Posted by David Moore
If there is one defining characteristic of students here at Wharton, it is that each student is interested in, and excels at, multiple different pursuits, whether they be academic or otherwise. While at first, being at business school may seem a bit confining, going to Wharton is just the opposite. Being a part of the Penn community will inevitably broaden your horizons, be it academically, socially, or any other developmental adverb.
This becomes more and more evident the longer you study at Wharton.
Every student I meet, when asking about their major, has some sort of second/third concentration, minor outside of Wharton, or even a plan for a dual degree. For instance, I have a friend concentrating in Finance and BEPP who also wanted to pick up a minor in Hindu Studies. Likewise, I have a friend studying Political Science who now plans to minor in Mechanical Engineering. While taking so many classes in a totally different curriculum sounds crazy, it verges on the norm at Penn because of the ease with which one can do it.
For me personally, my academic interests rapidly expanded outside of the Wharton curriculum soon after my arrival on campus. I realized how quantitatively oriented I am, and I wanted to take classes that would develop my math and science interests further. Luckily, interdisciplinary study at Penn, especially coming from the Wharton School, is incredibly easy. By second semester of freshman year, I decided that I wanted to get a math minor. I was always pretty good at math, and once I came to Penn, I realized that it’s okay to be “nerdy” and admit to actually enjoying math.
I went to the advising office, and the incredibly helpful advisors helped me figure out how to integrate this into my curriculum. We chose classes to fulfill the curriculum for both my Wharton degree and the math minor. My plans all changed, though, when I took the engineering school’s introduction to computer programming. I always wanted to learn how to program, and I heard that it’s an incredibly useful skill to possess. Upon taking the class, though, I learned that my mind works well with computer science, and I enjoyed it so much more than math. My minor plans suddenly changed. Yet again, the advising office was incredibly helpful. While there isn’t much of a connection between Wharton and computer science, we figured out ways to make it work. Who knows, it may even turn into a dual degree!
Lucky for me – and everyone else with too many interests for their own good – Penn makes a huge effort to enable students to study everything they want, no matter what curriculum they choose. A student’s only educational limit is how many hours per day he or she wants to devote to sleep.