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        UK Thrill-seeker Receives £34,700 Manchester Business School Scholarship

        MBA student Gareth Wilson has swum the English Channel and run across the Sahara desert, but this summer he'll be interning at McKinsey

        Adventurer and charity fundraiser Gareth Wilson is one of the first full-time MBA students to be awarded the prestigious Excellence and Opportunity Scholarship from Manchester Business School

        Gareth, 30, comes from Manchester and loves to push himself to the physical limit. He has swum the English Channel, run across the Sahara desert, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, and attempted to row across the Atlantic Ocean.

        He tells us that these feats are only partly motivated by the challenge: Gareth's sister was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2008 and so he has put himself at physical risk to raise money for charities.

        After graduating with a Bachelors in Information Systems Engineering from Imperial College London in 2003, Gareth spent four years working in the property finance industry. It was during the Atlantic rowing challenge, which took place between 2008 and 2009 that Gareth had the idea to pursue an MBA. He had been working on some entrepreneurial projects but wanted to gain more business knowledge and grow his network. 

        He says, “I applied for the MBA to work on the ideas I had while on the row. I wanted to learn more about business and to develop a spectrum of skills needed to see the projects through. An MBA was the chance to do this in a risk-free environment.”

        The Excellence and Opportunity Scholarship funded by Manchester Business School alumni, is worth £34,700 and it covers full tuition fees for the full-time MBA programme. 

        “I’m not sure if it was my constant search for the next big challenge, my entrepreneurial flair or my overall positive outlook on life that gained me the scholarship, but I feel extremely privileged to have this opportunity: without the scholarship I could not have afforded to do the MBA”, says Gareth.

        His projects are already making good headway. Earlier in the year, one of Gareth’s ideas won the Entrepreneur's Choice Award at a prestigious business school challenge, the Venture Capital Investment Competition. Gareth and his team mates have been invited to represent Manchester Business School at the European Business Plan Competition hosted by London Business School this June.

        Ultimately, Gareth aspires to take his career forward in private equity. He feels that Manchester’s alumni are well placed within the industry and that the courses he is taking will prepare him adequately.

        We asked if he has planned any more adventures in the near future and he says he would love to cycle across America and perhaps attempt the ‘Iron Man’, a triathlon reported as gruelling for even the fittest athletes but "nothing too crazy". "My girlfriend won't allow it", he says. 

        Manchester Business School offers a number of generous but competitive scholarships to candidates with outstanding achievements and credentials, who have the potential to become ambassadors and contribute back to the school. Awards are between £5,000 and£34,700 and fall into categories of funds for women in business, personnel from the armed forces, entrepreneurship scholarships, young talents, and many more. Visit their MBA scholarships page to view the full range on offer.