The IMD MBA Stewart Hamilton Scholarship calls for applicants to demonstrate corporate governance and ethics values. Aizhan Ormantayeva was awarded the scholarship for 2021.

After doing my master’s degree in the UK I came back to Kazakhstan and progressed in financial analysis in a national Oil & Gas company for 8 years. However, I began missing a higher learning pace and wanted to engage more with social impact work. At that time, I did not clearly see my future career. I travelled, studied for international certifications, obtained an entrepreneurship experience by joining our family business, switched industry to pharmaceutical, and broadened my network.

During my preparations for CIMA exams, I enthusiastically examined business ethics and corporate social responsibility themes. This domain fascinates me because it addresses the ESG deficiencies that I observed a lot myself and triggers my interest in leadership. Last year I lectured on this topic in a local business school. While describing exciting cases I got inspired to move towards contributing to similar corporate solutions.

One of the reasons for my interest in the pharmaceutical industry is that it involves challenging decisions in terms of concurrently considering social issues, profitability and scientific progress. I learnt about different stakeholders’ perspectives in this field while managing a family business for almost 2 years. Working currently in a big pharma, I appreciate the scales of business ethics priority in an advanced global company.

To pursue my goals, I needed to boost my skills and I started exploring MBA programmes. All I was looking for I found in IMD: transformational focus on early mid-age professionals, modules on top-notch business solutions, and state-of-the-art career counselling. On top of that, IMD offered a scholarship requiring an essay on a topic that I was passionate about.

I believe that strong purposes and dreams are often facilitated by various means. I was fortunate to encounter people who enriched my horizons and opened new doors. And my experience with IMD so far has been amazing. An IMD alumnus gave me precious advice. My admissions manager, Paola Eicher, has been highly professional and benevolent. These days IMD’s MBA Participant Services team, Career Development advisors and Professors are assisting us to get ready for our big journey.

I would like to express my enormous gratitude to IMD for unleashing opportunities for women from developing countries, and certainly to the IMD alumni and Professor Stewart Hamilton’s family for supporting the scholarship, corporate governance and ethics. Naturally, I am deeply indebted to my parents for permanent encouragement and for always being great examples to have.


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