Zhihao Zhao

2015 Patricia and Harry L. Bruce Endowed Scholarship Recipient

Biography: Zhihao Zhao is a fourth-year student from Beijing, China, double-majoring in Business Economics and Psychology and minoring in Mathematics. He is also pursuing his Master degree in Economics through the Departmental Scholars Program. At UCLA, Zhihao has developed a strong passion for business strategy, entrepreneurship and education. He plans to bring his knowledge of educational psychology to Chinese schools and parents through an ed-tech start-up. He has completed his Honor’s thesis in Educational Psychology under the guidance of Drs. Karen Givvin and Jim Stigler, comparing U.S. and Chinese math textbooks and investigating how those differences influence students’ learning effects. To develop his business acumen, Zhihao is currently interning at DroneBase, a start-up providing aerial data collected by drones to real estate and construction clients. Over summer 2015, Zhihao interned at a private equity firm, Linden Education Partners, which invests in for-profit education institutes. Zhihao also has experience working in consulting and market research. In addition, Zhihao is currently the External Vice President of Building Engineers and Mentors (BEAM) at UCLA and a circle docent for the Los Angeles Math Circle (LAMC) in the Department of Mathematics at UCLA.

Future Plans: Zhihao is currently looking for full-time opportunities in private equity and strategy consulting to gain more insights in business. He plans to obtain a MBA and a doctorate in education within the next ten years. After finishing those degrees, he plans to go back to China and establish his own ed-tech start-up to design and supply hands-on lesson plans for the younger generation. The business will introduce a diversity of learning methods to complement the existing education model, which will eventually lead to better learning outcomes.

What does the scholarship mean to me?: I am very grateful and honored to be a recipient of the 2015-16 Patricia and Harry L. Bruce Endowed Scholarship. I appreciate Mr. and Mrs. Bruce’s kindness and dedication to supporting higher education. This scholarship represents much more than the wonderful financial benefit it provides to me and my family. I also regard this scholarship as an encouraging validation of my previous work and a mandate to pursue my career goal in entrepreneurship and education. I expect to bring the benefits of this scholarship to bear on school children and parents in China, which should ultimately make a positive impact beyond China as well.