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Every year the Mid-Career/MPA Mason Fellows are the first to arrive on campus for a two-week summer seminar program. This year, several of them have volunteered to introduce themselves through the Harvard Kennedy School School (HKS) admissions blog with a self-authored post.
Below is a selected portion of the blog recently written by Jiaoli Chen:
Deeply rooted in China, over the past 10 years I’ve built my career in government and international NGO work from the remote southwest to the capital, Beijing.
Before I came to the Kennedy School I was the head of the Greater China team for the Center for Global Growth Companies at the World Economic Forum, where we aimed to engage the most dynamic high-growth companies, bring their voices forward and bridge them with international peers.
Prior to that, I was the Senior Inward Investment Officer at the British Embassy in Beijing and Consulate General in Chongqing. My job was to facilitate investment projects from China into the UK. While working with Chinese globalizers, I wondered, “Are there ways to benefit society through business for a better world?” To pursue my passion for public private partnership and social entrepreneurship, I came here.
Three words strike me deeply from the past four weeks of study – be purposeful, be present and be resilient.
HKS is a mission-driven school. Dean David T. Ellwood said in the welcome video to all new students, “This is a place with a simple mission. We honestly believe we can and we should make the world a better place. Some people call that naive. If so, I’m very proud to be the dean of one of the largest groups of incredibly smart, successful and naive people in the world.”
Every one of us have come to the Kennedy School with a purpose, and since day one we have been reminded over and over again not to forget what brought us here. In the first four weeks my favorite sessions were part of “Leading the Change”, which presented extraordinary life stories of Mason fellows. Those sessions made me look beyond their professional accomplishment and I am fully humbled by who they actually are as people and what they actually DID in advancing the public good. Talking with my dear colleagues has provided the most valuable and enlightening moments for me so far and I feel so lucky to be with so many naive but purposeful souls who will back each other along this journey.
Jiaoli Chen, Mason Fellow
"To pursue my passion for public private partnership and social entrepreneurship, I came here," says Chen.