SVCF Bright Futures Scholarship paves way to Stanford MBA

Bright Futures Scholarship paves way to Stanford MBA

After working as a management consultant for five years, Jaime Muñoz applied to the Stanford Graduate School of Business to help him take the next step in his career. He was delighted to be accepted – but he said it came with “a big sticker shock.”

“I was trying to see how I could afford the school,” Muñoz said.

Muñoz had experience looking for scholarships to pay for school: When he was a student at Fremont High School in Sunnyvale looking to be first in his family to attend college, he went frequently to the career center, seeking out information about how to apply to college, how to fill out the FAFSA form for financial aid, and where to find scholarships.

Munoz
Jaime Muñoz,
SVCF scholarship recipient

His search led him to SVCF, whose Crain Education Scholarship helped him attend UCLA. He graduated in 2015 with a B.A. in economics.

So when Muñoz needed help paying for graduate school, he went back to the organizations that had given him scholarships for UCLA. That’s how he found out about SVCF’s Bright Futures Scholarships. He received a 2020 scholarship and is now a first-year MBA student at Stanford.

The Bright Futures Scholarship Fund, established in 2010, supports students who show academic promise; who are students of color and/or immigrants, regardless of naturalization status; and who have unmet financial need. Special consideration is given to students who attended high school or are pursuing higher education in the Bay Area. The fund grants up to 20 one-time scholarships annually of up to $10,000 each.

When Muñoz first got to UCLA, he wasn’t sure what he wanted to study or what he wanted to do afterward.

“I went in completely open minded,” Muñoz said. His parents, who immigrated to the United States from Mexico before he was born, wanted him to go to college but didn’t have a lot of concrete guidance. “My dad is a contractor and my mom is a cashier, and I didn’t really have a good idea of what a career looked like.”

He joined a business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi, and got involved with Management Leadership for Tomorrow, a national organization working to create a pipeline of corporate leaders from underrepresented backgrounds. Through these groups, he learned about career paths including financial services and consulting.

One of his internships was with Accenture, which led to an offer of a full-time job after graduation. After several years of management consulting, he applied to business school.

The pandemic has, of course, changed the business school experience.

“Meeting the other students at Stanford has been a great experience,” Muñoz said. “However, one of the key values of going to business school is the networking opportunities, and given the pandemic, it’s really difficult to have social experiences with your classmates.”

Still, the experience is opening up new possibilities: Muñoz is considering post-graduation options such as working for a financial tech startup or a venture capital firm.

Are you curious about SVCF’s scholarship opportunities? Annually, SVCF awards close to 700 scholarships totaling more than $4.5 million. Through scholarships established with the foundation by individuals, families and organizations, we have awarded nearly $22 million to students since 2007. Find an SVCF scholarship that best fits your needs and apply here.