Congratulations to Nanyang Business School (NBS) alumnus Goh Duo Geng, who was recently selected as one of the Class of 2022 Schwarzman Scholars. Duo Geng, who graduated with a Double Degree in Accountancy & Business, is the first Schwarzman Scholar from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore).
Schwarzman Scholars is one of the world's most prestigious graduate fellowships located at Schwarzman College at Tsinghua University in Beijing. Scholars pursue a Master's degree in Global Affairs with a core curriculum focused on three pillars: leadership, China, and global affairs. Beyond the classroom, Scholars gain exceptional exposure to China and access to important relationships through internships, mentors, high-profile speakers, and world-renowned faculty members.
We reached out to Duo Geng to share with us his preparation and experiences during the application, and his advice for future applicants.
When asked what 3 tips he would share with future applicants about the application process, he replied:
"Reflect: take the time to reflect on what matters to you most, what difference you want to make in the world, and how the programme would help you get there.
Review: thoroughly review your application with trusted friends and mentors
Read widely: reading not only helps with the actual interview but also improves general understanding of the world."
The application process for the Schwarzman Scholars programme is an arduous one, consisting of multiple essay questions, a video submission, and a panel interview. Applicants are assessed on three key characteristics – leadership, intellect, and character.
Duo Geng prepared for his application by researching various websites, podcasts, videos, webinars, and books. He also reached out to past scholars on LinkedIn to learn about their experiences. Duo Geng's advice to future applicants is to be as resourceful as they can in seeking information about past scholars' experiences, as listening to their first-hand experiences (both positive and negative) helped him decide if the programme was a good fit. In answering the essay questions, Duo Geng also invested ample time to write multiple drafts, seeking feedback from his friends for each draft. This helped him to sharpen his writing and made sure that he portrayed himself authentically.
Duo Geng also found the process of preparing for the panel interview enjoyable. He dedicated time to read widely about topics on global affairs, even taking a few days off from work to do so. He also did mock interviews with his friends/mentors. Because of his prior preparation and introspection, the interview turned out to be a pleasant conversation covering a variety of topics around his application and current affairs.
In preparation for the Schwarzman Scholars, Duo Geng shared that NBS has helped develop his leadership potential, provided him the latitude to pursue his intellectual curiosity, nudged him to think about the difference he can make in this world, and offered him numerous growth opportunities to step outside his comfort zone.
One key highlight of his undergraduate education was the global exposure he gained from an overseas student exchange programme, representing the school at international case competitions, and taking a semester off to work at a start-up in Shanghai. While working in China, Duo Geng was impressed with the country's rapid growth as well as its technology and start-up ecosystem. This ultimately prompted him to apply for the scholarship as he wanted to deepen his understanding of China.
Winning Citi-HKUST International Case Competition (held in Hong Kong)
Duo Geng and his peers working in a start-up in China
Another key highlight was the Harvard Business School-Nanyang Technological University mentorship programme. Duo Geng's mentors guided his peer group through a variety of complex topics, including career exploration, personal growth, and even personal topics like family and love. They also gave plenty of guidance on his application for the scholarship.
CareerSocius volunteers after facilitating career conversations at a bursary event
Duo Geng also completed his final year in school by starting CareerSocius, a social enterprise focusing on empowering all job-seekers to maximize their career potential. CareerSocius was started with 4 other NTU schoolmates with like-minded interests in giving back to the community. To date, the CareerSocius team has grown to include over 30 volunteers and has served over 3,000 clients to date.
The overseas, mentoring, and social entrepreneurial exposure not only prepared him for the scholarship but also shaped his outlook.
NBS wishes Duo Geng all the very best in his new journey!