Aspire Professionals

Applications are now closed

The application period for this program will open in January 2022!

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 takes place every July at Ana Hotels in Poiana Brasov and is dedicated to young working professionals. Each and every one of our 40 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 Harvard, Stanford and other Ivy League professors, 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

Starting with 2021, we are introducing 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 25-30.
  • 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! 

*In 2021 Aspire will organise its flagship summer program physically in Poiana Brasov, Romania while adhering to the Romanian and European Union health and safety guidelines. The wellbeing of our students, professors and staff are our primary concern and we will take take all necessary measures to comply with all local, national and international requirements. We are closely monitoring the situation and are in contact with authorities to assess and implement any additional guidance, of which we will keep all participants informed.

Applications are now closed

The application period for this program will open in January 2022!

In 2021 Aspire will organise its flagship summer program physically in Poiana Brasov, Romania while adhering to the Romanian and European Union health and safety guidelines. The wellbeing of our students, professors and staff are our primary concern and we will take take all necessary measures to comply with all local, national and international requirements. We are closely monitoring the situation and are in contact with authorities to assess and implement any additional guidance, of which we will keep all participants informed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the application deadline?

We accept application for the early round that come in until Sunday, February 14 th 2021 at 23:59 GMT+2. We also accept applications for the final round that come in until Sunday, April 25 th 2021 at 23:59 GMT+2.

When will Aspire Professionals take place this year?

The official dates for Aspire Professionals 2021 are July 28th – August 1st.

Where are the meetings and courses held?

All events will take place at Ana Hotels in Poiana Brasov, Romania.

What is the cost to attend if I am selected?

Early Phase: 400 EUR
Regular Phase: 500 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 1200 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 the participants who prove a real 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. We will then ask you to send us a few documents and to answer some questions in order to support your motivation for requesting the scholarship.

If you are from Ukraine, Armenia, the Republic of Moldova or Georgia, we have some special scholarships for you that cover travel costs, as well as the participation fee. Make sure to mention your citizenship in the application.

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. We do help you with transportation from Bucharest to Poiana Brasov and return, where the programs take place. As for the rest of the travelling costs, you will have to handle them yourself.

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 university.

If you are from Ukraine, Armenia, the Republic of Moldova or Georgia, we have some special scholarships for you that cover travel costs, as well as the participation fee.

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 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. 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 25-30 years old. If you are younger than 25 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

How will the Aspire 2021 programs be organised considering the corona virus pandemic?

In 2021 Aspire will organise its flagship summer program physically in Poiana Brasov, Romania while adhering to the Romanian and European Union health and safety guidelines. The wellbeing of our students, professors and staff are our primary concern and we will take take all necessary measures to comply with all local, national and international requirements. We are closely monitoring the situation and are in contact with authorities to assess and implement any additional guidance, of which we will keep all Aspire Professionals participants informed.

Aspire Program Current Professors and Speakers

Details

Steve Jarding

Former Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government
Details

Luciana Herman

Lecturer in Public Policy, Stanford University, PhD in the Art of Writing
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Sam Potolicchio

Professor at the EMBA programs at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown and at the Mannheim Business School
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Phil Malone

Professor at Stanford, Innovation and Intellectual Property
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Janet Martinez

Director of the Martin Daniel Gould Center for Conflict Resolution and Senior Lecturer in Law at Stanford Law School
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Nadia Roumani

Lecturer in Design Thinking at Stanford University
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Elisabeta Moraru

Country Manager of Google Romania
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Steve Schelhammer

CEO of Phytel
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Alis Anagnostakis

Public Speaker and Personal Development Coach
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Bogdan Georgescu

Founder of Bookster
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Mariana Gheorghe

CEO of Petrom
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Don Lothrop

Founder of Romania One
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Ismail Radwan

World Bank Public Sector Expert
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Dan Pascariu

Board President at UniCredit Tiriac Bank
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Fady Chreih

CEO, Regina Maria

Stay tuned to find out!

Aspire Program former Professors and Speakers

Details

Fady Chreih

CEO, Regina Maria
Details

Dan Pascariu

Board President at UniCredit Tiriac Bank
Details

Ismail Radwan

World Bank Public Sector Expert
Details

Don Lothrop

Founder of Romania One
Details

Mariana Gheorghe

CEO of Petrom
Details

Bogdan Georgescu

Founder of Bookster
Details

Alis Anagnostakis

Public Speaker and Personal Development Coach
Details

Steve Schelhammer

CEO of Phytel
Details

Elisabeta Moraru

Country Manager of Google Romania
Details

Nadia Roumani

Lecturer in Design Thinking at Stanford University