Giving Back

Anna Ong

Being accepted into INSEAD was a dream come true for me. I'd always dreamed of studying overseas at an international school, and suddenly, that opportunity was mine.

However, paying for school and taking time off from work is another issue. I was barely making USD2,000 a month in the Philippines, and suddenly, I had EUR50,000 in tuition and living expenses for a year in Singapore to cover. Suddenly, that dream seemed beyond my reach.

The thought of it kept me up at night.

Educational loans were non-existent in the Philippines, and I had no substantial savings. The firm I was working with didn’t offer educational sponsorships, and I wasn’t sure I could have approached them even if they did.

So I looked into applying for scholarships.

Upon my admission at INSEAD, only the Asia Enterprise Fund was open for applications. This scholarship is for admits who are committed to building a career in Asia. It requires you to stay in Singapore for 80% of the duration of the programme. I wanted to stay in Singapore for the entire year, so it worked for me.

With just a week to apply, I saw it as essential practice for future applications. I requested and received the maximum amount, covering 40% of my tuition.

This scholarship was transformative. Without it, attending INSEAD would have been impossible.

That's why I’ve dedicated myself to giving back to INSEAD every year since graduating. 

I aim to extend the same opportunity I was given to others, regardless of my circumstances.

It's been a 15-year journey of giving back and showing gratitude to those who supported me.

I hope my contributions make a difference, just as someone else’s did for me.

Blog originally published on LinkedIn