Morgan Stanley
  • Diversity
  • Jul 11, 2022

Our Future Generation Scholarship Program Welcomes Its Initial Class of Interns

We celebrate the first participants in our program designed to help young people from diverse backgrounds in the U.K. pursue careers in the financial industry as they begin their internships with the firm.

One spring day in 2021, Mahir, a 19-year old student at University College London, saw an unknown number pop up on his mobile screen. The mystery caller turned out to be a Morgan Stanley campus recruiter reaching out to offer him a Future Generation Scholarship. The scholarship, part of an initiative the firm had launched that February, provides tuition assistance and career-development support for up to 25 U.K. students a year who are from ethnic minority and/or socially mobile backgrounds.

“I was close to tears,” recalls Mahir, who had applied to the newly launched program a few weeks earlier after attending two previous introductory finance programs hosted by the firm. “The Scholarship will take away the financial struggle and allow me to solely focus on my university studies.”

Mahir and the other Future Generations Scholars each received a grant totaling £10,000 towards tuition fees and living costs while at university, as well as a professional support network and other personalized career guidance. It all represents the firm’s commitment to a multiyear investment of more than £1 million to support the advancement of diverse U.K. students as part of its overall program to attract and recruit more diverse talent. 

Announcing the First Cohort

This summer, we welcomed Mahir and 24 other Future Generation Scholars to our internship program, the next step in their journey with the firm. In preparation, each scholar was paired with a dedicated mentor and was also invited to participate in tailored training and networking opportunities. 

The  Future Generation Scholarship Program is one in a series of diversity initiatives championed and funded by Morgan Stanley’s Institute for Inclusion, which was established in November 2020 to support underserved communities and drive workplace diversity and inclusion, among other equality-driven goals. The program is the firm’s first aimed at diverse university students in Europe and followed the launch of the Morgan Stanley HBCU Scholars Program, which supports students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the U.S. “We hope to ignite the career aspirations of underrepresented and/or disadvantaged groups by addressing specific factors that may impede their application and career outcomes, such as socio-economic and racial disparity,” says Katrina Hayes, an Executive Director within Diversity and Inclusion in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

Adds David Russell, Global Co-Head of Institutional Equities and Co-Chair of the Future Generation Scholarship initiative, “This program could be a game-changer for so many students who may be financially burdened by life at university and uncertain about their career prospects.”

Benefits Beyond Tuition Support

Indeed, the goal of the program is to give students more than just financial support, and that includes the kind of personal connections that can make all the difference in establishing a successful career. “Mentorship and sustained support is critical, especially for students with little to no prior knowledge of the financial sector,” says Arun Kohli, Chief Operating Officer for EMEA, and the other Co-Chair of the Future Generation Scholarship initiative. Kohli knows from personal experience just how important such connections can be—and how hard it can be to make them for those from disadvantaged backgrounds—recalling the hurdles he faced pursuing a career in finance. “Advice from experienced professionals was invaluable when I could not get that guidance from family and friends,” he says. “I would not be where I am today without the support of my professional network, especially during the most crucial decision-making moments of my career."

Mahir hopes to find similar success one day working at Morgan Stanley, and he is counting on the Future Generations Scholarship to pave the way. “I can’t wait to see where it takes me,” he says.

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