SFU alumna Chardaye Bueckert receives Schwarzman Scholarship
By Justin Wong
Chardaye Bueckert, Simon Fraser University alumna and former Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) president, has been nominated as one of 111 Schwarzman scholars to travel to Tsinghua University in China this August for a fully funded one-year master’s degree program.
Bueckert, a political science major who graduated in 2015, is honoured to represent SFU as the only Schwarzman Scholar to hold an undergraduate degree from a western Canadian university.
The scholarship competition attracted more than 3,000 applicants from 135 countries for its inaugural class starting in August 2016. This unique class consists of the world’s 111 brightest young minds with world-leader potential.
As one of the 300 semi-finalists, Bueckert traveled to the historic Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City where she sat for a panel interview with various world leaders.
“It was a thorough, high-paced interview that I very much enjoyed,” says Bueckert. “I discussed my leadership experience, stance on policy issues, my experience as a debater and what I would say to Canadians as Prime Minister in response to the November 2015 attacks in Paris.”
Bueckert says her exposure to the multitude of academic and extracurricular activities at SFU, particularly in politics where she served as Simon Fraser Student Society president, helped her build self-confidence and develop her leadership skills.
“These experiences as an undergraduate ultimately made me realize that I have the potential to make positive change at a national and global level one day.”
Bueckert applied for the Schwarzman Scholarship to gain a better understanding of China as an emerging global power.
“We look forward to having an inaugural cohort of exceptionally talented, diverse and passionate Schwarzman Scholars joining our dynamic learning community,” says Tsinghua University President, Dr. Qiu Yong.
She is currently completing the B.C. Legislative Internship Program, which concludes in June 2016. Shortly thereafter she will move to Beijing to start the program, which commences in August 2016.
Bueckert plans to concentrate her Master of Global Affairs degree on public policy. During her stay she will hone her ability to speak fluent Mandarin and develop a strong network of young leaders from around the world.
She has some advice for students seeking to improve their leadership skills: “I learned the best way to develop leadership skills is to work for causes you believe in.”