Wharton, Fall 2017

Asanga Seneviratne

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Wharton, Fall 2017
From the University of Melbourne

Ask me about...

  • Traveling before, during or after Exchange (Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver, Banff, Toronto, Chicago, New York, Boston, Washington D.C., Grand Canyon, Yosemite)

  • First time being in North America

  • Involvement in student clubs at Penn

  • Student Life in North America vs. Australia

  • Staying at a Residential College on-campus for the first time

  • Student Life at Rodin College House 

My Experience at Penn:

My time at Penn was tremendous in assisting with both my academic and career goals. Academically I relished the opportunity to study a wide variety of subjects that I wouldn’t be able to study otherwise and broadened my horizons of where I could take the foundational skills I had built at my home university. The smaller class sizes and more practically orientated subjects further enhanced the learning experience compared to the large cohort experience I was used to back home. 

In terms of my career journey, I think my time at Penn was pivotal in expanding my perspective of what my career could be. Through participation in the student clubs, on-campus discussions and particularly conversations with Wharton MBA students, I have a much broader view of where I can take my undergraduate commerce degree particularly in regards to international opportunities and non-traditional pathways such as International Development or Not-For-Profit work. 

Other Highlights:

  • Extracurricular activities - the depth and variety of opportunities to pursue any kind of interest at Penn is astounding - there is a student club for nearly anything and the clubs I were involved in were a highlight of the semester for the experiences and friendship they brought. From attending the Annual Meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Washington D.C. to touring the national distribution centre for Urban Outfitters and the Wharton Sports Business Conference, the diversity of opportunities is humbling compared to what is on offer at home. Not to mention hearing from some super interesting figures right on your doorstep including Trevor Noah, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Richard Branson, Chelsea Manning, Tommy Viator, David Fahrenthold and Masha Gessen just to name a few.

  • Getting to know my professors - classes in Australia tend to have much larger cohort sizes so it can be difficult to get to know your professor but I loved the opportunity to do so at Penn particularly through Wharton/Penn Lunch and Learn Program which certainly were some of the most interesting conversations I had at Penn.

  • Student Cohort - it’s amazing the range of interests and backgrounds within the student cohort at Penn and one of the highlights of the semester was getting to know and learning from such a broad range of friends from across the globe with such diverse lived experiences and passions.

  • Travel - without a doubt exchange wouldn’t have been the same without the time I spent travelling with a variety of friends across North America before, during and after the semester. Don’t miss the national parks if you can - Banff, Yosemite and the Grand Canyon were personal highlights. 

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