It’s incredible to have so many people from all different corners of the world sitting in the same classroom, listening to their stories, exchanging opinions and building connections.
I’m Shutian, from Shandong, China, and I study at IE University as a CSC-IE Scholarship recipient. I have so many interests and passions that I often use the phrase “jack of all trades, master of none” to describe myself. However, my main focus while at IE University is to use the opportunity to further my goal of working for the United Nations on matters such as poverty alleviation and quality education, two issues I have always been passionate about.
Seeing the world from a new perspective
Shutian Li’s career journey reflects the interdisciplinary nature of her academic studies. With an undergraduate degree in business, she has many internship experiences from a variety of sectors and organizations: banking, NGOs, technology, embassies and the UN. Although she still views her variety of interests as a strength, she struggled in undergrad to find her true calling and passion.
Feeling the need to find a focus to channel her varied interests, Shutian joined Model United Nations (MUN). She instantly connected with MUN, eventually serving as Vice President of her college’s MUN team. MUN not only helped Shutian learn about many world issues in depth, it also allowed her to get a taste of politics and a career at the UN. This experience, compounded by her natural curiosity, inspired her to undertake more global pursuits upon graduating—first as an international volunteer in Russia and then in the Philippines.
When she learned that she had been selected for the CSC-IE Scholarship to study the Master in International Development, Shutian felt both honored and lucky. She describes the situation as a golden opportunity to develop and improve herself and her skills through the knowledge and benefits that the Master in International Development provides.
By coming to IE University, Shutian says she has opened herself up to a range of opportunities, people and experiences, and although she admits there was undoubtedly a huge learning curve, the journey is well worth it. In reflecting on her experience at IE University, she says it was extremely valuable in advancing her professional career and personal development. Her experience has defined her as a global citizen. In addition, it has been a cherished starting point on her larger journey of finding work within the UN.
“In order to make the most of your time at IE University, it’s imperative that you open yourself up to experiencing the university’s culture and all that it has to offer, and to the possibility of taking part in something that genuinely interests you, whether it be academic or creative.”
Although Shutian is planning on taking full advantage of the doors that IE University is opening for her, she says the best part of her program is the people. She loves the incredible feeling of having so many people from all different corners of the world sitting in the same classroom. Listening to their stories, exchanging opinions and building connections with her classmates is something she will always remember.
In fact, it is with this sentiment that she shares her advice for anyone that may be considering this program or has already enrolled. You should be open to experiencing the university’s culture and all that it has to offer, and to the possibility of taking part in something that genuinely interests you—whether it be academic or creative. For Shutian, this step is imperative in fully taking advantage of your time at IE University.
It may come as no surprise that after she graduates, Shutian plans on continuing her pursuit in working for the UN. In this endeavor, her desire is to be a part of global poverty alleviation and the improvement of education quality for all. She recognizes that it won’t necessarily be the easy path to take; however, she is up to the task. Of course, this path will be easier to navigate thanks to the new perspectives, skills and connections that her master’s education at IE University has provided her with.
We can’t wait to see the amazing things that Shutian accomplishes in the years ahead!