Around 3,000 international top talents had applied for one of the world's most prestigious graduate scholarships at Schwarzman College of Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. 151 applicants from 36 countries were accepted, chosen for their exceptional academic achievements and commitment to positive social change. One of them is Samata Shrestha, Constructor University in Bremen alumna.
"I'm excited, grateful and full of anticipation," said the 26-year-old, who studied International Relations, Politics and History at the English-speaking Constructor University in Bremen. When she boarded the plane in 2016 to travel 6,700 kilometers from Nepal to Bremen, Germany, she did not foresee, that one day she would receive such a coveted scholarship. Samata came to Bremen for a summer camp at Constructor University, which was then still called Jacobs University. She was 18, it was her first trip abroad and it would change her life forever. "For me, it was like a dream," she recalled, "I was immersed in a culture that I fell in love with."
Not long after, Samata began her undergraduate studies at Constructor University. "Studying at Constructor University was definitely the foundation for my successful application as a Schwarzman scholar," she said, "I learned more about myself during that time than I ever had before. The education shaped my character, strengthened my resilience, and empowered me to excel academically."
The internationality of life on campus with students and faculty from over 110 nations, with an interdisciplinary study structure and interactive teaching, shaped her. As did the semester abroad at the University of Edinburgh in her third year. At Constructor University, she also developed her interest in Nepal's neighbor, China. She wrote her bachelor's thesis on Foreign Direct Investment in Nepal.
At Constructor University, she also pursued a passion she developed as a teenager and still follows today: writing poetry. As a 13-year-old, she published a book called “Reflection.” She has been awarded as one of the best young poets in Nepal, and she sometimes shares her talent with words with live audiences in slam poetry performances.
After graduating in 2019, Samata went back to Nepal - as a "Returning Expert" supported by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). This program, funded by the German government, aims to promote the reintegration of experts into the economy of their home country, and thus strengthen its sustainable development.
In parallel, Samata was involved in the creation of Silk Innovation, a start-up for which she currently works as Chief Marketing Officer. The company offers very successful digital solutions with services such as software or website development, information security measures or digital marketing. Her job for Silk Innovation earned Samata another award as "Summit Woman: 30 under 30." This honors young female entrepreneurs who are helping to break down barriers in Nepal's business community, narrowing the digital divide in the country and motivating others to build a sustainable economy.
The further development of the country's entrepreneurial ecosystem is close to her heart. This is one of the reasons why she applied for the Schwarzman Scholarship, which was established by American billionaire Stephen A. Schwarzman. Under the program, Samata will study at Tsinghua University for a year starting in August.
The curriculum will focus on three areas: leadership, China and global affairs. She will also be offered a variety of opportunities for professional development. Through internships, mentorship programs and high-profile speakers, she will be able to build a global network of professional relationships. Thus, the fellowship will help her build on existing skills, gain new ones, and bring her closer to her goal: "I want to promote brands from Nepal and drive their digital transformation not only in the country, but also internationally."
This text is part of the "Faces" series, in which Constructor University introduces students, alumni, professors and staff.
Image 1: Samata Shrestha graduated from Constructor University in 2019, which then was still called Jacobs University. (Source: private/Constructor University)
Image 2: Samata was part of the creation of the start-up Silk Innovation for which she currently works as Chief Marketing Officer. (Source: private/Constructor University)