December 19, 2018 | ° F

Schwarzman Scholarship opens global doors for 3 Rutgers students


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Mussab Ali, a Rutgers—Newark College of Arts and Sciences senior, Haoyang Yu a Rutgers alumnus (top) and Nicholas Pellitta, a School of Arts and Sciences senior, were all selected as the University’s first Schwarzman Scholars. 


A Rutgers graduate and two current seniors were selected as the University’s first Schwarzman Scholars, a global program where students are educated about leadership while pursuing a master’s degree in global affairs at Tsinghua University in China. 

The curriculum provides students with the opportunity to learn with leaders from China and other parts of the world through an internship program, lectures, a mentors network and travel seminars, according to the Schwarzman Scholars website. Students are given the choice to concentrate in either public policy, economics, business or international studies.

One of this year’s scholars is Mussab Ali, a College of Arts and Sciences senior from Rutgers—Newark. He is the youngest person ever elected to the Jersey City school board, winning the race for the position at 20 years old in 2017. Ali is also the first student from Rutgers-Newark to be awarded the Truman Scholarship, which is given to students with high leadership potential, according to Rutgers Today.

“I think (the program) is beneficial because China is already a key player in the world economically,” he said. “I hope to gain exposure to international leaders and gather insights from around the world.”

Ali is aiming to create a nonprofit organization in Jersey City that encourages youth to become more involved civically, and hopes his experience with the scholarship will help him achieve that goal. 

Haoyang Yu, who graduated from Rutgers—New Brunswick in 2015 with a degree in computer engineering, will also be a part of the program. He is currently a senior analyst at Goldman Sachs, but is leaving the company in the hopes of developing the leadership skills needed to build his own business. 

“I want to become an entrepreneur and eventually move back to China, so I had to decide what was most important to me. I need leadership and networking platforms to continue to grow,” he said, according to Rutgers Today. “In 5 to 10 years, I hope to build my own company in financial technology. If I stayed here, I could grow step by step, but if I take this risk, I can reach my goals much faster.”

The third scholar selected for the program is Nicholas Pellitta, a School of Arts and Sciences senior who is double majoring in political science and economics. He has participated in the University's Model United Nations as its director of staff and in the Student Assembly Allocations Board as its secretary. He has also worked for Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and the National Governors Association.

“All of these experiences have made me believe that government can be the largest driver of positive change in America,” Pellitta said.

The Schwarzman Scholar program is selective, as only 147 scholars were selected from more than 2,800 applicants. Forty-five percent of applicants were from the United States, 20 percent were from China and 35 percent were from the rest of the world, according to its website. Pellitta said the application process involved several essays, a video and a day of interviews in New York City, N.Y. 

The program was launched two years ago and was created by Blackstone Group Chairman and CEO Stephen A. Schwarzman. It provides full scholarships to students in order to prepare them for leadership in the fields of business, politics and civil society. 

“We are extremely proud that three of our best and brightest students are the first ever Rutgers recipients of the Schwarzman scholarship,” said Vice Chancellor of Undergraduate Academic Affairs at Rutgers—New Brunswick Ben Sifuentes-Jáuregui. “Their success demonstrates how Rutgers is at the forefront of training the next generation of global leaders."


Catherine Nguyen

Catherine Nguyen is a School of Arts and Science first-year. She is a staff writer @ The Daily Targum. 


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