Griffith Bachelor of Commerce graduate Caitlene Hillman has been awarded a prestigious Schwarzman Scholarship for 2020/21, the first Griffith student to receive one.

She is one of only three Australians to receive the 2020/21 scholarship, the only scholar to come from a Queensland university and also the only one from a non G08 university.

Caitlene will be admitted as a Schwarzman Scholar next August after a rigorous application process which included more than 4,700 candidates. 145 Schwarzman scholarships have been offered in this round, from 41 countries and 108 universities.

Professor Sarah Todd

She will now complete an innovative Master of Global Affairs degree program at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

Professor Sarah Todd, Vice President (Global) said Caitlene was a very deserving recipient of Griffith’s first Schwarzman Scholarship.

“This is a prestigious scholarship, widely regarded as China’s version of the Rhodes Scholarship program,” she said.

“It provides an incredible opportunity for her to undertake a master degree at Tsinghua.

“Griffith has long had a history of providing opportunities for students to have a study and/or internship experience in the Asia Pacific region and I am delighted that we now have our first Schwarzman Scholar.”

“I know Caitlene will be an excellent ambassador for Griffith and I hope that her success in this endeavour will inspire other Griffith students to apply for this scholarship program.”

Caitlene Hillman

In the past 18 months, Caitlene has enjoyed some incredible opportunities at Griffith, winning accolades that have included being named one of the Top 100 Graduates in the Australian Financial Review’s Future Leaders awards, being flown to New York among one of only eight teams selected for the finals of the Point72 Global Case Competition and representing the University at the regional stages of the 2018 and 2019 Hult Prize Challenge.

“One of my proudest achievements this year was completing an exchange semester at the University of Hong Kong whilst competing in a number of overseas competitions (including the Harvard Global Case Competition in Boston and the William & Mary Women’s Stock Pitch Competition in Virginia),” Caitlene said.

“Working with the Multicultural Families Organisation to launch the Youth Leaders of Positive Change program centred on embracing diversity and multiculturalism was also a highlight.

“This program engages high school students through conferences focused on areas such as positive leadership and assists them in starting projects at their schools such as international day.”

The Schwarzman Scholarship starts in August 2020.

“I am excited to meet other scholars, academics, faculties and visiting guest speakers,” she said.

“They come from a diverse range of backgrounds (both geographically and from different industries).

“My objectives are to be a leader in social finance and economic development and contribute to the conversation shaping modern and sustainable capitalism.

“China is an important centre of power and this is evidenced in the unparalleled growth rate of Chinese outward investment and China’s “big push” into the developing world. Therein lies an opportunity to unleash the power of capital markets and investments to drive socioeconomic development, improve social welfare and solve the world’s toughest problems.”

Caitlene graduated in 2019 and said her experiences at Griffith gave her the confidence to apply for the scholarship.

“Starting university at quite an early age, I found each academic throughout my time at Griffith University have played a vital role in my development–from support to coffee chats.

My academic mentors, Dr. Katherine Hunt and Dr. John Fan, have been very influential on my university experience and always instilled in me the confidence to pursue programs like this.”

Griffith Honours College helps students like Caitlene identify and apply for prestigious opportunities to further their academic careers, providing support through the application process.

For more information about the various scholarship opportunities, including New Colombo Plan, Rhodes Scholarship, Fulbright and Cambridge scholarships, among many others, head online.