Leading up to the arrival of the inaugural class of Schwarzman Scholars, we invited a few students to reflect on why they decided to apply and offer their advice to future applicants.
The US-led international system that was set up after World War II is no longer adequate to address the challenges of the 21st Century. Today we live in a multipolar world where other nations have risen to assume their rightful place in the global arena. This reshuffling of the world order poses monumental security, economic, and geopolitical challenges. To mitigate any potential for future conflict, we must act now to accommodate new powers so they become responsible stakeholders in a new order.
I applied to Schwarzman Scholars because it is a landmark program set up to help future leaders confront the challenges of this new age: While in Beijing, I will join my peers to form cross-cultural networks that will endure beyond the program and help ensure better mutual understanding should we meet in the corridors of power tomorrow on opposite sides of the table.
My advice to prospective applicants would be to draw on their previous leadership and academic experiences and enunciate in their essays how those experiences inform their worldview and tie with the larger goal of Schwarzman Scholars. Further, it would serve applicants well if they choose recommenders who can speak to these leadership experiences in their letters.