Testament to ILR Education
The Schwarzman Scholars program, created to develop leaders in the geopolitical landscape of the future, has included ILR alumni since it began three years ago.
This year, there were over 4,000 applicants from 39 countries; an ILR recipient was among the few selected for a scholarship.
In three years, six of the eight Cornell alumni receiving the honor were ILRies: 2019, Kelly McClure ’16; 2018, Yamini Bhandari ’17, Xinrong Lu ’16, Kevin Bassney ’13; and 2017, Juliana Batista ’16 and Atticus DeProspo ’15.
Juliana Batista ’16 said, “I think that ILRies have a bent for assuming leadership roles and are encouraged by the school to do so. ILR promotes experiential learning through global internships and international programs that make applicants stand out.”
“Professors like Kevin Hallock and Rocco Scanza prepared me with integral skills needed in today’s complex work environment,” Batista said. “As a scholar, and in my current job as project executive, I rely on faculty expertise from professors like Eli Friedman, who knows a lot about China and labor.”
Friedman, associate professor in ILR’s of International and Comparative Labor Department, said, “It is remarkable that ILR has had so many alumni accepted into the Schwarzman Scholars, which is an incredibly competitive program. This is a testament to the high caliber of students we graduate.”
What likely distinguishes ILR students from other scholarship candidates at peer institutions is the combination of ILR’s inter-disciplinary approach with an orientation to improving the world, Friedman said.
Batista and others earn the masters of global affairs at Tsinghua University, where students spend a year immersed in an international community of thinkers and innovators. Their training and opportunities with business leaders, public officials, scientists, artists and thought leaders from China and around the world prepare them to lead.
The one-year curriculum helps scholars develop a deep understanding of diverse markets, political systems and approaches to problem solving in a rapidly changing world. They have the opportunities to develop a cross-cultural understanding of China and form relationships through an international network.
After completing the scholars program, Batista was hired by Esquel Group, and remained in China.
Esquel Group, a partner of ILR’s New Conversations Project, is a global textile and apparel manufacturer serving a diversified portfolio of leading brands.
Batista works with Esquel’s executive board and sustainability council to develop a corporate strategy with long-term commitment to sustainable development, striving to transform a traditional industry into one that is transparent, automated and innovative.
She is also helping implement a wide range of initiatives for “Integral,” which is the first ecotourism industrial park in Guilin, China.
Friedman said, “I am very impressed how Juliana carved out an opportunity for herself in China.”
“Schwarzman aims to attract people who can shape the crucial U.S.-China relationship in the years to come, and our students have the ability to think creatively and broadly about a range of political and economic issues.”