I am journalist with six years of experience before Schwarzman Scholars and an incoming Ph.D student of School of Public Policy School and Management, Tsinghua University
As of August 2020, I have been a member of the Schwarzman alumni community for one year. It has meant a lot for me, maybe a sentiment shared by many in our community. During this year I have been trying to make my career transition from a journalist to a public policy researcher. It is also the time that the whole world has been divided into two periods: pre-Covid 19 and the post-Covid 19. Everyone’s life has not been easy in the past year. I feel lucky and blessed to be a member of the Schwarzman community to counter the headwinds in this very uncertain time.
Becoming a Schwarzman Scholar and later an alumna helps me to get through the rough but well-considered career transition with the help of mentors, peer support, and a long-term commitment. Deciding on pursuing a Ph.D. degree for me at the current stage is not a straight-forward one. As a Chinese woman in her late 20s and early 30s, finding a partner and establishing a family should be the “correct” and conventional path instead of seeking a higher degree with expected limited financial income and unlimited time devotion. However, I am encouraged, supported, and well guided by various members of the community for my bold decision. The leadership team of the college in Beijing, Dean Xue, Dean Qian, and Dean Pan gave me personal advice, made valuable references, and arranged one-on-one meetings with me for my Ph.D. application plan. My capstone advisor and a prominent Chinese scholar, Prof. Wang Shaoguang supported me in the application process. Whenever I approach my next academic step, I always get overwhelmingly positive and inspiring feedback from the whole Schwarzman community. I can feel the caring and support from all those words, expressions of eyes, and the follow-up help.
Being a member of the Schwarzman community empowered me a lot. It helps me face the quarantine challenges, fight the dullness of social distancing, and overcome the fear of uncertainty in the unprecedented pandemic. It is through Schwarzie friends catch-up calls, different themed webinars, and all kinds of online and offline gatherings. Being a Schwarzman Scholar is a life-long learning experience. As an alumnus, I joined online chats and virtual talks with Ambassador Condoleezza Rice, and former Pepsico CEO Indra Nooyi. I watched former Secretary of State Madeline Albright deliver a commencement speech for the Class of 2020. No matter where I was, how late the time was, or what I have experienced during the day, I know I am with great people, especially great women. All these little things accumulate to the high power that the Schwarzman family means for me. I will work hard to live up to these high expectations.
The fantastic journey of being a Schwarzman Scholar and an alumna has just started. And I look forward to more to come. I know I will not be alone.