Up to 200 Schwarzman Scholars will earn their Master of Global Affairs degrees from China’s prestigious Tsinghua University each year. Not only will Schwarzman Scholars receive free tuition, room and board, books, supplies, a laptop and cell phone, but their airfare to China for the program and home after its completion are also included in this generous Scholarship. To be eligible for this exciting program combining leadership training, education in Chinese history and culture, and international economic and political affairs, applicants must be over 18 and under 30, have earned their undergraduate degree, and be fluent in English (the language of instruction of the program).
The Admissions Office is seeking risk takers from around the world who want to take part in and shape global change, proven young leaders eager to play an active role on a global stage. While 45% of the participants will hail from the United States, 20% will be native Chinese students, and 35% will represent countries from around the world, forging deep global ties among participants.
As expected for a scholarship of this significance, the admissions process to become a Schwarzman Scholar is arduous! In addition to a resume/CV of up to 2 pages, applicants must submit 4 letters of recommendation, 3 long essays, a short 100-word essay, and a 1-minute video introducing themselves to the Admissions Committee. Here are the essay prompts with my advice in blue:
Personal Statement (up to 750 words)
Describe your professional interests and values and how the Schwarzman Scholars program and deeper knowledge of China will help advance your goals. Describe both your short-term objectives for the 1-3 years after the program and your long-term aspirations. How will you contribute to the community of Schwarzman Scholars and to the program’s mission?
This is a straightforward statement of purpose. The best essays will demonstrate a pattern of interest and effort in the field of international and public affairs, if possible with links to China in particular, and how the applicant expects to continue growing in both effort and impact in these fields. To address the question of how you will contribute to the program’s mission, you must first understand the unique mission of the program – “to prepare the next generation of global leaders” – and reflect on what kind of global leader you plan to become.
Leadership Essay (up to 750 words)
Provide specific examples of your leadership that explore your abilities to understand challenges and opportunities, envision solutions, take initiative to act, inspire others to join an effort and push through resistance and/or challenges in reaching the results. Your example(s) of leadership might address some but not all of these characteristics.
Leadership is the act of taking an idea from inception to impact; it requires the ability to recruit others to join you, to imbue them with passion for your goal, to lead them through obstacles and their own fatigue and disillusionment throughout a protracted struggle. This essay’s length limit will typically allow discussion of 2 or possibly 3 full examples of your leadership. Don’t feel limited to examples in which you are the designated leader with the senior title in a formal group; some of the best leadership examples flip that model on its head!
Current Affairs Essay (up to 500 words)
Choose an issue in contemporary social, international, business, environmental, diplomatic, arts, or other policy that is of interest to you. This essay should examine the current factors and trends influencing the topic and make a realistic recommendation of how local, national, or international leaders should intervene to contribute to a more peaceful and prosperous future.
This essay gives you some room to discuss an issue that most resonates with you and share your analyses of its potential resolutions. A good analysis will begin with a description of the challenge, the complexity of the issue, and the negative ramifications of continuing with the status quo. Before diving in with your solution, describe all of the stakeholders and parties who are affected by this issue and play a role in either easing or exacerbating it. What other factors have contributed to the challenge or make its resolution difficult? Finally, you can introduce your solution, explain the potential pitfalls and opposition that it will face, and share your estimation of how effective leaders can steer this policy or process to navigate those. Ideally, your resume/CV will reflect active involvement in the issue you choose to discuss in this essay to corroborate your passion for the topic.
Short Answer Question (up to 100 words)
Tell us something about yourself that we would not otherwise know based on the materials in this application.
This is a very short essay that offers you an opportunity to share something unique about your background or personality. I typically recommend identifying some portion of your background that doesn’t fit into the prosaic sections of the application form or resume/CV and instead is more personal and telling about who you are as an individual or global citizen.
Chinese applicants (who hold passports for China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, or Macao) may apply until May 31, 2017. Applications from applicants outside of China opened in April and will close on September 28th, 2017.
***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***
Jennifer Bloom has been a consultant with Accepted for 19 years and is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW). She is an expert at crafting application materials that truly differentiate you from the rest of the driven applicant pool. If you would like help with your application, Jennifer can suggest a number of options that work with any budget. Want Jennifer to help you get accepted? Click here!
• The Schwarzman Scholars Program: Leaders of the Future Unite, a podcast episode
• From Example to Exemplary, a guide to writing outstanding application essays
• How to Get Started on Your Personal Statement with One Easy Technique