MBA scholarship supports health graduates to make their mark in the pharmaceutical industry

12 September 2018
Applications are now open for the Alek Safarian MBA Scholarship
The scholarship supports emerging leaders in the areas of pharmacy, pharmacology, medicine, nursing or science.
Alek Safarian

Alek Safarian, the founder of Australia’s largest private medical research firm, Novotech, donated 1.4 million dollars to fund an ongoing University of Sydney Business School MBA scholarship because “good education is integral to success in life”.

Mr Safarian is a University of Sydney pharmacy and MBA graduate and says he was fortunate enough to earn his MBA “through a fully employer funded scheme which is not so common today”.

The new scholarship will fund a graduate from the areas of pharmacy, pharmacology, medicine, nursing or science in the completion of the School’s part-time MBA, ranked as Australia’s number one program of its kind by the Australian Financial Review’s BOSS magazine.

“My academic path, through pharmacy first then an MBA, has served me well professionally and personally,” said Mr Safarian. “Through this gift I hope to encourage new students to find their own success by going down a similar path, and under the same conditions that I was able to enjoy all those years ago.”

After completing his studies at the University of Sydney, Mr Safarian worked in the pharmaceutical industry before establishing the contract research firm, Novotech, in 1996.

“I always had an interest in big business, so straight out of pharmacy school, I joined the pharmaceutical industry where there are a number of opportunities for pharmacists to be involved in either scientific or sales/marketing disciplines,” he said.

“After I gained an MBA, I went down the entrepreneurship path via a startup company, Novotech, which over the time has grown to be the largest Australian firm of its kind with operations in 12 countries in the Asia Pacific employing around 350 scientists.”

The Safarian donation has been welcomed by the School’s MBA Director, Professor Guy Ford, as “an extremely generous vote of confidence in a unique program which aims to equip students with the skills to lead in a volatile corporate environment”.

Mr Safarian’s gift in 2017 is the largest donation by an individual in the Business School’s history. The Dean of the Business School, Professor Greg Whitwell, says it will provide “unexpected opportunities and change lives”.

Applications for the Alek Safarian MBA Scholarship close 24 November 2019. Apply now.

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