Chen Yi
Master: International Energy
Concentrations: Middle Eastern Studies

The place(s) I call home

Nanjing, China

Prior to PSIA I was

I already had being a foreign student in the United States where I developed a sense of cross-cultural appreciation. I was quite involved in my undergraduate institution from Greek Life to Student Government. In fact I was the first foreign student then elected as Representative in the Student Government; also during my presidency of the International Student Club I launched the Mentor Program similar to the Buddy Program in Sciences Po. Outside campus, I had the chance to work for an U.S. Congresswoman in addition to internships in banking and think tank.


My life at PSIA

The seed of my interest in the “International Energy program” was planted while I was an undergraduate. Having lived in Cleveland, I was influenced by the Gilded Age petroleum heritage, as my apartment was only five minutes away from John D. Rockefeller’s cemetery. I studied the history of American industrialization and I read a very interesting book on the 1919 Colorado coalminers’ strike. It was provoking to me since I am from a fast-industrializing country where energy is a central issue. After receiving a research fund from my university, I made a field trip to Central China’s small coalmines and wrote my senior thesis on the Chinese coalmine reform. Also I worked in a sustainability research center in the business school, which empowered me with the idea that “behind every social issue there is a business opportunity in disguise.” In addition to this program itself, studying in Europe had always been appealing to me. Sciences Po offered this great opportunity to engage in this prestigious institution in the heart of Paris. The intellectual and diverse student body in PSIA is something I appreciate the most in PSIA. In fact there is so much to learn from my classmates. Genuinely, my favorite thing in PSIA was to have a cup coffee with my classmate and learned about his country.

My objectives

In principal, my goal is to work in a very challenging environment that could build my expertise and push me to reach the limit. In practice, I would like to work for an international energy organization with links to China. China is currently a major buyer in the international energy market but since it is a new player, there have been a lot of frictions. I would like to serve as the lubricant. Cultivation of intellect is a major goal in my life and I enjoy so much reading, writing and discussing on economic and political issues. In fact I organized a Chinese political discussion group in Paris with students from different backgrounds. China, being the biggest laboratory for social scientists, is simply too fascinating. For example, can you imagine how fascinating it is to construct a competitive unbundling electricity market in the most populous market of the world? Professionally, I am eager to build my expertise on the energy system. For example, I was fascinated by the European natural gas system and the liberalization process of the European electricity market. Essentially I would like to develop a comprehensive understanding of the energy sector.

My best tips

My most inspiring class so far has been…International Relations in the Middle East by Professor Fawaz Gerges. It was my very first exposure to this fascinating part of the world and I was truly inspired by the professor. His lecture was intellectually stimulating, provoking and his enthusiasm was infectious through the classroom. He was able to link the political theory, past history and current affairs organically. Most importantly, this course helped me think comparatively between the Chinese and the Middle Eastern perspectives.