Qian Ren ’23 knows the value of a liberal arts education. A double major in environmental studies and economics, she has developed interdisciplinary skills that she hopes to put to good use in the field of climate finance. This emerging field aims to support climate actions by drawing on public, private and alternative funding sources, according to the United Nations. But before entering the profession, Ren has his sights set on an MBA as a way to improve his preparation for his future career.
Over the summer, in the middle of an internship at Morgan Stanley, she took the first step toward that goal by attending two business programs, one at Harvard and the other at Dartmouth. “Climate finance requires you to see the big picture to tackle the big questions,” Ren said. “I think the business world can help me build that capacity.”
Through both programs, Ren learned from top-ranked teachers; however, the two programs differed in their educational focus. Harvard Business School’s Summer Venture in Management program taught participants 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 program, ranging from marketing techniques to corporate finance to business ethics, culminating 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 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, first-generation student, she said. The experience also reaffirmed the importance of his liberal arts education.
“When I interviewed for internships, I was competing against students studying finance or accounting, so they have more 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 really question everything around me.
During the summer weeks not spent on 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 begins her final semester at Hamilton, she is excited to see how her summer experiences strengthen and diversify her skills. “This summer provided me with more technical business skills, and from there I was able to bring my liberal arts background to the table to make the experiences so much richer,” she said.
Disciplines: Environmental Studies and Economics
Hometown: Malden, Massachusetts.
High School: Malden High School