Maria Silva ’22 named Schwarzman Scholar

News & Spotlights | December 11, 2023
Maria Fernanda Silva ’22

Maria Fernanda Silva ’22 of Lima, Peru, has been awarded a Schwarzman scholarship to pursue a master’s in global affairs at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. Maria is the twelfth Schwarzman Scholar from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill since the scholarship began in 2015.

Maria will study how Chinese state-owned enterprises operate with a focus on decision-making and financing practices. The alumna is interested in deepening her understanding of how South American economies with ties to China negotiate and execute foreign investments, she said.

“To study for a graduate degree in global affairs in China means to be at the forefront of witnessing the country’s rapid evolution as a global superpower,” said Maria, a technology consultant for Ernst & Young in New York City. “It provides an unparalleled opportunity to study the Chinese perspective on governance and international cooperation, and a unique vantage point to understand the strategies behind China’s foreign investments.”

Maria received bachelor’s degrees in economics and Italian with a minor in business administration. As a student, she served as an undergraduate learning assistant for the economics department, volunteered at the Community Empowerment Fund, and worked for Innovate Carolina. She was also a project lead for The Farmlink Project, a student-run non-governmental organization combating food waste.

During her Morehead-Cain summers, she canoed and backpacked in the Boundary Waters of northeast Minnesota, interned at the World Bank Group, and worked at Antelope, one of Alpine Investors’s portfolio companies. Her coursework at UNC–Chapel Hill focused on machine learning and the Italian financial markets. She was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and received scholarships to study abroad through Semester at Sea and at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy.

Following her graduation, she joined Ernst & Young as a financial services consultant. Maria also received early admission to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management’s full-time master’s in business administration. She plans to enroll at MIT after completing her studies in China.

Lizabeth Bamgboye, a senior at Carolina, was also awarded a Schwarzman this semester.