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Applications Now Live for the Ideal Penn Experience

When I first entered the University of Pennsylvania as a naive and hopeful freshman, I quickly noticed the sheer amount of talent that I was surrounded by. Penn students are academically oriented and high performing, but they are no less successful in their endeavors outside of the classroom. In high school, Penn students held several club leadership positions, sang in the best acapella groups, or participated in athletics at the highest level— more commonly all three of these involvements. It is only natural for the excitement surrounding and emphasis on extracurricular involvement at Penn to be as strong as it is. It can be intimidating to join organizations, especially those with rigorous recruitment processes, and understandably so; however, it is important to remember that most, if not all, incoming students share these feelings and there are ways to navigate the club process.

One of my friends described her club recruitment experience during her fall semester, mentioning that she came in with a deep and genuine interest to explore a professionally oriented club alongside one that catered to her personal interests. After attending countless information sessions for the first few weeks of September, she applied to all of the social impact consulting clubs that Wharton offered, including Social Impact Consulting, 180 Degree Consulting, Penn International Impact Consulting, MUSE Social Impact Practice, and Wharton Undergraduate Consulting Club. She moved on to the first interview round for two of these organizations, the second round for one club, and the third round for none. She described her disappointment, stating that she understood that, realistically, not everyone could be accepted, but she still felt discouraged from exploring a genuine interest.

The extreme selectivity of these pre-professional organizations is partially warranted, for the clients and consequent project work available are not unlimited. Nonetheless, for other students who hope to gain this experience, the rejection from the chance to explore interests can be incredibly disheartening. Persistence is key in these situations, as is the ability to recognize that the opportunities at a school like Penn are endless. If you truly wish to be a part of one specific club, there are many more semesters in which you can try again. If not, extending your reach to other campus groups, even those activities in which you are not necessarily already comfortable, can be rewarding.

Of course, other students view the purpose of extracurricular involvements— both pre-professional and otherwise— at Penn as being largely social. One of my friends mentioned that the social aspect of her main extracurricular involvement, Intercol, is incredibly valuable to her; she explained that the BYOs, parties, casual hangouts, and dinners that she has attended with members of this competitive Model UN team. Clubs are great ways to meet people who share similar interests, but it is important to remember that the “social” experience of the “social ivy” also includes Greek life, cultural organizations, and simply and quite naturally making friends. In my experience, there is no set formula for experiencing the social ivy; instead, finding your own niche— and, as a result, finding “your people”— through a variety of avenues allows you to explore, experiment, and genuinely experience.

So, to all those who have felt excluded at times; to those who have felt disengaged; to those who felt out of place; and to those who have felt as though everyone else was just doing more than you, understand that Penn is a whole new ball game, and it takes everyone— even those who appear to be the most in the know— time and experience to find their place. One year into my Penn experience, I can confidently say that I have; trust me when I assure you, you will.

By Isha Thapar (W ’22)

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).

Senior Advice Series #2: Research at Wharton

Julia Bache is a senior studying Real Estate and Management, while minoring in History. She is originally from Louisville, Kentucky and looks forward to staying in Philly next year when she starts full-time at BCG. Julia has loved being a part of Wharton Women for her four years at Penn!

Just about every college tour you went on talked about research opportunities, right? You probably expected to participate in research at Penn, at least I did.

In my four years at Penn, I have had the amazing opportunity to conduct research on the financial sustainability of historic house museums. Many house museums are struggling financially. I conducted research every summer on a unique topic under the umbrella of financial sustainability. Freshman summer, I surveyed visitors to house museums around Philly about emotions they felt along the tour and how relevant they thought the history was. Sophomore summer, I studied social impact initiatives at house museums, and junior summer I analyzed mergers of historic house museums. Throughout the three summers, I collected both quantitative statistics as well as qualitative case studies. I am excited to present my work in my Wharton senior thesis.

But how do you get involved with research at Wharton? It seems like research at Wharton flies a bit more under the radar. Between classes, clubs, and recruiting, it can seem like most people are too busy for research. As a senior who has conducted research, I’ve learned a bit about how to study what you’re passionate about outside the classroom and why research is so important. Here are some tips and pieces of advice to get you started!

TIPS:

Get on the research email listserv. Yes, there is a whole listserv dedicated to helping Wharton students find research opportunities. Utsav Schurmans, the director of the Research and Scholars Programs, runs this listserv and sends out information about lots of opportunities at least once a week.

Schedule a meeting with Utsav. As the director of the Research and Scholars Programs, Utsav is the expert on research at Wharton. He sits in G95 and you can schedule an appointment with him or try to catch him on a day when he is holding walk-in hours. He can help you learn about all of Wharton’s research opportunities and point you in the right direction if you’re wondering how to get started.

Attend a research info session. We love a good info session here at the Wharton school. Luckily for you, there are info sessions focused on how to do research at Wharton. They usually take place at the beginning of the semester, but they cover the various opportunities available to students and sometimes even have panels of students who have participated in the various programs.

Ask upperclassmen about their research. There are so many upperclassmen who have done research in all capacities, departments, and times of year (summer vs. during the school year). There are veterans of the summer research programs, and JWS seniors who already wrote their theses junior year. Upperclassmen are a great resource to tap into, so ask them to tell you about their research experiences. They’ll be able to explain how they got plugged into different opportunities and give you their honest thoughts on their experience.

Explore Wharton Scholarly Commons. This online database will allow you to read research papers written by students on an extremely wide variety of topics. It can be helpful to see what students are studying and how they are sharing their data through their papers.

Apply to the program that makes the most sense for you. This probably goes without saying, but there are so many research opportunities at Wharton and at Penn in general, so choose the one that best fits your interests, curiosities, skillsets, timeline, and location. I am a part of University Scholars, which is a bit rarer for Wharton students to be a part of, but it fits my needs and interests. UScholars allows me to conduct research over the summer on a very niche and interdisciplinary topic that overlaps business and the humanities.

LESSONS I’VE LEARNED:

Don’t be afraid to reach out to professors for help. My own research has been very interdisciplinary, so I have met with professors in several different departments. I have met with several professors beyond my main advisors, but each one has helped me shape my research questions, methods, and analyses based on their own skillset and area of expertise.

Research is a great freshman or sophomore summer activity. There are several Wharton-sponsored or Penn-organized summer research opportunities that make for a great freshman or sophomore year summer. You’ll build skills and work towards findings which you can talk about when you are applying for sophomore or junior year internships. You can also do research pretty much anywhere, so you could go home, stay in Philly, or even go abroad. I conducted research my freshman year, and I spent enough time that it felt like an internship but I had the freedom to design and lead the whole project.

Research may not be the dominant culture at Wharton, but that does not mean Wharton students aren’t doing research. When everyone talks about their clubs and coffee chats and recruiting, it often seems like people are not spending time on research. However, there are always students conducting research during the year and over the summer, they just might not be as vocal about it. Don’t let the pre-professional nature of the school turn you away from research.

Use research as an opportunity to study what you’re passionate about. We all take the same core classes with a few spaces for electives. If you are passionate about a topic that is not explored in the classroom, conducting research could be the perfect opportunity to explore your area of interest. I have found research to be a fun way to combine my interests into an inter-disciplinary mode of study. Or maybe something covered in class resonated with you and you want to dive deeper – research can provide a way to do that too.  

Research is always a useful skill. I think at Wharton we idolize modeling skills or networking skills, but knowing how to conduct research will also take you far in life. Ultimately, research is going to be an aspect of pretty much any job. Whether you’re conducting consumer research or market comp research, I can almost guarantee that part of your job will include research. Being able to show your research skills on a resume will highlight your initiative, intellectual curiosity, and ability to achieve results.

Julia has conducted extensive research on the financial sustainability of historic house museums. She is excited to present her findings in her Wharton senior thesis.

Best of luck in all your research endeavors!

WW love,

Julia

Senior Spotlight: Rachel Dai

Rachel Dai, former Wharton Women Vice President of Marketing, is a senior studying Marketing, Operations, and Strategic Management. She is from the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia and will be moving to NYC to work at BlackRock after graduation.

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

My first exposure to Wharton Women was during my fall semester as a freshman when an older teammate of mine (shoutout to Erin Lo) recommended that I come to the Fall GBM. I was on the Varsity Women’s Golf team at the time and felt overwhelmed and intimidated by the expectation of participating in and balancing club extracurriculars on top of my athletic commitment. However, she encouraged me to go, reassuring me that Wharton Women was a great club to get involved in with numerous opportunities that could work with my golf commitments. From that first GBM, I applied for a small committee role, learned more about the club and its mission and purpose, and eventually applied to be VP of Marketing.

I considered the best part of my Wharton Women experience to be meeting numerous different girls that I would have never had the chance of crossing paths with without the organization. Thanks to the numerous events that Wharton Women organized, I was able to find great upperclassmen mentors who played pivotal roles in my college experience and meet other girls of different interests and backgrounds who I would otherwise never get the chance to meet. Another instance was when I was able to connect with an associate at my summer internship who was a Wharton Women alum; we shared our experiences and discussed how the organization has developed over the years which was super cool.

Favorite part of being the VP of Marketing?

My favorite part of being the VP of Marketing was driving the organization’s mission and purpose of empowering women in business by taking control of our brand narrative and image and coming up with creative marketing strategies to continue encouraging women (and men) to participate in Wharton Women initiatives. As the VP of Marketing, I had to have a pulse on every initiative that was to be executed, which enabled me to not only learn about the specific projects but also the other people who were behind them. As a result, I developed a strong sense of ownership in my role in making sure that each event was met with good participation and attendance.

It always felt good hearing from peers how well a Wharton Women event was run or how excited they were about our iconic goodie bags! Seeing students repping Wharton Women gear and merchandise on campus was also super satisfying. I also enjoyed working with the other executive board members because we all shared the same, contagious energy towards pushing our organization’s mission.

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

In addition to Wharton Women and Varsity Golf, I have been an active member of Delta Sigma Pi, a community service participant for Habitat for Humanity, a tutor for West Philadelphia Tutoring Project, and a former co-director of Hult Prize at Penn. I have also been a project member of Design for Social Impact and am currently a campus ambassador for Rent the Runway.

Having a clear list of priorities has always been helpful for me in delineating how much blocks of time should be dedicated to each priority. Also, being able to visualize a list of commitments and responsibilities and a schedule/calendar filled with various blocks of committed time is helpful in checking with yourself and asking what is feasible. Having concrete blocks of time dedicated to something, no matter how long or short, is also a great practice for being disciplined about being productive during that block of time. With some structure, you would be surprised how much you can balance and accomplish.

Post-graduation plans?

After graduation, I plan to travel and immerse myself in a few countries in Europe before starting my first full-time job at BlackRock as a brand strategy analyst on the Marketing Strategy and Innovation team within the Global Marketing division in New York City. I will be focusing on managing the BlackRock masterbrand and any type of marketing strategies that would fall under that umbrella.

A day in the life:

I’m not really a big morning person but definitely try to be. On an ideal day, I like to wake up and take the Septa down to Center City for a barre workout and then jog back to campus. I typically stop by Pottruck for a protein recovery shake and then head home to get ready for class. After classes, I try to schedule any necessary meetings in Huntsman right afterwards, so that I don’t have to go back and can then enjoy the rest of the day or evening. I try to make a home-cooked meal or bake for fun and share with friends.

Before senior year comes to an end, I try to catch-up with peers via happy hours, meals, boardgame nights, etc., especially with those I know who are not going to be in New York post-grad and any underclassmen that I have gotten the chance to know. Overall, I’m just trying to enjoy and take full advantage of the freedom that comes with college life by completing an informal senior bucket list that I push myself to try to complete, like running my first half-marathon with my DSP pledge class. Adopting a “why not” mentality has definitely been my mantra as of late, which dictates what I want and plan to do.

Advice for freshman year self?

In addition to the time management skills that I learned later on, I would remind my freshman year self to not be bothered as much about what others are doing and thinking. Even if everyone else may seem to be doing the same things and have strengths that you don’t, do not only stress over improving your weaknesses but also remember to embrace your strengths and what makes you unique. Be confident in where you come from, who you are, and what you value but also be open-minded and willing to learn, understand, and empathize, especially with those who are least similar to you. Also, take advantage of the contagious energy of other freshmen – it’ll only get harder to be as spontaneous, so enjoy everything and have fun! Keep taking photos for documentation and memories to look back on.

By Shreya Subramanian (W’ 21).

A Day In The Life: Uswah Shabbir, 2018 Wharton Women President

The Walnut Street Journal is excited to share with you what a day in the life of our outgoing president Uswah Shabbir looks like.

Uswah is a senior at the University of Pennsylvania, born in Philly and from Los Angeles. She is studying in Wharton, concentrating in Finance and Behavioral Economics. In addition to Wharton Women, Uswah is involved with Wharton Ambassadors, a student organization where she gives information sessions and coffee chats to prospective students; the Financial Literacy Community Project, where she teaches financial literacy to students in West Philadelphia; and Penn Social Entrepreneurship Project, where she has helped run a social impact incubator.

Uswah has done an awesome job leading Wharton Women, and one of the coolest memories she has from the organization is when she got to meet Janet Yellen after she came to speak at Wharton. Get ready to learn about a day in Uswah’s life!

8:15 AM

Uswah wakes up and gets ready for the day; she has 9 AM classes every Monday- Thursday! She typically makes a cup of Earl Grey tea and listens to a podcast while getting ready. Her favorite one is The Daily, which helps her get updated on current political events that she normally doesn’t get to hear about in her business classes.

9:00 AM

Uswah attends her Urban Fiscal Policy class (BEPP/FNCE 320). In this class, she is learning about the way that cities work, what factors affect them, and how to make them more efficient. Taking this course has actually introduced her to new future career options in urban public policy.

10:30 AM

Uswah goes to MBA Cafe in Huntsman Hall to catch up on work, respond to emails, and prepare readings for her next classes.

12:00 PM

Uswah attends her CIS 110 lecture. This class is an introduction to computer science and she is learning to do basic coding in Java.

1:00 PM

Uswah grabs lunch with a friend at one of the many food trucks on Penn’s campus. Her favorite food trucks are Don Memo’s on 38th St. and Spruce St., which serves delicious burritos and tacos, and the fruit truck on 37th St. and Spruce St. Her goal is to have tried all of the food trucks on Spruce before the end of senior year.

2:00 PM

Uswah hosts an information session with Wharton Ambassadors. She presents to prospective students and parents and talks to them about academics and personal life at Wharton. She finds it to be a great opportunity to reflect on the opportunities and resources she’s had at Wharton.

3:00 PM

Uswah attends her Negotiations class (OIDD 291). She gets to do hands-on negotiations in various scenarios with her classmates.

6:00 PM

Uswah heads to her weekly Wharton Women executive board meeting. The team reflects on the past week’s events and plans ahead for the annual Wharton Women Business Conference (WWBC).

7:00 PM

The weather today is beautiful, so for dinner Uswah packs a lunch and has a picnic on College Green with a friend.

8:00 PM

Uswah heads to Pottruck to workout! Pottruck is Penn’s main campus gym and houses pretty much any type of workout one could want.

10:00 PM

Uswah studies in Huntsman Hall in the computer lab. She finishes up her study time with pleasure reading, if she’s not too tired, and then heads home for bed.

Don’t be afraid to try challenging things! I wish I had spent less time being afraid and more time just trying. Everything’s scary until you try it, and you never know what you might end up loving.

Uswah Shabbir

We hope that you enjoyed following a day in the life of Uswah Shabbir, our awesome president.

By Shreya Subramanian (W’ 21).

Senior Advice Series #1: Traveling Beyond Tourism

Lydia Chen is a senior studying Business Analytics, Management, and Finance. She is originally from New Milford, NJ and looks forward to moving to Boston this fall.

As a graduating senior, my number one piece of advice to all underclassmen is to take advantage of as many global opportunities in college as possible. Whether that’s going to Antarctica with the Wharton Leadership Ventures (freezing but worth it, in case you’re wondering), exploring innovation in San Francisco through WIEP, or participating in a WIP trip to Beijing, my Penn experience has been immensely enriched by the chance to learn outside of the classroom.

Looking back on the past four years, another highlight was my semester of language immersion spent studying abroad in the south of Spain. For students who decide to go abroad, the next piece of advice I’d give is “Don’t be a tourist!”. Wherever you’re studying, aim to integrate yourself into the local culture and get off the beaten path.

When I arrived in Sevilla last January, I knew that I didn’t want to simply live out the stereotypes by drinking sangria, eating tapas, and taking siestas all the time. Instead, my goal was to truly experience the city as a local would. To go beyond surface-level interactions and make the most of your time abroad, try the following:

Sign up for new activities. Beyond taking all my classes in Spanish, I joined the university choir, volunteered weekly at an elementary school, and tutored a neighbor in English. The beauty of spending a semester abroad is that you have time to make regular commitments, while still being able to travel on weekends. Ask your fellow students how they spend their free time and pay attention to the flyers on your new campus—you’re bound to find something that piques your interest!

Learn the language. For those in a non-English-speaking country, your interactions with others change when you’re able to converse in their native language. For me, this meant practicing with my host mom daily, listening to Spanish music, resisting the urge to speak to my American friends in English, and even texting in Spanish!

Participate in local festivals and traditions. Research beforehand any special events taking place and make sure you’re in town to experience them. In Sevilla, Semana Santa (Holy Week) and the Feria de Abril (April Fair) were incredible glimpses into longstanding local traditions.

Of course, that’s not to say that living in a foreign country will be easy. I made plenty of embarrassing grammatical errors in Spanish and also grappled with living in a society that’s significantly less racially diverse than the United States. Yet what I later realized is that these were opportunities to further engage with others by laughing off my mistakes or explaining my unique cultural background.

This mindset of traveling less like a tourist and more like a local doesn’t just apply to studying abroad—it’s also relevant to traveling in general. The next time you go somewhere new, ditch Uber and take public transportation; learn a few words and order your food in the local language; try Couchsurfing instead of Airbnb; put down the camera and spend a few hours unscheduled just exploring… you’ll be surprised at what you find.

Happy wandering,

Lydia

Annual Dinner 2018

On September 17th, 2018, dozens of women and a few supportive men gathered in the Ballroom of the Inn at Penn to celebrate this year’s theme at the Wharton Women Annual Dinner: A.I. or Advance, Inspire.

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After a very successful career fair where students could network with representatives from various companies ranging from consulting to investment banking to retail, all advanced to the Ballroom for the dinner portion of the evening.

All attendees were eager to spend the evening exchanging with fellow students as well as company representatives about the importance of Advancing and Inspiring. This year’s Keynote Speaker, Athena Karp, was the perfect example of a business woman that was advancing her industry and inspiring others. Athena Karp is the founder and CEO of HiredScore, a software company based in New York City and dedicated to the use of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence to improve HR activities, with 43 employees, 35 of which are data scientists.

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Athena was motivated to start her company because she noticed that financial services and many other professional business industries are still very male-dominated. She said she noticed this fact when she realized that there was always a line for the men’s restroom and no line for the women’s restroom in the office.

There was an unnatural imbalance that required investigating. She discovered that hiring practices are frequently based on items that interviewers think will be gender-neutral but end up being more skewed towards male candidates, such as an interest in golf. Athena was inspired to use tech and data analytics to help companies hire the most qualified candidates in a truly gender unbiased way.

Throughout her speech, Athena Karp captivated the audience and inspired guests to step out of their comfort zone (she was a Chinese foreign policy major, not an engineer) and push themselves to achieve their objectives. After working for a couple of years in Private Equity, she decided one day to leave that PE company and go to Israel to build her project with the best engineers there.

Athena Karp emphasized the importance of taking a step back, realizing how little you may know about certain things, and being willing to learn as much as possible from others.

WW Annual Dinner Cover Photo

The businesswoman also highlighted the importance of implementing tech literacy in schools in order to prepare the next generation and teach them the importance of tech in our ever-changing society.

The WW Annual Dinner was definitely a success as guests were inspired to advance and inspire by believing in their strengths and being open to learning as much as possible from others.

Written by Margaux Carré (W’ 21) and Julia Bache (W’ 19).

Summer Recap 2018

Wharton Women have been up to incredible things during the summer of 2018! Keep reading to find out, in their own words, what they accomplished in their time away from Penn:

Class of 2019

Mergers & Acquisitions (Evercore Partners): Lydia Chen, New York, NY

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This summer (and my last before graduating!), I had the opportunity to work in investment banking at Evercore, a boutique advisory firm. Over the course of 10 weeks, I was staffed on many interesting deals across the tech, media, insurance, and Asian Alliances industries. For example, my favorite deal involved sourcing potential acquisition targets in Southeast Asia for a large Mexican cinema chain. In addition, being part of a small class of 50 interns made all of our organized summer activities even more fun—we had a softball tournament, participated in Habitat for Humanity, and even went to a country club in Long Island! Finally, I lived in the East Village in Manhattan which was the perfect location for good food, friends, and fun nightlife. Happy to talk about my experience, so feel free to reach out!

Real Estate Investment Banking (Eastdil Secured): Jessica Futoran, New York, NY

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This summer, I had the incredible opportunity to dive into the world of real estate from the point of view of an investment banker. Aside from the breathtaking views of Central Park at the office, the internship was also extremely enriching and taught me volumes about the real estate markets and just how many different industries are touched by real estate. I was surrounded by professionals with incredible insights, some who could take you on tours of downtown Manhattan and describe the history of every last building that graces those streets. I personally got to work on projects from a financial standpoint for companies that own healthcare properties, big malls, and even large hotel chains. I am grateful for the experience and New York adventure!

Class of 2020

Nutritional Research Company (BodyBio): Stefanie Williams, Millville, New Jersey

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This past summer, I interned at a small nutritional supplement and research company, BodyBio, located in Millville, New Jersey. Before I began my internship, however, my summer started off with a whirlwind trip to Italy as part of the Wharton International Program. During this short ten-day program, I visited 4 Italian cities and toured an array of Italian firms. During my internship, I helped with the company’s rebrand, assisting the marketing team with recreating their website and webstore, helping with product shots, designing bottle labels, and creating marketing materials, such as a catalog and several ads. I loved working at a smaller company where I was given a lot of responsibility and had many unique experiences. There was no typical day for me, as I worked on a different project almost every week.

Investment Banking (J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.): Eugenia Carmona, New York, NY

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During the summer, I worked at the Latin America Advisory division of the Corporate and Investment Bank at J.P. Morgan. Being from Venezuela and a Finance major, the internship was a great fit for me. Since my group was region-specific (as opposed to industry-specific), I had the opportunity to work on pitches and help with company valuation across segments such as consumer retail, construction, media, mining and financial institutions. Although the hours were tough, I loved being able to contribute to the economic development of my native region. Similarly, the people in my team were very nice and easy-going – we even watched the World Cup at times! I loved being in NYC and seeing my friends from Penn on the weekends.

It is also worth mentioning that I participated in the Wharton International Program (just as Stefanie!), but in Spain. I really enjoyed the experience, since I am very interested in retail and we got to visit incredible companies such as Amazon and Stuart Weitzman. If any of this sounds appealing to you, feel free to reach out!

Class of 2021

Hospitality and Travel (Océano Patagonia): Shreya Subramanian, Buenos Aires, Argentina

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This summer I got to work as a Finance/Business Development Intern for a hotel company called Océano Patagonia in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I worked with the owners of this hotel on some great projects including evaluating new properties to add to their tourism portfolio. I spent the majority of my summer in Buenos Aires, but I got to spend three weeks in coastal Patagonia at the boutique hotel owned by Océano Patagonia. During these three weeks I lived and worked at the hotel, met guests from all over the world, and got a taste of hotel management. I also got to see lots of whales, sea lions and penguins. I loved getting to immerse myself in Argentine culture and the business of hospitality this summer!

Risk Management (TD Ameritrade): Sahitya Mandalapu, New York, NY

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This summer I got to work as a Financial Risk Management intern at TD Ameritrade. I had the opportunity to conduct research on current macroeconomics and help revise code in SQL. I even got to travel to Chicago to deliver a final presentation and shadow the trading floor. It was great exposure to not only risk, but also other aspects of finance. While working in Jersey City, I lived in New York City and had so much fun exploring.  My favorite activities included going to art museums, trying novelty ice cream places, and running to cool destinations in Manhattan. I have so many lists of restaurants and other fun things to do in the city, so hit me up for recommendations!

Expert Network Startup (Link Global): Laura Chu, Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong

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This summer, I had the opportunity to work as a Research Analyst Intern for an Expert Network startup founded by Penn alumni in Hong Kong. I helped connect our clients of management consulting and investment firms with experts in various subject matter. My project topics ranged from fashion, to pharmaceuticals, to many other industries, and I was able to test my proficiency in business Chinese through cold-calling experts.

In addition to exploring Hong Kong, I traveled to Vietnam and Singapore as well. I adored the vibrant communities I found across Asia, as well as the working environment I found at Lynk Global. I’m continuing to work remotely for the startup, and am grateful for all that I learned this summer!

Study Abroad in China (Harvard Beijing Academy): Joshita Varshney, Beijing, China

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I kicked off my summer by traveling in India for 10 days with my family. I then flew to Beijing, where I spent nine weeks studying abroad. I had the opportunity to climb the Great Wall, sample a large variety of cosmopolitan cuisine, and even conduct a research project on the Hui minority in Xi’an. I concluded my adventures with a four-day trip to Dubai where I got a chance to visit some of the city’s most popular attractions. This experience shaped myself to unthinkable degrees.

WIP Trip to Spain and Retail in NYC: Margaux Carré, New York, NY

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This summer, I flew to Spain with Wharton students and faculty after the end of finals in May to study retail in Madrid and Barcelona as part of our WIP course. Throughout our ten days there, we visited both spanish and international companies and learned more about the importance of retail in Spain. We also took part in cultural visits, such as a tour of the Sagrada Familia or the town of Toledo. After getting back from Spain, I spent two months working for Barneys NY in Manhattan, working in their financial planning division. It was an amazing experience, and it was great being able to compare what I had learned about retail in Spain to an American retailer.

Finance and Retail (Rubie’s Costume Company): Rachel Brenner, New York, NY

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This summer, I was surrounded by fake blood, scary statues, and endless costumes–  interning with the finance team of the world’s largest costume manufacturer, Rubie’s Costume Company! I got to experience the entire acquisition process: brainstorming potential counterparties, calculating potential synergies, and finalizing actual mergers. Overall, the opportunity to work on a smaller team provided me with an immense amount of responsibility and learning. More importantly, I acquired an obscenely amazing costume for this halloween (look out for me on October 31st)!

 

Written by Shreya Subramanian (W’ 21) and Stefanie Williams (W’ 20).

Recap: Janet Yellen Lecture

On March 19th, 2018, hundreds of students and faculty members gathered in Zellerbach Theater of the Annenberg Center to attend a conversation between Janet L. Yellen, former chair of the Federal Reserve, and Jeremy Siegel, a Finance professor from the Wharton School. This conversation belonged to the Howard Crawley Memorial Lecture Series and was, in part, sponsored by Wharton Women. As students and faculty were settling in, throwing their arms in the air to signal their presence to their friends and grabbing their phones to takes pictures, they were also excitedly preparing to listen to the wise words of Janet L. Yellen.

Yellen During Lecture

Prior to Dr. Yellen’s lecture with Dr. Siegel in the Zellerbach Theatre, she met with a small group of students and faculty for a short Meet & Greet. Everyone gathered in the Dean’s Conference Room in Steinberg-Dietrich Hall for an informal chat with Dr. Yellen  before the lecture. Attendees included student club leaders, senior faculty, and members of the Wharton administration.

After settling in, everyone gathered around a conference table where faculty and students spoke to Dr. Yellen and Dr. Siegel, asking them questions and engaging in conversations with them over the future of interest rates and cryptocurrency. After getting a taste of topics that would be discussed in the lecture, everyone headed over to the Annenberg Auditorium Zellerbach Theatre for the event.

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At the lecture, Dr. Yellen began by sharing her background, which was fascinating for everyone in the audience. She always loved math and thought that she would be a math major in college. However, when she took economics for the first time in the spring of her freshman year at Brown, she said it was like love at first sight. She enjoyed economics because it allowed her to use her math skills to help tackle issues that affect human welfare, opportunity, and inequality. She decided to major in economics and completed her thesis on unemployment in open economies. Yellen decided to go straight from undergrad to graduate school.

Dr. Yellen spoke a bit about the current state of the economy and how the economy is favorable and growing, which has spurred the Fed to raise rates slowly to prevent overheating in the market. Yet, the real wages seem to be stagnant, potentially due to a lag in productivity. Yellen remarked that total-factor production (TFP) has fallen below what we are used to, and overall business formation and innovation are not what they once were. These trends are global and began before the financial crisis, so we probably will not see a huge increase in productivity any time soon. While her report on the economy included positive and negative news, it was amazing to hear her speak about some of the important national economic issues she has spent the last many years working on at the Fed.

 

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The audience also enjoyed hearing about her personal career as a woman in economics. She noted that at all stages in her career she has been in the minority as a woman. While the representation of women in some economic careers is improving, she highlighted that there are still fewer women in economic careers than STEM careers. It was great to hear about how her husband, who is also an economist and Nobel Prize winner, has supported her throughout her life and career. Yellen told the story of when she received the call that she had been selected to be on the Board of Governors for the Fed. Her husband immediately supported her in this career move, and he was excited to figure out how they would move to Washington, D.C. It is encouraging stories like these that give us so much hope for the future as Wharton Women!

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After Dr. Yellen finished her lecture, Prof. Siegel opened it up to Q&A from the audience. The questions students asked ranged from past Fed actions, to cryptocurrency, to the state of the economy, and to the unwinding of the Fed’s balance sheet.

A senior in Wharton asked about the growth restrictions the Fed set on Wells Fargo, to which Yellen responded, “Risk management control is a key responsibility of the Fed,” and that they set certain restrictions and sanctions on the bank, such as a cap on asset growth. Although unusual, similar actions could be deemed appropriate in future situations depending on the size and significance of the actions taken by other financial institutions.

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Yellen also addressed a question about her views on cryptocurrencies, stating that it is possible for central banks to create cryptocurrencies and that the Fed has studied the possibility. However, her team has decided that the added element of financial intermediation may not be favorable, as cryptocurrency is not necessary for monetary policy control. The US dollar is alive and well, showing strong demand growth. She further pointed out that most central banks don’t plan on introducing cryptocurrency on a retail level, as the first step in that direction may happen through commercial banks at the wholesale level.

When a junior in the College studying Mathematical Economics asked about further actions to take regarding the Fed’s balance sheet, the former Federal Reserve chair clarified that the gradual, predictable process of lowering the balance sheet towards normal levels began in the fall of 2017, and that incoming Fed Chair Jerome Powell is unlikely to reconsider nor address this topic on the next FOMC statement giving that it is already underway. Nonetheless, the shrinkage should bring the balance sheet down to around 2 to 3 trillion dollars as opposed to 4, which is still higher than pre-crisis levels.

Group After

Lastly, Yellen was asked about her thoughts on the influence of the recent trade restrictions set by President Trump. She restated that the Fed stays out of fiscal policy, but that this new trade policy should have a tiny impact on the macro outlook.

If you missed out on seeing the lecture, no worries! The lecture is available to watch online at the following link.

 

Written by Julia Bache (W’19),  Eugenia Carmona Aristeguiet (W’20), Margaux Carré (W’21), and Shreya Subramanian (W’21).

Senior Spotlight: Rachel Walter

Rachel Walter is a senior studying Marketing and Management. She is originally from Claysburg, PA and she looks forward to working for DICK’S Sporting Goods next year. 
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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 by just attending events and being a member of the club, but I really got involved freshman spring when I decided to apply for committee positions. I had such a great experience with the club that I knew I needed to get involved in other ways beyond just attending the events. That being said, the best part about my Wharton Women experience has been watching members interact at the events. Knowing that my work on the committees and Exec Board has allowed them to interact with each other and with our amazing guest speakers makes me feel that my time in the club has been well spent.

Biggest challenge as VP?

The biggest challenge as VP of Philanthropy was spreading the word about the events that we were holding. We had put a lot of time and effort into making the events innovative while ensuring that they maintained the philanthropic foundation they were started on. We really wanted a lot of people to come to support our efforts and the charities, but it was a big challenge for us to spread the word, especially with so many other events always happening on campus.

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

I am involved in Wharton Cohorts, I serve as a TA for FNCE 101, and I do research with a MGMT PhD student. To balance it all, I maintain a very detailed Google Calendar, and at the beginning of each week, I allocate all of my work for the week to certain days based on my time commitments for other classes and activities. This helps me stay organized and make sure that I don’t forget any of my responsibilities throughout the week.

What was your summer internship last year? Tell us a little bit more about the experience. 

I worked at DICK’S Sporting Goods as a Digital Marketing Intern. This experience was very meaningful for me because my career goal has always been to work in the sports industry, but from many conferences and speakers, I had always heard that it was hard to break into the industry. So, when I landed this internship I was thrilled. Thankfully, it lived up to my expectations, and I got to work on digital media campaigns for many aspects of the company. Specifically, I focused on improving an existing campaign promoting NFL jerseys, and I got to work with my team on a new brand launch as well as the DICK’S sponsorship of the Little League World Series, all of which were really exciting.

Post graduation plans?

I will be heading back to Pittsburgh to work at DICK’S Sporting Goods in their Leadership Development Program. This program focuses on analytics and I will be rotating in finance, real estate, supply chain, merchandising, and eCommerce.

A day in the life:

I usually wake up around 8am, and on the days when I have class at 9, I just spend that time getting ready for the day. On other days, I don’t have class until later, so I usually work for about three hours before heading to the gym before lunch. After the gym and lunch, I typically shower and get ready for the rest of my day before spending another hour or so working for classes. Then, I head to class before having several meetings in the evenings. I usually get back to my apartment around 7 or 8pm, so I have dinner then, typically with my roommates. I then do work for another two hours or so before calling my mom around 10pm. (I call her almost every day and this is a very important part of my day for me.) Then, I spend the rest of the night working before I head to bed around 1am.

Advice for freshman year self?

Have more fun! You only get four years with the amazing friends you make, and it goes by so quickly without even realizing it. So, take more breaks from studying and hang out with friends more. You’ll be thankful for this later when you can’t see them every day.

 

Written by Julia Bache (W’19)