Could you please introduce yourself?
Hello. I am Peirong Shi from BX24. I grew up in northern China. Before joining bachelor program, I had an internship in an accounting firm at Beijing. I study mathematics and economics and minor in chemistry. My experience in researching on topics relevant to The Paris Agreement online as a teenager sparked off my interest in climate change issues. Courses at École Polytechnique manifest connections between economics and this global challenge and equip me with the most basic skills necessary for further study in this subject. In addition, I am president of Art Committee and board member of Culture’X.
Why did you choose the Bachelor of Science of Ecole Polytechnique ?
There are three main reasons. To begin with, France is a tolerant and diverse country, where I can broaden my vision and have this very good opportunity to study a new language: French. Next, École Polytechnique is a top institution with top-notch professors, with whom I not only learn useful knowledge and skills, but also build connections with school’s department related to my academic interests to obtain internship opportunities so as to dig deeper in topics I am passionate about. In addition, through intelligent and cultural collisions with excellent peers coming from different countries, I am able to improve and grow.
Could you tell us how the second year is going?
Bachelor program has always been intensive and challenging, pushing us to make progress. The second year is no exception. In academics, we are learning math and economics knowledge on a higher level. However, from professors, teaching assistants, and tutors, we can obtain all sources of help to improve. On the other hand, as planner of art exhibitions and one of the organizers of Culture’X events, I feel finding the balance between academic work and involvement in community can be quite a challenge, but it is through these opportunities that I strengthen soft skills such as communication, time management, and planning. I am also thankful to receive advice from academic officer and professor to secure a summer internship to work on the topic ‘a just transition’ regarding sustainable economy as research assistant.
Do you have a favourite course?
I feel I am able to acquire useful knowledge and skills from every course at École Polytechnique. All courses are difficult and challenging, but it is through these challenges that I improve. Whether running ordinary least squares in finance project, debating on topics in history of economics, writing analysis on philosophical texts of science, studying convergences of series of functions, or synthesizing polymers in lab, I obtain different skills and tools to have better intuition and capability for researching or pursuing further study. In some situations, some insights or skills I gained in one discipline can probably be utilized in another field, via an interestingly natural way of thinking formed through studying various subjects.
What would be a great memory of your second year in the Program that you would like to share with future students?
Passionate in art, I am excited to plan and hold art exhibitions during school’s events like bachelorgiving and speech contest. With people who share the same interest, I establish the Art Committee, which aims to provide platform for artistic bachelors to demonstrate talents, embrace cultures, record moments of bachelor, and show gratitude through abundant ways of expressions such as painting, sculpture, electronic art, and photography…In addition to working with peers interested in art or event organizers from student association L’ORE, I also receive support from faculty members. I often have small meetings with second year academic officer, Madam Dufort Nadège, who is special consultant of Art Committee: for instance, having a lunch meeting to discuss about cooperation with X-Chine from engineering program so as to add Chinese elements to art exhibition during the next bachelorgiving.
What are your ambitions for the future?
I would like to continue pursuing my interest in environmental issues, as I feel they are significant matters related to human survival. Business innovation and economic study on carbon prices, can probably provide insights and solutions. I don’t know if I am more suitable to work in companies or become a researcher in the public sector. If I were to become a scholar, I would probably work on topics such as adaptation and mitigation methods and carbon trading, solutions to reduce carbon emission to combat climate change. If I were to work in companies, I would probably focus on sustainable finance, risk analysis, or consulting, linking investments to business innovations that promote greener society.
Any piece of advice to future Bachelor students that you would like to share?
I feel all students accepted to bachelor program are intelligent and talented. Coming from different education and cultural backgrounds and having diverse interests, they have different strengths, so I would say: Keep working, both academic wise and nonacademic wise. In this way, you can continuously improve in areas where you are good and interested in order to grow into a more mature person. As for leisure, having a trip to Paris or cooking with dormmates can be fun and relaxing. The last but not the least, if you would like to improve spoken language, participate in language exchange, where you can find your language pair to help each other out. That’s all. Thank you.