Trinity student is first Irish recipient of Schwarzman Scholarship

Posted on: 05 December 2016

Trinity College Dublin’s Lara Connaughton is the first Irish recipient of a Schwarzman Scholarship in Tsinghua University, Beijing. Lara studied BESS (Business, Economics and Social Studies) specialising in Business and Economics in her final year and has just graduated with a first class honors degree.

The Schwartzman Scholarship is a highly prestigious prize inspired by the Rhodes Scholarship and is designed to meet the challenges of the 21st century and beyond. This year 2,747 candidates from 119 countries competed for just 125 places in the incoming class. Lara’s scholarship will be fully funded for a one year Masters Programme, living and working in Beijing for a year of study and cultural immersion, attending lectures, travelling, and developing a better understanding of China.

Lara will join Scholars from 30 countries and 75 universities at Tsinghua University, one of China’s premier institutions. Tsinghua University is partnered with Trinity College Dublin in student exchange.

Commenting on the award, BESS Course Director Dr Michael Wycherley said: “We would like to congratulate Lara on being the first Irish recipient of the prestigious Schwarzman Scholarship which aims to give the world’s best and brightest students the opportunity to develop their leadership skills. We wish her every success for the future and have no doubt that she will join the ranks of other successful BESS graduates  who are now leading figures and innovators, around the world, in the fields of business, finance, journalism, public service and academia.”

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 of readers 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.

The Dean of Trinity Business School, Professor Andrew Burke added “While I know how incredibly difficult it is to be awarded a Schwarzman Scholarship, I was not at all surprised when Lara informed me that she was to become one of the recipients.  Lara had already exemplified great leadership skills with the DUBES at Trinity.  She also ran one of the best sessions at the Trinity Global Business Forum this year.  The Schwarzman program has picked a great scholar in Lara as she will really add so much to their programme.  At a time when we need more female leaders in Global business and society, we can take great heart to see somebody of Lara’s international calibre getting stellar acknowledgement and development through the Schwarzman Scholarship program.”


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 $100 million to the program and is leading a fundraising campaign to raise an additional $350 million from private sources to endow the program in perpetuity. The $450 million 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, one of China’s most prestigious universities and an indispensable base for the country’s scientific and technological research. Scholars chosen for this highly selective program will live in Beijing for a year of study and cultural immersion, attending lectures, travelling, and developing a better understanding of China. Admissions opened in the fall of 2015, with the first class of students in residence in September 2016.

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