Wharton depth and breadth offers endless paths

Justine MurrayIs it ok to not study finance at Wharton?

Finance is the most popular concentration offered to students at Wharton. Mastering it prepares them for long successful careers in many industries including banking, consulting, and entrepreneurship. I want to work in the financial industry when I graduate; maybe even open my own business one day. For this reason, I came to Wharton intent on studying finance. However, after just one semester at Penn, I encountered a myriad of classes that were not finance related that I thoroughly enjoyed. Thus began my internal dilemma. Could I take all these classes not related to my ultimate goal and still be able to work in the field to which I aspired. It took me a while, but I believe I finally have an answer to this question.

Wharton offers over 21 concentrations. Additionally, all its students graduate with a BS in Economics and, regardless of their concentrations, have to take a range of finance, accounting, management and economics classes. Furthermore, looking outside of Wharton to those who currently work in the financial industry, taught me that many of those successful in the industry did not study finance in college. The advice many gave, was to do what I loved in college and, if I still ultimately wanted to work in finance, I would be able to find a way to do so; and that’s what I have done.

Studying finance would without a doubt give me an upper-hand in the financial world upon entry, as I would already have more of a foundation in the field than those who did not study it in college. However, not studying it definitely does not take away the option of being in the industry. Being comfortable in this knowledge made me feel more willing to explore my other passions at Penn, the biggest of which right now is social impact.

I am now concentrating in Social Impact and Responsibility and Marketing. Wharton has given me the chance to concentrate in what I love while still preparing me for the working world. There are social impact classes in the Finance Department, which give students the chance to learn not only about the concentration, but how the financial industry plays a role in this field as well. My desire has evolved from a mere interest in finance, to the goal of  having the skills to build a financially based social impact model and to aid those in my home country in finding the path towards economic development and success. My concentration in Wharton and the fundamental courses that all its students have to take, carries me, on a daily basis,  closer to the point where I will be able to do so. This is one of the many reasons why I truly love this institution and believe anyone, regardless of their interests, would be privileged to accept a place in this school.

I am currently a junior in Wharton concentrating in Marketing and Social Impact and Responsibility. In addition to WHAMB, I am also a member of the Wharton Undergraduate Giving Society, the Caribbean Students' Association and the Black Wharton Undergraduate Association. I was born and raised in Jamaica. I love reading fantasy books and often wish that I could adopt the adventurous lives of the characters. I also love eating chocolate and ice cream.