Power of Self Confidence and Networks
“I never used to see myself as a business person, but the GE Foundation Scholar-Leaders Program inspired me and gave me enough self confidence to start my own company, making software for some very big clients. It really changed my mind set,” said Tomas Kaczmarczyk, student in mathematics from Poland and one of the speakers at the 10th anniversary of the GE Foundation’s university scholarship program.
The milestone was celebrated with a four-country multi-stakeholder conference, in Budapest on July 9. It highlighted the importance of collaboration between business, government and the academia on a regional basis to develop a new generation of future leaders who can make a difference in CEE. 70 current and alumni students participated at the event together with rectors of various universities and representatives of GE and the Institute for International Education (IIE) which manages the scholarships. The Hungarian Minister of State of the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice Dr. Zoltán Kovács and US Ambassador in Hungary Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis addressed the crowd.
Zoltán Kovács underlined the importance of establishing a tradition of sharing knowledge and experiences with international partners.
György Zolnai, President & CEO of Budapest Bank, emphasized the value of the program from a business perspective. These scholarships are “filling a gap” and are “an investment in the future,” he said. In ten years, 430 students have been taking part in the program, GE leaders donated 2,500 volunteer hours and the GE Foundation has invested nearly $2 million. No wonder Agnes Vajda, director of IIE, proudly called the scholarship program “truly unique” and “very exemplary.”
Please watch a video of the 10th anniversary below :
Read an English summary on the event at the government’s website.
Have you ever participated in a scholarship that changed your life? Share your experience in comment.