Listen to our conversation with Dr. Rob Garris to learn all about the Schwarzman Scholars Program: what it is, who it’s for, and most importantly – how to get accepted.
The Schwarzman Scholars Program (2:12)
Schwarzman Scholars is a global program based in China with the goal of preparing the world’s next generation of leaders to understand China and it’s changing role in the world. The program boasts a rigorous 11-month master’s degree curriculum combined with internships in Beijing, a personal mentor for each student, and intensive study tours. And, no, you don’t need to know Mandarin to join.
Creating an Admissions Process (6:28)
How to you create an admissions process that identifies applicants who are future leaders? Dr. Garris is looking for applicants with both the past accomplishments and the personal characteristics that make up a leader: intellect, the ability to inspire others, and grit.
The Origins of the Program (9:46)
Steve Schwarzman founded the program to address the need for a new generation of leaders –in all fields- to recognize and properly respond to the rapidly increasing importance of China. Inspired by the model of the Rhodes Fellowship Program, Schwarzman partnered with the prestigious Tsinghua University, and the Scholars Program was born.
The Application Process Itself (11:59)
Applying to Schwarzman Scholars requires submission of standard academic records and a general essay as well as two introspective essays that force applicants to examine themselves and their motivations in a new way. The personal statement asks applicants to explain how Schwarzman Scholars will advance their career aspirations and to describe a situation where they stepped into a leadership role and what they learned about themselves. An additional, fun component of the application is a short introduction video that each student submits.
The First Interview Season (15:08)
Interview day will have 2 phases. The individual interview is a 30-minute session with a panel of 5 and focuses on getting to know the individual applicants. Part 2 is a group exercise where applicants will show their abilities to solve a challenge with their team.
Selecting the Lucky 100 (18:56)
After the interviews, a panel will convene to select a class of 100 (for this year) based on interview feedback. The call will be made up of 20% Chinese citizens and 45% US citizens with the remaining 35% from the rest of the world.
Tips for Next Year’s Applicants (20:23)
The application will launch in mid April with an Oct 1 deadline. Want to prepare? You can try to get some leadership, but don’t force it. Work on what you care about because a leadership experience for the purpose of filling a resume will be spotted and won’t reflect well on you.
No GRE! (22:16)
The GRE doesn’t test for leadership capacity, so you don’t need to take it to get in. And there is no minimum GPA.
Oxford Said – Schwarzman Dual Opportunity (25:23)
A program starting this summer will allow candidates who are admitted to both Schwarzman Scholars and Said to complete both an Oxford MBA and the Schwarzman Scholars-Tsinghua University Master of Global Affairs.
Who Will Guide the Grads? (28:16)
A versatile careers services office will be established to tackle the challenge of helping a very diverse (both geographically and professionally) student body advance their careers.
What Surprised Dr. Garris About the Program (30:59)
1. The amounts of hands-on time Mr. Schwarzman spends on the program!
2. The breadth of interests that applicants bring to the table. This program is not just attracting business and poli-sci folks. There are biologists and engineers competing for admissions too.
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