Each year, one graduating college student is selected as a Merkin Fellow through the Schwarzman Scholars Program. The student chosen travels to China to pursue a one-year Master’s Degree. The experience promotes building relationships with other students from China and around the world to promote global collaboration that will help strengthen and inspire global relations for years to come.
About the Schwarzman Scholars Program
The Schwarzman Scholars Program, co-founded by Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman and CEO of Blackstone, was designed to challenge young minds and prepare the next generation of global leaders and thinkers so that they can respond to the geopolitical landscape of the 21st century.
Each year, the goal is to have 100 American students, 100 Chinese students, and 100 students from other parts of the world attend Tsinghua University in China. Students live together on the campus of Schwarzman College, a state-of-the-art facility where all classes are taught in English. Students pursue a Master’s of Global Affairs with concentrations in one of the disciplines: Public Policy, Economics and Business, or International Studies.
Whether in business, politics, or science, the success of future leaders around the world will depend upon a deeper understanding of China’s role and contribution to the world at large.
Rhea Malik: Class of 2018 Richard Merkin Fellow
Rhea Malik graduated cum laude from Harvard University with a degree in Regenerative Biology and Health Policy. She has established a system of virtual classrooms in rural India and directed Harvard College Alzheimer’s Buddies, leading her to found a national non-profit for Alzheimer’s care. Rhea served on the Executive Board of Harvard’s Political Polling Project and has worked at the U.S. Department of Education. An aspiring physician-economist, she works at Harvard’s Stem Cell Institute, developing analytical tools for schizophrenia research. Rhea is 21 years old and lives in the U.S.
As a Richard Merkin Fellow of the Schwarzman Scholars Program, Rhea Malik was able to travel to China to pursue a Master’s of Global Affairs degree program at Tsinghua University, one of the country’s most prestigious universities. The program offers life-changing opportunities to meet with world leaders from China and around the world. This rigorous experience includes high-level interactions at lectures, an internship program, a mentor’s network, and intensive deep-dive travel seminars.
During the deep-dive, Rhea was able to spend a week in a different city in China visiting local businesses and community facilities where she and other students were welcomed into boardrooms where leaders shared their ideas and welcomed feedback and instruction on how companies of their kind could further expand and grow.
Rhea shared that during one of the company tours, she had the opportunity to question C-level executives leading China’s largest private pharmaceutical company about how to conceptualize future growth both domestically and overseas. The relationships she has built with her peers and leaders from around the world has greatly shaped her views and experiences, arming her with knowledge and solutions to truly comprehend China’s economic impact domestically and around the world.
Rhea expressed her gratitude for being a Merkin Fellow and Schwarzman Scholar by adding, “I am grateful for what has been, and promises to be, a phenomenal and life-changing experience; one which I would not have been afforded if it were not for your generosity. Thank you, Dr. Merkin.”