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17 October 2021
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Solidarity 2021 - the MBS Alumni Scholarship has been renewed to help future generations of graduates.

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An increasing number of students are turning to loans to finance their studies... when they can. And for those who don't have access to this type of financing, MBS is mobilizing its entire ecosystem to help them. 

For the 3rd year, an Alumni Scholarship, entirely funded by MBS graduates, will be given to a student. The fundraising campaign has been launched and will run until the end of 2021.

We spoke to Sophie Gosselin, General Delegate of the MBS Foundation for Equal Opportunities, to help you better understand how these schemes work. In this interview, she explains the commitments made by the school and all MBS employees.De plus en plus d’étudiants se tournent vers un prêt pour financer leurs études… Quand ils le peuvent. Et pour celles et ceux qui n’accèdent pas à ce type de financement, MBS mobilise tout son écosystème pour leur venir en aide.  

 

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Hello Sophie. Would you tell us in a few words what are your duties and your role within the MBS Foundation?

Hello to all MBS graduates! First of all, I'd like to warmly thank all the graduates who participated last year to help four students achieve their academic goals. 19,000 euros was raised thanks to the generosity of our graduates.

I'm Sophie Gosselin, General Delegate of the Foundation. My role is to manage all the projects of the MBS Foundation for Equal Opportunities. My duties are cross-functional across the different departments of the school, the business world, the students, and the graduates.

What are your responsibilities?

I bring together the various stakeholders in the school's social policy (fundraising campaigns, committees, and decision-making bodies, representatives of the school's social policy, etc.). We need to coordinate the actions of everyone who work daily and in a commendable way in the service of these students.

 

"We contribute to changing lives and supporting potential talents and their future paths."

What meaning do you put behind the Foundation's actions and your involvement in these projects?

Personally, I find it gratifying to know that we can contribute to changing people's lives and supporting potential and future paths. I talk to some of them every week, which is what it's all about - meeting them. It's always meaningful when you finish your day and you can tell yourself that you have finally contributed your building block [editor’s note: in the success of the students] and that makes me happy.

Why is MBS working with the Foundation for Equal Opportunities and its social policy for the welfare of its students?

We want to encourage diversity within the graduating classes of our students. It's very simple. We strongly believe that diversity in all its forms is an asset for society as well as for the institution. Today, it is an essential part of the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) component of our strategy.

Since 1997, MBS has been implementing and promoting the apprenticeship model, which has proven to be a successful way to integrate students into the professional world. The apprenticeship model is beneficial because it provides practical training for the school's future graduates and enables students to finance their studies through working with the companies.

We introduced scholarships in 2008 that cover all or part of the tuition fees. We've made it possible for applicants who can't take out traditional student loans to have access to honorary loans. The amounts can also vary according to academic and social criteria.

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"It's very simple. We strongly believe that diversity in all its forms is an asset for society as well as for the institution."

In addition to corporate sponsorship, which funds a large part of these schemes, who else contributes financially?

One scholarship is 100% financed by employees.

And the last scholarship created is the Alumni Scholarship, which has been in existence for three years and is financed entirely by MBS graduates. And for us, it was finally logical that the alumni community could in turn mobilize through this scheme.

How does the school's social policy work?

We have two bodies. The first is the MBS Social Committee which is composed of representatives of the programs (Bachelor and PGE), the financial services, the CSR/HR department, and myself. 

And the other is the Foundations Executive Committee made up of representatives of the companies that contribute financially and humanely to this policy.

"We look objectively at the situation of each individual."

In practice, how do you choose the winner of the next Alumni Scholarship?

The Social Committee selects the applications from students who have declared being in financial difficulty. The winner is one of these students.

The school is supported by an independent partner, Face Hérault, which is authorized to examine the student's social situation (standard of living, etc.). On its side, the school looks at the academic aspect (academic results, attendance, etc.). I would like to make it clear that there must be impartiality and competence, as well as ethics and technique,  in the selection of applications.

Among the students who are courageous enough to come forward, we objectively assess the situation of each and every one of them. This system makes it possible to frame and structure equal opportunities for each person.

 

Is it just a matter of money?

It's not about just giving students some money and leaving them to manage things on their own.

There’s the human aspect that comes into play when you get involved in their lives to help them and support them in their success. So the financial side counts (housing, food, paying for studies, etc.), but there's also a support and relationship side to make sure that the student feels well equipped for his or her academic career.

Along with the teams of the Social Committee, we follow up with them every month to check on their integration, schooling, and quality of life in Montpellier.


"The Alumni are part of the MBS community"

Why is it important for Alumni to mobilize for future generations?

Alumni are part of the MBS community. I'm sure that some of them have benefited from the actions, or at least have seen these values of equality and solidarity being practiced when they were studying here, whether it was in their classmates or in their courses. MBS has always chosen to include this solidarity, social and societal dimension in the shaping of the career paths of our students.

Whether or not you have benefitted directly from the school's social policy, giving is a way of showing your commitment to the school and its values. In these troubled times, the significance of such actions is clear.

Today, the Alumni community counts more than 19,000 members. Imagine if everyone gave 10 euros, we could raise up to 190,000 euros. That is huge!

Are there any tax benefits? How much can one donate to the Alumni Scholarship?

There is no limit from 5€ to ... what you can. And yes, know that when you make a donation you benefit from substantial tax benefits: 66% to be deducted from your income tax, 75% from your IFI, and 60% from the corporate tax depending on your status.

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What has become of the scholarship recipients who are now Alumni?

More than 400 scholarship holders have attended MBS since 2008, 80% of whom graduated from the school. Among their success stories, I have news of Nadia (Class of 2015) who works as a Manager at DHL in Germany, and Carlos (Class of 2014), a former international scholarship holder from the Dominican Republic, who now works at the World Bank. More recently, are Milton (Class of 2019) and Maroi (Class of 2020), who are both passionate about research and are now pursuing their doctorates. We are all proud of these stories.

Thank you for taking the time to speak to us. We'll end with leaving the final word to you.

The achievements of these students, of which we are very proud, were only possible thanks to the generosity of all of us. Don't hesitate to make a donation here. Thank you in advance for your support and commitment. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Take care of yourself, wherever you are.

 




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