Zhenhui Piao - Alumni Story | IE GPA

Zhenhui Piao

About me

I became interested in the fields of international relations and politics because of my grandfather, who built a successful career in the military. I enjoy studying these subjects because it enables me to understand global issues while giving me a better grasp of how society and individuals operate. In the future, I hope to work in international organizations or NGOs, paying forward all the benefits I’ve received from the CSC-IE Full Scholarship.

shapeZhenhui Piao
case2Master’s student
studentMaster in International Relations
Zhenhui Piao - Alumni Story | IE GPA

“Studying international relations enables me to have a deeper understanding of global issues and better grasp how society and individuals operate.”

Zhenhui Piao

Understanding today's challenges in a global context

How far would you go to step closer to your dream career? For Zhenhui Piao, the answer to this question is halfway across the world and over two continents, to be specific. Zhenhui is originally from the People’s Republic of China, where she earned her undergraduate degree in business administration. She later ventured to South Korea to pursue her first master’s degree in international commerce.

However, Zhenhui has always been interested in international relations and politics. Her passion for these fields was initially fostered by her grandfather, who served in the Korean War as a military pilot. Against this backdrop of honor and duty, she received her first lessons on the importance of viewing societal challenges in an international context. It drove Zhenhui’s desire to delve deeper into the study of international relations in an effort to improve her understanding of global issues and better grasp how people and societies operate.

That’s the main reason why she chose to pursue the Master in International Relations at IE University. Though still in her first year, Zhenhui has already begun to see how systematically learning the theories of international relations can give you a clearer picture of the cause-and-effect relationships that influence global events. It also helps that the program directly aligns with her career goals for the future—to work in international organizations like the United Nations, or other renowned non-governmental organizations.

“Your classmates and professors have different cultural and academic backgrounds, enabling you to learn beyond your own ideas and perspectives.”

Zhenhui was able to join the program through the support of the groundbreaking CSC-IE Scholarship for Sustainable Development for Chinese Candidates. Jointly offered in a unique partnership between IE University and the China Scholarship Council, the program provides a full scholarship to academically gifted citizens of China. However, only 20 full-time scholarships are available every year, making this a highly competitive process.

As one of the lucky candidates for 2022, Zhenhui has some tips for prospective applicants for the scholarship. She advises you to narrow down the program you’re interested in and prepare all the relevant documents required in advance. It also doesn’t hurt if you brush up on your English skills, but learning some Spanish would be beneficial too. Most importantly, she reminds you to keep an open mind and a positive attitude throughout the process to improve your chances of success.

So far, just a month into the program, Zhenhui loves her experience at IE University. She can learn alongside classmates from different cultural and academic backgrounds while learning from acclaimed faculty—professors who are highly experienced leaders in their fields. The diverse environment has opened Zhenhui’s mind to ideas and perspectives beyond her own.

It’s also helped her gain valuable insights into various academic areas, including Economics, public policy, ethics and more. Her favorite course has been Probability and Statistics: it’s given Zhenhui the tools to engage in data analysis effectively, opening new roads of opportunity in research projects and career development, too. It also helps that the professor is a patient and detail-oriented teacher who knows how to make the more problematic areas of the class easier to understand.

More than that, Zhenhui has been exploring her new home in Madrid outside of class. The city’s rich historical footprint has already become a source of inspiration for her. She has been most impressed by the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia—Spain’s historic national museum for 20th-century art. While there, she recommends that you check out Pablo Picasso’s Guernica, which is an excellent masterpiece and one of the artist’s greatest works.

For now, Zhenhui is content with the knowledge that IE University is the right place to be: it can provide everything you need, both personally and professionally. She encourages current and future students to set high expectations for the programs and focus on enriching their hard and soft skills. It’s the perfect way to get the best out of your time at IE University.