Senior Spotlight

Senior Spotlight: Cecilia Heard

Cecilia Heard is a senior studying Finance and Management while minoring Hispanic Studies. She is from Mississippi and is excited to live in NYC after graduation to work for Perella Weinberg Partners.

When did you get involved with Wharton Women and what has been the best part about the experience?

I got involved with Wharton Women my freshman fall. I began by just attending all the events and getting to know the leaders in the club. As I experienced and witnessed the degree of community and support that clearly existed in the club, I knew that I wanted to become more heavily involved so I applied to a committee position.

I would say that the best part of my experience in the club has been witnessing women coming together to support each other and mentor those who are younger. A few weeks ago, I attended the conference as a senior mentor, and it was amazing to look around and see my peers, the young women who I remember coming to the conference with my freshman year, paying it forward and helping the current underclassmen as we had been helped. Our involvement in the club and passion for its mission has stood the test of time, and I think that says a lot about the community.

Favorite memory from being a part of the Dollar Diva committee?

My favorite memory from my experience planning and executing the Dollar Diva conference would be the day of the conference. It was not only rewarding and exhilarating to see all our hard work come to fruition, but it was also incredible to feel like we were making an impact by helping young women in high school learn about financial literacy and entrepreneurship. Regardless of the career path they end up pursuing, those skills will be necessary and if we were able to inspire them to try a business career path, then that is even better.

What other clubs/activities are you involved in? How do you balance your time?

My other main commitments on campus are Delta Sigma Pi, my business fraternity, and my role as a WH101 Teaching Assistant. I served in various roles on the executive boards for both and found them to be both amazing leadership experiences and communities. I also am passionate about the Financial Literacy Community Project and have been teaching financial literacy at School of the Future twice a week for the past two years.

In terms of balancing my time, I maintain a very detailed planner and Google Calendar where I allocate a certain number of hours to each obligation per week and then I pencil in a time slot for each in my calendar and repeat this time slot for the same day/time the entire semester. It helps to build a routine and ensure that I have time to see to all my responsibilities.

Post-graduation plans?

Immediately after graduation, I will be traveling a fair amount, including spending two weeks hiking and camping in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. In mid-July, I head to New York to work at Perella Weinberg Partners. I interned there last summer and am excited to be returning.

A day in the life:

I usually wake up at 6 AM and spend an hour or two at the gym, grab breakfast with a friend at Metropolitan Bakery and then work for several hours until lunch. I find I am most productive in the mornings so all my classes start late afternoon which allows me to frontload all my work for the day. I generally get home in the mid-evening if I don’t have any late classes (I try to avoid as many nights in Huntsman as possible these days), make some dinner and hang with my housemates. I’ll work for a bit more if needed, read and meditate before heading to bed around 10:30 PM.

Advice for freshman year self?

  1. There is no “right way” to doing Penn in my opinion. Figure out what works for you and makes you the happiest. Once you know what this is, stick with it and excel at it. We all have different interests and needs, so just do you and nothing else matters.
  2. Invest in relationships and make it a regular point to catch-up with people you care about. It can be hard to do this on a regular basis but find blocks of time where this fits into your schedule easily.
  3. Get involved with the surrounding community in a way which aligns with your passions. It is so easy to become overly absorbed in the Penn bubble. The Financial Literacy Community Project has been incredibly meaningful to me these past few years as it has allowed me to teach students important skills, become better acquainted with the Philadelphia community and develop as a teacher.

By Shreya Subramanian (W’ 21).