Fidelma Mulligan is an airline pilot with Aer Arann and currently an MSc in Management (Aviation Leadership) student at DCU Business School. As the recipient of the 2017/2018 30% Club Scholarship, she shares her experience in applying for the scholarship and has advice for anyone thinking of applying this year.

I currently work as an airline pilot and decided to embark on a DCU postgraduate part-time course (MSc Management – Aviation Leadership) as I believed it would provide me with a good basis on which to further my career within the aviation sector. Having applied for the course I was informed by the University of my eligibility to apply for a scholarship sponsored by the 30% Club. I had never heard of the 30% Club before so obviously did some research into their goals. I found they acknowledged and supported a very real need for diversity at management level within companies.

I applied for the scholarship with an “if you’re not in, you can’t win” attitude. I had no formal education after secondary school having pursued a flying career through various courses at a number of flying schools, so I assumed there would be better candidates. It’s no exaggeration to say I was astonished to find out I was the very fortunate recipient of the scholarship.

I know how lucky I am to have been able to follow my passion for flying and make a good living out of It, but I realise there is much more I want to achieve within the industry and education is key to doing this. I would advise anybody wishing to advance their careers not to wait for the perfect course as there are rarely guidelines to follow. Choose something broad to get you started and narrow down your options later. You’ll find yourself gravitating towards your area of interest naturally as you continue your studies – or at least I hope so!

For anybody wishing to apply for the scholarship, I would suggest you have a very clear view as to why you are embarking on your chosen course. I’m not sure I have a certain path in mind or even a clear destination I just know I want to do more. Having strong role models and an idea of the type of manager or leader you want to be is helpful in getting your ambition across. I am fortunate to have met and worked with some wonderful managers who have inspired me.

It is important that the 30% Club continue to shine a light on the many female role models currently in managerial positions. They demonstrate the advantages of a more diverse boardroom in the way they meet challenges and inspire those around them.

About the 30% Club Scholarship

Who Should Apply?: Ambitious female executives looking to advance their leadership and management career.

Scholarship Details: €10,000 scholarship to be used for postgraduate study in DCU Business School.

How to Apply:
The deadline for applications is Thursday, 24th May 2018 at 12 noon.
Applications must be submitted electronically to Caroline Enright, Senior Communications Officer, DCU Business School. Email:
Applicants must meet the minimum entry requirements for their programme of interest and are advised to check the requirements at

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