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Voyage from ECNU to Tsinghua and Microsoft


Kateryna Krasnozhon

Alumni of Master of International Business Program at Asia Europe Business School (AEBS)

Researcher in MICROSOFT RESEARCH ASIA ( AI&Innovation Project)

Hello, my name is Kateryna, I'm from Ukraine. I've had a lifelong passion for technology, starting with learning to type before I could even write. This early interest led me to pursue a degree in Computer Sciences and then to embark on a career as a software engineer and solution architect in Ukraine.

During my journey, I had the opportunity to contribute significantly to the development of a governmental platform, operating within a dynamic startup-like environment. This experience required me to juggle diverse tasks in coding, project management, and other roles. All these experiences sparked my interest in transitioning my career path to the business aspects of technology.

Subsequently, I joined Ukraine's foremost technology company, where I served as a technology and business consultant, engaging with international clients spanning diverse industry verticals across the US, Canada, Europe, and Asia. Seeking to deepen my understanding of business alongside technology, I pursued a further education in China. I was honored to be awarded a Chinese Government Scholarship to study at East China Normal University in Shanghai, where I obtained a business degree, further igniting my fascination with Asia and the intersections of business and technology.

Today, my professional commitment revolves around leveraging comprehensive technical expertise and strategic business acumen to spearhead innovation and deliver transformative solutions within the global technology landscape. I am deeply passionate and committed to leveraging technology as a catalyst for driving meaningful change and innovation. My vision is to harness the power of emerging technologies to address societal challenges, enhance operational efficiencies, and create sustainable solutions that positively impact communities on a global scale.

From Aid to Impact: My Journey Through Leadership and Technology

My enduring connection to Ukraine, despite my global pursuits, led me to establish a non-profit organization to aid the country when the war broke out two years ago. This venture into uncharted territory, encompassing the complexities of fundraising and the strategic use of technology for social impact, honed my adaptability, resilience, and piqued my interest in a variety of leadership approaches.

This quest for leadership diversity and a deeper comprehension of Asia's role in the technology sector has drawn me to the Schwarzman Scholars program. In recent years, I have been privileged to embark on significant professional and personal development. The experience of founding my NGO provided me with invaluable leadership insights, compelling me to seek out different leadership methodologies and to better understand the subtleties of Asia within the technological context. This aspiration has propelled me towards the Schwarzman Scholars program at Tsinghua University in Beijing—a fully-funded and prestigious master's program known for emphasizing the program on global leadership and China studies.

As a Schwarzman Scholar, I have been granted the extraordinary chance to conduct pioneering research at Microsoft Research Asia, which will culminate in my master's dissertation. My current research involves overseeing a multidisciplinary team consisting of sociologists, researchers, and AI specialists. We are spearheading an investigation into the societal effects of Large Language Models (LLMs) and are also examining the specific industry applications of AI. The outcomes of our research are intended to be synthesized into a policy brief that will guide corporate decision-makers in the responsible implementation and management of AI technologies.

These experiences have not only enriched my technical knowledge but have also solidified my dedication to using technology as a tool for constructive societal transformation.

From Tsinghua University to Microsoft Research Asia—Shaping the Future of Technology and Society

I chose to study at Tsinghua University because of its renowned reputation as a global leader in education and research, with a particular focus on technology and international studies. The university's commitment to fostering innovation, combined with its strategic location in Beijing—a hub of cultural and technological advancements—was a major factor in my decision.

My time at East China Normal University (ECNU) was instrumental in preparing me for my journey at Tsinghua. ECNU deepened my understanding of Chinese culture, language, and societal dynamics, ultimately sparking my desire to pursue further studies in China. Beyond academics, the global nature of the program allowed me to connect with peers from diverse backgrounds, enhance my cultural awareness and expand on my professional network virtually.

Currently, I am deeply engaged in cutting-edge research at Microsoft Research Asia, exploring the societal impacts of Large Language Models (LLMs) and delving into industry-specific applications of AI. My team's research aims to bridge the gap between technology and society by providing actionable recommendations through a comprehensive policy brief. We analyze the ethical, economic, technological, and social dimensions of LLMs to identify critical considerations for stakeholders in the AI era.

I hope our research will have a far-reaching impact beyond academic circles, resonating with policymakers, industry leaders, and the broader community in the future. By fostering dialogue and advocating for ethical AI practices, we strive to pave the way for a more inclusive and responsible AI era. In this era, technological advancements will be harnessed for the collective benefit of society.

Embracing Technology for Positive Change in a Global Context

There's no doubt that the future of AI holds significant promise for business school students, offering new avenues for data-driven decision-making, process automation, personalized customer experiences, and entrepreneurial innovation.

Students equipped with AI knowledge can leverage advanced analytics to drive strategic insights, optimize business processes through automation, and create tailored offerings to enhance customer satisfaction. While those who do not embrace AI may risk falling behind in leveraging data-driven insights, potentially compromising their competitiveness in an increasingly digital and AI-driven business environment.

Additionally, AI presents opportunities for entrepreneurship, with technologies like natural language processing and robotics enabling innovative ventures. In my opinion, ethical considerations and AI governance will also become essential components of business education, preparing students to navigate responsible AI practices.

Suggestions to Current Students

To all applicants and students considering the challenge of business education and exploring opportunities in China, I encourage you to embrace this journey with enthusiasm and open-mindedness! China offers a dynamic and transformative environment where you can immerse yourself in a rich tapestry of culture, innovation, and global perspectives like you won’t be able to do anywhere else in the world.

Embrace continuous learning by staying curious and open to new experiences. Engage with diverse communities and build meaningful connections that will broaden your horizons and expand your professional network. Seek out mentorship and guidance from experienced professionals who can offer valuable insights and support your growth.

Above all, believe in yourself and your potential to make a difference. Explore the vibrant cities, taste the delicious cuisine, and experience the warmth of Chinese hospitality. China is not just a destination - it's an opportunity to challenge yourself, broaden your perspectives, and embrace new possibilities.

Author: Kateryna Krasnozhon

Liaison: Qi Cai

Copy editor: Maxwell Ziwa

Editor: Mei Xia, Wicky Xu