Trinity graduates only Irish recipients of prestigious Schwartzman Scholarships

18 December 2017

Two recent graduates of the Trinity’s Business, Economics and Social Studies (BESS) programme have been awarded prestigious 2019 Schwartzman Scholarships at Tsinghua University in Beijing. Sarah Mortell and Philip Callan, were the only Irish recipients among 142 Scholars from 39 countries who were selected from over 4,000 applicants.

Designed to prepare the next generation of global leaders, the Schwarzman Scholars programme aims to give the world’s best and brightest students the opportunity to develop their leadership skills and professional networks through a one-year Master’s Degree in Global Affairs at one of China’s premier institutions.

Commenting on the award, BESS Course Director, Assistant Professor in Economics, Dr Michael King said: “We would like to congratulate Philip and Sarah on their tremendous achievement.  This experience will not only expand their understanding of the world, it will give them the opportunity to develop their leadership skills and to be part of a growing network of Scholars. Trinity’s BESS programme aims to educate global citizens who will have a real impact on society and we are immensely proud that the three Irish recipients of the Schwartzman Scholarship to date all have all studied BESS.”

Philip Callan graduated with a BA in Business and Economics from Trinity College. During the course of his undergraduate studies, Philip spent a year studying abroad at Sciences Po Paris. Since graduating in 2016, Philip has been working as a Trade Development Executive for Enterprise Ireland in Toronto, Canada. He is interested in global business, international trade and the intersection between economics and foreign policy.

Sarah Mortell holds a BA in Economics and Political Science and is also a graduate of the BESS Class of 2016. During her time at Trinity, she served President of The Phil, the world's oldest debating society. Sarah is currently Director of The Forum at Web Summit, a gathering of global decision-makers in Lisbon. She has addressed the Portuguese-US Chamber of Commerce and the Annual Diplomatic Congress of Portugal on the future of technology and governance.

The 142 Scholars were selected through a rigorous application process designed to evaluate proven intellectual and academic ability, as well as leadership potential and strength of character. The selection process relies on readers from different regions and backgrounds who can provide insights to identify the highest level of leadership and academic excellence. Selected scholars have demonstrated exemplary leadership qualities and their potential to bridge and understand cultural and political differences. They will live in Beijing for a year of study and cultural immersion, attending lectures, travelling, and developing a better understanding of China

In 2016, Trinity graduate Lara Connaughton became the first Irish recipient of a Schwarzman Scholarship. Lara studied BESS specialising in Business and Economics in her final year graduating with a first class honours degree.

About Schwarzman Scholars:

Schwarzman Scholars was inspired by the Rhodes Scholarship, which was founded in 1902 to promote international understanding and peace, and is designed to meet the challenges of the 21st century and beyond. Blackstone Co-Founder Stephen A. Schwarzman personally contributed over $100 million to the program and is leading a fundraising campaign to raise an additional $500 million from others to endow the program in perpetuity. Schwarzman Scholars has already raised $516 million towards this $600 million goal. The endowment will support up to 200 Scholars annually from the U.S., China and around the world for a one-year Master’s Degree program at Tsinghua University in Beijing. Learn more at

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