Director of SNP Communications EMEA