Aspire Professionals

Aspire Professionals is our unique educational and professional development experience in which participants interact with Ivy League professors and inspiring leaders. The program offers you the opportunity to share your innovative passions and ideas with like-minded individuals, on the one hand, and the faculty, organizers, senior board and the Aspire community at large, on the other hand.  

Our five-day program, which you can extend to eight days after admission if you opt-in for the three day start-up sprint, takes place every July in Romania and is dedicated to young working professionals. For the first time ever, the program will be hosted in the vibrant city of Oradea, known for its rich history and cultural charm. Each and every one of our 50 participants is high-achieving, motivated and willing to bring a positive change in the community. They can prove that they have already distinguished themselves as individuals with significant leadership potential and they are committed to continuous improvement, performance and involvement.

The workshops and interactive sessions seek to take our participants out of their comfort zone are taught by Ivy League members of faculty, as well as successful leaders and entrepreneurs. Below, you can find a glimpse of the lectures and workshops that make up Aspire Professionals:

  • Corporate negotiations
  • Authentic leadership development
  • How to build an effective team
  • Strategic planning
  • Design Thinking

Aspire differentiates itself through elective courses which will allow you to create your own Aspire experience and a personalised curriculum, tailored to your needs and interests. 

In addition to lectures and workshops, you will have multiple opportunities to connect, network and form life-long relationships. Below is a sample of activities at Aspire Professionals:

  • Discover how to meticulously set goals and create a plan to achieve them
  • Discuss about the strengths and weaknesses of your leadership style, your professional objectives and what it means to build a successful career
  • Network with a group of highly professional peers

Who are we looking for at Aspire Professionals?

  • Be a young professional, aged 27-35.
  • Demonstrated leadership track: You should be genuinely committed to bringing about positive change in your community, school and respective country, be it through entrepreneurship, policy, student clubs, NGOs, sports, or others.
  • Intellectual maturity and professional excellence: We are looking for young professionals who display high levels of intellectual curiosity and who excel at their job. We do not look for individuals who have a perfect track record, but rather for those who are passionate about their particular fields.
  • Emotional maturity: Candidates must be willing to connect with their peers and open up to discussions, debates, and storytelling. They must demonstrate an ability to purposefully engage with others in ways that help foster a climate of mutual understanding and support.
  • Driven personality: Our participants show a willingness to go outside their comfort zone, take risks and learn from them. We seek young professionals who have demonstrated energy and determination during their careers.
  • Last but not least, it is imperative that applicants have a strong command of English, as the program is entirely English-based.

If the above elements seem to describe you, we gladly invite you to apply and become part of our amazing community! 

What is the application deadline?

We accept application for the early phase that come in until Saturday, March 16th 2024 at 23:59 GMT+2. We also accept applications for the regular phase that come in until Saturday, April 13th 2024 at 23:59 GMT+2. The late phase of applications will be accepted until Saturday, May 25th 2024 at 23:59 GMT +2.

When will Aspire Professionals take place this year?

The official dates for Aspire Professionals 2024 are July 24th – July 28th.

Where are the meetings and courses held?

For the first time ever, the program will be hosted in the city of Oradea.

What is the cost to attend if I am selected?

Early Phase: 550 EUR.

Regular Phase: 600 EUR.

Late Phase: 650 EUR.

The fee covers all program-related costs – workshops and lectures with Ivy League professors, full board (accommodation and meals), personalised materials and many more surprises. We offer full and partial scholarships should you provide evidence of financial hardship (more details below).

*The full price of the Aspire Professionals program is 1400 EUR/participant, the difference being covered by our partners and supporters.

Are there any scholarships that Aspire provides?

Yes! Our application process is need-blind. We are doing our best to offer partial and full scholarships to all participants who prove a need of financial support. After you go through the application process and receive an offer to join us, you will be able to submit an application for financial support. An interview may be also held, to better understand your motivation for requesting the scholarship and adjust accordingly.

While we are trying to accommodate as many scholarship requests as possible, our external funding is limited and so is our capacity to respond positively to all such applications.

Are travel costs also covered by the Aspire scholarship?

Sadly, at this moment we are not able to cover any costs regarding transport.

However, many of our participants have managed to secure some funding from the Career Centres from their universities and other personal development grants awarded by their universities. We therefore encourage you to check with your employer.

Will you help me with my visa?

Yes. The Aspire team provides support to all international students in order for them to get their visa in time. Keep in mind that Romania is a European Union member state. If you are an EU citizen, you do not need a visa to enter Romania. We encourage you to reach out to our team for visa support as soon as you receive a positive offer from our side.

Am I required to attend all sessions?

Yes. We expect our participants to attend all sessions.

What commitments are expected of the alumni?

After the program ends, participants join the ever expanding community of Aspire alumni that is present and active across the globe. Alumni are encouraged to remain involved in the Aspire community in a variety of ways, especially scholarship recipients. These include recruiting and mentoring new participants, promoting Aspire and its programs, becoming part of the organizing team and sharing their experiences and knowledge with future generation of alumni. They will also be encouraged to stay connected with each other, and provide support to the projects and initiatives pursued by their fellow “Aspirers”.

Is there an age limit for participants?

Yes. For this program we select young people between 27-35 years old. If you are younger than 27 years old, then we encourage you to visit our Aspire Academy page. If you are a high school student, then have a look at our Aspire High School program.

I’m interested in the program, but can’t attend this year. How can I receive information about the program in the future?

Please visit our website again when this year’s application period ends. Visit the Home page and follow the instructions to join the notification list!

If I graduated another Aspire program previously, can I apply to another module?

Yes, we encourage you to continue your Aspire journey by following and completing another Aspire program. We believe that the most impactful Aspire journey starts with High School, is followed by Academy and then by Professionals.

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