In addition to the numerous events sponsored by the M&T Program, the M&T Student Board puts on Brown Bag Lunches (more affectionately known to M&T’s as “BBLs”) where alumni visiting campus sit down with a small group of students in the 3rd floor of the M&T office to talk with students over lunch. These lunches are a perfect example of how the strength of the program not only comes from the merging of two degrees, but also the incredible alumni who come back to support the program in a variety of different ways. Getting to hear about their journeys from college to the workplace helps current students of all years whether it is on classes they wish they had taken or career advice they wish they had known before starting their life post-graduation.
This past October, I attended the BBL with Kunal Ghosh (M&T ’03), who guest lectures frequently in Dr. Hamilton’s Technological Innovation & Entrepreneurship (MGMT 235) class. He received his PhD from Stanford and went on to found Inscopix, a next generation neuroscience company looking to enable researchers advance the understanding of the human brain and how it functions. I actually first met Kunal when he spoke in MGMT 235 the year before and was curious to see how his company had fared since then. The beauty of these BBLs is the ability to get an M&T’s candid thoughts about a particular subject and Kunal was no different with his own business. He was very forthcoming in speaking with current students about the progress and areas that they were looking to shore up their efforts and actively investing in. Given the numerous M&Ts who are interested in starting their own companies, this was an extremely informative experience that gave great insight into what it might be like running a high-tech startup.
Over the past three and a half years of my time at Penn, I have tried to attend as many BBLs as possible. The free meals are definitely a plus, as any college student will tell you, but what really draws current M&Ts to these events is the chance to learn from the alumni who have been in our shoes before. Hearing their stories has been an invaluable part of my education at Penn and always confirms my belief that the M&T Program is the best way to learn about and prepare for a career at the intersection of business and technology.
Sakib, from Yorba Linda, California, is a member of the M&T Class of 2015. He studies Materials Science Engineering within Penn Engineering and Management and Entrepreneurship & Innovation in the Wharton School.