This year, we are pleased to announce Shirlyn Yen as the first recipient of the Riley Family Scholarship. The scholarship covers the fees of one exceptionally academically gifted student onto the Full-Time MBA, who would not otherwise have been able to fund the programme.
Meet Shirlyn Yen – Riley Family Scholarship Winner
Shirlyn, this year’s Riley Family Scholarship winner, was previously Programme Manager at the UnLtd Social Enterprise Incubation Programme in Taiwan before starting the Full-Time MBA at Imperial. As a founding member, Shirlyn’s programme incubated 18 entrepreneurs who created overall social impact for 500,000+ beneficiaries.
Shirlyn says, “My most successful achievement is establishing UnLtd Taiwan, the first early-stage social incubation program in Taiwan, from scratch. The programme provides early-stage social entrepreneurs with grants, tailored training, mentoring and networking opportunities with the aim to increase social impact through business lens. As Programme Manager, I was in charge of programme planning and operation, from its methodology and strategy, to overall management.”
This year’s Full-Time MBA class started in September 2017 and students are currently studying their Core Classes. “I think the highlight of the programme so far has been the two week induction,” Shirlyn says, “The Programme team designed a series of meaningful sessions for us, including alumni networking, outdoor leadership building, and career development training. Induction provided the opportunity to build relationships with peers and get advice on how to achieve our goals in the fantastic but challenging MBA journey.”
After the MBA, Shirlyn wants to return to the start-up sector in Asia. “In my previous role, I could see that the key challenges facing the development of social enterprises in Asia were the lack of initial funding and development of talent. Compared to general ventures, social enterprises require more time to educate consumers and can fail to demonstrate their profitability at the start, thus losing their appeal to traditional venture capitalists,
My post-MBA goal is to pursue a position in an impact investing intermediary or venture to fill in the gap, and design vehicles to enable the public to invest in impact, generating more money for patients to produce social good.
Shirlyn decided to do an MBA to step out of her comfort zone from working in incubating social innovation to pursuing a career in investment. On the MBA, she’ll acquire the finance-related knowledge and skills she needs to do this (for example our Corporate Finance core class), as well as develop her leadership skills and collaborate with peers from diverse backgrounds.
Attracted to the expertise of Imperial’s MBA in entrepreneurship and finance, Shirlyn says “The Imperial MBA resonates with both my career goals in impact investing and social entrepreneurship education. I also love the relatively small cohort which gives the programme a family-like community that emphasises collaboration over competition.”
Imperial is located in the heart of London, making networking with major players in the sector much easier. London is the most dynamic city in the social impact sector. There are various initiatives and social impact organisations in the city.
On the scholarship, Shirlyn says, “The Riley Family Scholarship is the catalyst to making my plans come true and enabling me to focus on the impact I want to make. I will make good use of the support to learn from the world’s most dynamic social impact ecosystem in London and develop my professional skills in investment at Imperial to optimise the sector.”
About the Riley Family Scholarship
Thanks to the generous donation from the Riley family to support the Business School’s vision, the Riley Family Scholarshiphas been established to support the Business School’s vision of attracting brilliant minds to Imperial, regardless of their background or financial circumstances. One award of £51,000 is available to students joining us in September 2018.
To apply for this scholarship you must be a self-funded student who demonstrates exceptional academic merit or potential, and has come from a disadvantaged background or has overcome adversity.