ASU senior wins prestigious Schwarzman Scholarship


Firoz Jameel

Jessica Hocken is fascinated with Chinese culture. Since middle school, she has wanted to visit China and explore the country.

“I’ve always wanted to explore and experience everything China has to offer," Hocken said.

This fall, she will have the opportunity to go to China as a Schwarzman Scholar. Hocken will be a part of the inaugural class of scholars, a group of 111 students who will study at Tsinghua University for a year to earn a master's degree and broaden their understanding about China.

The scholarship, which accepted less than 4 percent of all applicants, fits well with Hocken’s entrepreneurial spirit.

As a student at Arizona State University, Hocken joined her best friend, Erin Schulte, to found the All Walks Project , a nonprofit dedicated to educating college students about sex trafficking. Using her background as an accounting major, Hocken provides business support for the All Walks Project to ensure the nonprofit can continue growing.

Hocken credits her experience at ASU with the All Walks Project for helping her realize new ways to take advantage of her background in business.

“ASU has shown me how to be an interdisciplinary thinker,” she said. “Just because I’m pursuing an accounting degree doesn’t mean I have to be an accountant — I can start a nonprofit with my best friend instead.”

Hocken plans to use her experiences from ASU and China to start her own business venture upon completing the Schwarzman program. While at Tsinghua, she will earn a master's degree in management and global affairs.

In addition to preparing for graduation this spring, Hocken will need to prepare for a year in China too. Most importantly, she wants to brush up on her Mandarin before going abroad.

“Graduating from ASU in three years made it difficult for me to fit Chinese into my schedule. I’ll need to practice some before I go.”