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Waseda alumnus awarded Schwarzman Scholarship to study at Tsinghua University (China)
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Waseda alumnus awarded Schwarzman Scholarship to study at Tsinghua University (China)

Wed, Feb 12, 2020
Waseda alumnus awarded Schwarzman Scholarship to study at Tsinghua University (China)
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Keisuke Kamiya, an alumnus who graduated from the School of Commerce in 2016, has been accepted into the fifth cohort of Tsinghua University’s Schwarzman College and named a recipient of a full scholarship to the College’s one-year Master’s of Global Affairs degree program. As a Schwarzman Scholar, Kamiya will not only receive full tuition coverage, but also have many of his other expenses−such as study trip, housing and health insurance expenses−covered by the scholarship as well.

Kamiya is one of the 145 Schwarzman Scholars selected from over 4,700 applicants worldwide.

About the Schwarzman Scholars

Schwarzman Scholars is a program designed to prepare the next generation of leaders for the rapidly changing geopolitical environment of the 21st century by deepening their understanding of the economic, political, and cultural factors that affect relations between states, including in the context of the rise of China. The program “gives the world’s best and brightest students the opportunity to develop their leadership skills and professional networks through a one-year Master’s Degree at Tsinghua University in Beijing –one of China’s most prestigious universities.”

The program’s curriculum not only brings together distinguished faculty from Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, and Oxford, but also features a diverse group of guest speakers who are leaders in the worlds of politics and business. In addition to the core curriculum, students are able to choose a focus from the fields of public policy, business and economics, and international studies.

Modeled on the University of Oxford’s Rhodes Scholarship, the Schwarzman Scholars endowment aims to continue offering the program for many years to come. In addition to the personal donation of over $100 million from Stephen A. Schwarzman, the founder of the investment fund management firm Blackstone, the endowment has already received a total of $583 million in contributions from corporations and individuals around the world.

With this fund, about 150 students (with plans to expand this number to 200 in the future) up to 28 years of age from the United States (around 40%), China (around 20%), and other countries receive a full scholarship to come to Schwarzman College at Tsinghua University to live and experience a plethora of extracurricular activities, all while working towards their Master’s of Global Affairs. The wealth of opportunities offered to students, such as the mentor system, fieldwork, and internships, is one of the program’s many draws, and the architecture of Schwarzman College, designed by international architect Robert A. M. Stern, has been named one of “The 9 Best New University Buildings Around the World” by Architectural Digest.

About Keisuke Kamiya

Keisuke Kamiya is originally from Tokyo. He spent time in Johannesburg and Tokyo as a child and attended Shanghai Jincai International School in middle school. Kamiya then returned to Japan to attend Waseda Jitsugyou High School. In 2012, he enrolled in Waseda’s School of Commerce where he studied economics and industry while also minoring in EU/European integration studies. In addition to his studies, Kamiya was a member of the Japanese archery and astronomy clubs, interned at a foreign financial institution and a consulting firm, and participated in finance study groups and economics seminars. After graduating in 2016, Kamiya joined Mizuho Bank and began working in Tokyo and Ho Chi Minh. In Japan, he worked on large-scale corporate operations and international planning, while in Vietnam, he led the origination of cross-border investment and was a member of the Japanese public-private initiative to develop urban cities overseas. He plans to begin his studies at Schwarzman College in August 2020.

Kamiya’s Comments:

I used to live in China, so I feel a connection with the country. I think this program will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet and network with current and future leaders from all different fields and to learn about international relations. Every year, the number of applicants increases, and more than 4,700 people had applied for the 5th cohort. When I received my acceptance letter, I read it over and over, thinking, “This has to be a mistake, right? Did I really get in?”

While there have only been a few Japanese students in the program thus far, if we consider the importance of Japan-China and Japan-US relations, I think the things we will learn at Schwarzman College will be quite valuable for us. Our experience as Schwarzman Scholars will be useful no matter where we live or work in the future, and I encourage everyone to make the most of it.

To explain a bit about the experiences that led me to this point: I enrolled in the School of Commerce in 2012, and in addition to taking courses about subjects I already had an interest in like finance and statistics, I also pursued the international relations (EU/European integration studies) university-wide common minor. In the minor courses, I had valuable experiences that I wouldn’t have been able to find outside of Waseda, for example having lectures with international students in other schools and discussing international issues or attending symposia organized by EUIJ (EU Institute Japan). I realized early on, from the time I was in my first or second year at Waseda, that I wanted to be engaged in international work in the future.

In terms of my career, through lectures in the School of Commerce, I learned about initiatives to promote investment and develop financial markets in emerging countries from the professors who had created investment and lending mechanisms at international organizations. As a result, I became very interested in having a career in that kind of societally meaningful international finance. When I began job hunting, my professors also recommended this type of career to me, and because of that, I am now in a position to consider how to utilize those kinds of mechanisms. It really feels like it was meant to be.

During the document screening and interview stages, I was asked primarily about my leadership experience, interdisciplinary initiatives, and my vision for the future. As I said above, the person I am today was shaped by my experience at Waseda, and I think Schwarzman College came to the conclusion that that person is someone who can contribute to the development of the program. My goal for the future is to use my experience in this program to expand my skill set to work and contribute on the world stage.


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