Ziyi Wang, a second-year student in the Master’s in International Policy (MIP) program, was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship and plans to study politics at Oxford University next year.
Wang joined the MIP program as a Coterm student and was inspired by her courses, professors, and classmates to continue in academia and pursue a Ph.D at Oxford. She said that MIP classes on topics such as the global economy, American grand strategy, and artificial intelligence left her wanting to know more about the world.
“[Those classes] taught me how much I didn’t know about the skills and expertise that are needed to work in those areas,” Wang said. “MIP has been great in equipping me with the methods and tools to eventually make policy recommendations. But I’d like to gain a little more expertise before I begin my career.”
At MIP, Wang is specializing in international security and is interested in U.S.-China relations. A Beijing native, she attended public school in China before matriculating at Stanford in 2016 as a freshman. As a Coterm student she began taking MIP classes last year while finishing her senior-year undergraduate classes and playing on the Stanford women’s golf team.
Many days, her schedule consisted of waking up at 6 a.m. for a workout, attending class, going to practice in the afternoon, and going to the library before going to bed. Most Friday nights, she was asleep by 7 p.m. Wang said that the experience taught her a valuable lesson in time management.
“I learned that the less time you have, the more efficient you become,” she said.
When Wang applied to the MIP program as a Stanford junior, she intended to play golf professionally after graduating. However, she changed her mind early on in her MIP career after realizing that she wanted to know more about the topics she was learning about in class.
“The MIP program completely changed my life trajectory,” Wang said.
Last summer, she worked as a research assistant to H.R. McMaster, studying the U.S. government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic with a focus on the coordination of government and private sector efforts. The team published a white paper in October with recommendations on how the public and private sectors could work together more efficiently in the case of another public health crisis.
Wang hopes to have a wide-ranging career after Oxford and aspires to work at an international organization or a think tank, and she would also like to work in the private sector. Eventually, Wang wants to return to academia and end her career teaching the next generation of global leaders.
“I want to return to work at a university because of the professors I’ve interacted with and became close with here at Stanford,” she said, naming Francis Fukuyama, Michael McFaul, Thomas Fingar, Christophe Crombez, and Stephen Krasner as particularly inspirational. “I’m really appreciative of the MIP program and the community, and how professors were very willing to offer me advice when I sought it.”