Seven Harvard students have been named Schwarzman Scholars this year, granting them a one-year fully paid master’s degree opportunity at Tsinghua University in Beijing.
Students selected for the prestigious scholarship include current Christian D. Abney College students ’23, Monica Chang ’23, Joyce Zhou ’23, Jonathan Zhuyuan Zhang ’23, Kunho College alumnus Kim ’17, Zayan Faiyad ’18 and Harvard Medical School student Claire Jiaqi Jiang.
The Schwarzman Fellowship aims to promote studies in global affairs and leadership development. This year, the program selected 143 students from various universities around the world.
Stephen A. Schwarzman, billionaire and co-founder of private equity firm Blackstone Group, created the program in 2016 after being inspired by the Rhodes Scholarship.
Monica Chang ’23 said she was conducting interviews for her graduation thesis when she got the call about her award.
“I saw it was someone from the Schwarzman Scholars. Either they call me to reject me on the phone, which is very cruel,” she said. “Or maybe it’s an acceptance, so I immediately called back and heard the news.”
“Honestly, I was very surprised and shocked, but also very grateful,” Chang added.
Jonathan Zhuyuan Zhang ’23 said he plans to “enrich and deepen” his connections with friends and family after graduation and before leaving for Beijing.
“Harvard expects a lot from people, and we don’t give ourselves enough time to step back to rest, recuperate and relax,” he said. “This will be a time to really reflect on my time at Harvard over the past four years, the incredible opportunities I’ve had, and I hope to be able to travel and enrich and deepen some of these connections that I have with my friends. currently. .”
Graduate students will have the summer ahead before their one-year commitment to Tsinghua University.
Christian D. Abney ’23, who plans to work in affordable housing development, said he applied for the Schwarzman Fellowship for its leadership development program and location.
“It would be beneficial for me to learn from other leaders and cultivate those relationships that would later allow me to be successful in some sort of entrepreneurial endeavor as I plan,” he said.
Abney said China “offers a really interesting perspective” on affordable housing development.
“They have been the country that has been most successful in lifting the most people out of poverty in a fairly quick period of time,” he added.
Kunho Kim ’17 said he applied to the program because he had always had an interest in studying East Asia.
“I’m from Korea, but I grew up in Vietnam and went to college in Boston,” he said. “I thought it would be a great place to learn more about Asia.”
“I actually thought about applying to Schwarzman [right] after college, but I didn’t apply because I wanted to get more experience,” he said. “I guess just going back to school mode, in terms of thinking, was a bit difficult because I haven’t been to school for six years now.”
Others said they knew right away that the Schwarzman Fellowship was a perfect fit for them.
Claire Jiaqi Jiang, a student at Harvard Medical School interested in addressing health disparities, said she knew the Schwarzman Fellowship was exactly what she wanted.
“I wouldn’t say it’s all been super easy, other than knowing that that’s exactly what I want, and that would be very beneficial for my future career plan,” she said.
“I was missing a bigger perspective, especially in perspective and politics, so I think the Schwarzman program is the perfect opportunity for me,” she added.
Joyce Zhou ’22-’23 wrote in an email that the program is important for linking “complex global relations”.
“The Schwarzman Fellowship cultivates a catalytic environment for collaboration,” she said. “For me, that means not only exploring the world’s most pressing problems, but also expanding my understanding of how people from diverse backgrounds can work together to solve them.”
—Editor Vivi E. Lu contributed reporting.
—Writer Dekyi T. Tsotsong can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.