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.
Leyla Sudbury, United Kingdom
For me, the biggest draw to the Schwarzman Scholars’ program was the chance to meet and study alongside individuals from all around the world. But I never would have predicted that, just six months after my admission, before I’d even started the program, I would be benefitting already from the chance to work in Dar es Salaam with Tanzanian national and future scholar Shan. We are bringing into production a low cost solar powered oven which I co-designed at university, and it was the catalyst of meeting the right business partner which re-invigorated this project. The oven was specifically designed to produce industrial quantities of food, for people who currently have difficulty in accessing finite fuel sources.
Implementing in a real context in Tanzania is a critical next step, and the power of the Schwarzman Scholars network, bring people together with different knowledge, skills and cultural backgrounds to solve real-world problems, has already been realized before we’ve even arrived in Beijing.
In a lot of ways Shan and I are entirely different – I’m an engineer, born and raised in the UK. Shan, an economics major, switches between Mandarin, Swahili and Russian effortlessly, but has yet to use a drill. What we share is this passion to leave our mark on the world, and we hope the impact of our oven will prove how much can be achieved by bringing the right people together.