Five Cambridge students are among this year’s Schwarzman Scholars, a highly selective programme which supports students from around the world to complete a one-year Master’s degree programme at Tsinghua University in Beijing, one of China’s top universities. 

The Cambridge Scholars are among 129 men and women, representing 30 countries and 75 universities, chosen for this year’s programme. This is the second year for the Schwarzman Scholars programme, which aims to educate and prepare the world’s most exceptional men and women to confront the most difficult challenges of the coming century and develop an understanding of China. The programme was founded by Blackstone Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder Stephen A Schwarzman.

The five Cambridge Scholars are Zheng Guo, Ruby Holmes, Lukas Schmelter, Charles Vitry and Amos Wittenberg.

Zheng Guo received his Master’s degree in Nuclear Energy from the University of Cambridge and Bachelor’s degree in Energy and Power Systems from Tsinghua University. His research focuses on energy systems modelling, and the development of sustainable and clean energy. Zheng has published several original research papers in international journals and is a student counsellor at Tsinghua University.

Ruby Holmes graduated in 2016, having read politics and international studies at Sidney Sussex College. She is an internationally recognised debater and public speaking coach, and organised a women’s public speaking association while at Cambridge.

Lukas Schmelter is currently completing an MPhil in Modern European History at Cambridge. Parallel to his studies, he led large-scale student conferences, worked for a political think-tank focused on European integration, and completed internships in the German Bundestag, the German Foreign Ministry and the European Parliament.

Charles Vitry graduated in 2016, having read Manufacturing Engineering at St John’s College, and has attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on exchange. He has recently implemented a 30% supplier lead time reduction model at Amazon Spain and launched a factory production control system in Apple’s Soft Goods factories in China.

Amos Wittenberg, who graduated in 2015, read English Literature at Corpus Christi College, and helped set up and run the Cambridge Globalist, a student-led current affairs magazine. After graduating he spent four months as a British Council scholar in Beijing studying Chinese, and now works as a financial journalist.

“It has been truly inspiring for me to meet these people, who at such a young age have already started to make an impact on the world,” said Stephen A. Schwarzman. “Cleary their journey is just beginning, but it is our hope that the Scholars of the inaugural class, this new class, and every class thereafter will leave with a better understanding of how to foster friendship, cooperation and collaboration among the peoples of the world.”

The 129 Scholars were selected through a rigorous and thorough selection process designed to evaluate leadership experience and potential, intellectual and academic ability, including the capacity to understand emerging trends, design solutions, and inspire others to a vision, as well as strength of character. The applications were reviewed by a distinguished team from around the world with 300 semi-finalists invited for in-person interviews in Beijing, Bangkok, London or New York before international panels composed of CEOs, former heads of state, university presidents, non-profit executives, journalists and other leaders.

This distinguished group of interviewers who were responsible for selecting Scholars included Jared Cohen, Founder and President, Jigsaw, Alphabet Inc, David Petraeus, Former Director of the CIA, Brian Mulroney, Former Prime Minister of Canada, Jeremy Wright, Attorney General for England and Wales, Shelly Lazarus, Chairman Emeritus of Ogilvy & Mather, Rona Fairhead, Chairman of the BBC Trust, Cathy Engelbert, CEO of Deloitte, Lionel Barber, Editor of the Financial Times, and many others.

Robert Garris, Global Director of Admissions said, “As we met the candidates for the second class of Scholars during their interviews, we were impressed with their unparalleled energy, initiative, and drive. We confirmed once again how essential it is to have experienced leaders from politics, the non-profit world, and government as panellists, meeting the candidates in person to identify the next generation of leaders.”

The scholarship is fully funded for all participants, including travel costs and a personal stipend, and is supported by the programme’s endowment which is expected to total $450 million, with $435 million raised to date. Scholars will live and study together at Schwarzman College, the dedicated state-of-the-art academic and residential building built exclusively for the programme.

Scholars will study Public Policy, Economics & Business, and International Studies, and spend a year immersed in an international community of thinkers, innovators and senior leaders in business, politics and society.

Creative Commons License
The text in this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. For image use please see separate credits above.