Qian Ren ’23 knows the value of a liberal arts education. An environmental studies and economics double major, she has fostered interdisciplinary skills that she hopes to use in the field of climate finance. This emerging field aims to support climate actions by drawing on public, private, and alternative sources of funding, according to the United Nations. But before she enters the profession, Ren has her eyes set on an MBA as a means to increase preparedness for her prospective career.
Over the summer, amidst a Morgan Stanley internship, she took the first step towards this goal by participating in two business programs, one at Harvard and another at Dartmouth. “Climate finance requires you to have big picture thinking to tackle big questions,” Ren said. “I think the business world can help me strengthen that ability.”
Through both programs, Ren learned from top-ranked professors; however, the two programs differed in educational focus. The Harvard Business School Summer Venture in Management Program taught participants through the case study method. By reading business scenarios, Ren developed an eye for problem solving and innovative solutions. Dartmouth’s Tuck Business Bridge Program emphasizes introductory business skills for undergraduate STEM and liberal arts students. Lessons spanned the basis of an MBA curriculum, ranging from marketing techniques to corporate finance to business ethics, and culminated in a group capstone project.
“I realized that the liberal arts education is just as valuable. I was given the skills to think outside the box, think critically about the world, and really question everything around me.”
Through these experiences, Ren realized the possibility of pursuing an MBA — something that had always felt out of reach as a low-income and first-generation student, she said. The experience also reaffirmed the importance of her liberal arts education.
“When I was interviewing for internships, I was competing against students who are studying finance or accounting, so they have more of that technical skill,” Ren said. “But from this experience, I realized that the liberal arts education is just as valuable. I was given the skills to think outside the box, think critically about the world, and really question everything around me.”
In the summer weeks not devoted to these programs, Ren continued as a private wealth management intern at Morgan Stanley. She had started the internship in January during her New York City Program experience. Ren’s days consisted of research on the industry, the company, stocks, and clients.
As Ren heads into her final semester at Hamilton, she is excited to see how her summer experiences strengthen and diversify her skill set. “This summer provided me with more technical business skills, and from there, I was able to bring my liberal arts education to the table to make the experiences so much richer,” she said.
Majors: Environmental Studies and Economics
Hometown: Malden, Mass.
High School: Malden High School