Members of the Griffith Business School Alumni Advisory Group (AAG) have come together to donate funds from their own pockets to create a brand new $3500 scholarship for a GBS student.
In a first for the University, members from the group have each donated $500 of their personal funds to provide this remarkable opportunity.
Chair of the AAG Paul Hodgson says there was a very important reason he wanted to contribute his own money to the fund.
“As a first in family university student, my Griffith University education set the foundations for a successful career,” he says. “Education is the springboard for personal and professional success, and knowing that my donation goes towards making a quality education possible for another student is richly rewarding.”
Fellow committee member Caroline Bennison agrees. “I believe education can change lives. It can teach a person to think deeply and critically, enabling a greater contribution to community and society. Donating to the Griffith Business School scholarship will make education available to students who are talented but financially disadvantaged,” she says.
Caroline explains that she and Paul, along with fellow committee members Matt Hoskins, Philip Leitch, Joshua Lumley, Tom McGuire and Andrew Stone had been brainstorming ways in which they could inspire other alumni to donate to a scholarship when Matt suggested they should donate themselves and lead by example.
AAG member Josh hopes their unanimous decision to make a contribution will show how important philanthropic support is in the business industry. “We wanted to demonstrate to the wider Griffith alumni community that you don’t have to be a local icon or wealthy individual to donate to the School,” he says. “In creating the scholarship we want to show what a small group of individuals can contribute as a collective, and just how big an impact that can have on a student’s life.”
Paul believes there are many benefits to philanthropy, especially within a business school context. “I have learnt that giving, whether it is time, money or other assistance, is immensely satisfying. Making a difference to other people’s lives brings a great sense of purpose and impact.
“One-third of university students in Australia graduate from a business school,” he says of the import of philanthropy within the business context. “In all sectors and walks of life, business skills provide graduates with the ability to start, scale and maintain any positive initiative,” he says.
The group members say there’s much to be gained from taking advantage of this scholarship opportunity and have offered their advice on how to go about applying. “Tell your story,” Paul suggests. “It’s so important to be yourself and be honest about your hopes and dreams and how the scholarship will help you achieve them.”
He continues: “By applying, you’ve already demonstrated the initiative that will drive your success in life, regardless of whether you gain the scholarship.”
Josh emphasises that it’s important to think beyond the classroom. “Explore what a scholarship like this could do for you as a student of Griffith University and how it is going to put you at the forefront of your fellow students,” he suggests.
Caroline’s advice is very straightforward. “Meet the deadline, it is the real world!” she says. “Secondly, be positive and make sure you apply. It’s really surprising that many scholarships and awards receive little to no applications. You have everything to gain, and very little to lose.”
Alternatively, if you’re considering giving back or doing your own bit to support up-and-coming University talent, Josh suggests several ways you can do so that don’t need to be financial. “Attend alumni networking events, re-engage yourself in the community where you learnt it all and don’t be afraid to offer advice to students or ask fellow alumni how you can become more involved and give back to the School,” he says.
Paul agrees: “Universities are very diverse and there will always be a way of giving support that suits your interests,” he explains. “As the AAG has shown, you can pool your resources with colleagues, a sporting club or your social circle. And if you aren’t in a position to contribute financially, then offering to mentor a student is a valuable initiative for both yourself and the student.”
Want to apply for the GBS AAG Scholarship? Click here.
Want to find out more about giving back through providing advice and guidance to students? Read about our eCareerCoach program.