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 action by drawing on public, private and alternative funding sources, according to the United Nations. But before entering the profession, Ren has set her sights on an MBA as a means of increasing her readiness for her future career.
During the summer, in between an internship at Morgan Stanley, she took the first step toward that goal by attending two business programs, one at Harvard and another at Dartmouth. “Climate finance requires you to think big to tackle the big questions,” said Ren. “I think the business world can help me strengthen this skill.”
Through both programs, Ren learned from top-ranked professors; however, the two programs differed in educational focus. Harvard Business School’s Entrepreneurship in Management Summer 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 emphasized introductory business skills for undergraduate STEM and liberal arts students. Lessons covered the foundation of an MBA curriculum, ranging from marketing techniques to corporate finance to business ethics and culminated in a group capstone project.
“I realized that a liberal arts education is just as valuable. I was given the skills to think outside the box, think critically about the world and 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, 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 studying finance or accounting, so they have more of those technical skills,” Ren said. “But from this experience, I realized that a liberal arts education is just as valuable. I was given the skills to think outside the box, think critically about the world and 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 industry, company, stock and customer research.
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 much richer,” she said.
Majors: Environmental Studies and Economics
Hometown: Malden, Mass.
High School: Malden High School