Yizhen was drawn to Johns Hopkins SAIS for its Energy, Resources and Environment program, which she believed was her perfect match. She felt that the curriculum was designed for students like her who have a passion for enhancing environmental sustainability globally without compromising economic growth. Now in her second year at the school, the program has offered her abundant resources and connections that have supported her transition into the energy and environment field after working in banking and financial services.

Following her first year studying at SAIS Europe in Bologna, Italy, Yizhen landed a summer internship at the World Resources Institute (WRI) in Beijing on their Sustainable Cities and Transportation team. She contributed to four projects simultaneously, which including management of clean energy buses, the development of an urban metro network and high-speed rail. She attended the COTA-World Bank China Transport Forum as part of the organizers’ team, and she visited the electric bus factories and municipal bus companies in Zhengzhou and Shenzhen as a representative of WRI. The research she carried out at WRI strongly supplemented the academic studies in her ERE classes.

Yizhen has also valued the many professional development opportunities the school offers. She has participated in three different career treks to Geneva, Vienna, and San Francisco, which have served as a valuable way to learn how global organizations operate and to network with the school’s alumni.

Yizhen has also found it an absolute highlight to study among the students and faculty she has met in Bologna and Washington, DC. Everyone she has met has had incredible stories to share and has offered diverse perspectives, which elevated her graduate school experience. She has also appreciated her professors’ openness to share their expertise in meaningful conversations outside of class hours.

After graduating, Yizhen plans to apply the skills and connections gained through the school to a consultant or project manager role where she can advise on business strategies aimed at finding a balance between profitability and sustainability, preferably leveraging her strong quantitative background.