With graduation fast approaching, we’re taking the month of April to honor our M&T Class of 2015 with a few Senior Spotlights. This installment comes to us from Cathryn Herbst about her favorite spot on campus.
I’ll always call St. Louis home, but at Penn, the M&T Office is my home away from home. Quite literally as some other M&Ts have noted— you can usually find me at the far left chair in the back room. It’s my favorite place on campus and a place I go to whenever I can.
After transferring into the program after freshman year, a wise senior told me to start spending time at the Office. Every now and then I would stop by to print something or to check emails in the corner. The Office was there, but it was never a place I thought to go to hangout during the day or to finish work at night.
While working on Research Paper #2 with my group for the Management 237 class during spring of sophomore year, my view of the Office started to change. My team started scheduling meetings at the Office to figure out the technological changes in the mining industry, and GrubHub orders of DP Dough to 3537 Locust became a habit. We became “that team” always working at the Office, and I started to find my way around the Office as well.
During junior year I started to go to the Office for more than just unlimited candy and free printing. It became a place to have meetings to finish cases, to work on problem sets with other M&Ts, and to study for exams. I started to engage with the conversations that I had normally just observed the year before while pretending to listen to music in the back. I started to go to the Office during the day in between classes instead of just grabbing tea and working in Huntsman. Most importantly, I got to know other M&Ts from different years.
Senior year is when the Office became my home. I started working at the Office and still spend more time there than at home most weeks. The Office became my home because of the other people that spend their time at the Office. Amy and Raul (two other seniors in M&T) would often work with me on Monday nights at the Office while taking study breaks to talk about the meaning of life. By September, I had convinced January to let me bring my dog, Zoey, to the Office. You know you can call a place home when your dog knows the pathway from your apartment to the Office.
The Office is the center of an incredible community and my favorite place on campus. It’s a place where you can find people doing everything from talking about how to solve the world’s biggest problems to creating the next big tech startup all while reading the latest BuzzFeed article and comparing March Madness brackets. It’s a place where the big ideas flow as freely as the coffee and where the chatter about campus life stretches across every group. Walking into the door of the Office is one of my favorite moments of the day—holding Zoey’s leash while she pulls on it until the door is open, stopping to see Megan, checking to see if anyone is upstairs, making a cup of tea from the Keurig, and settling down in my favorite chair at the left computer while Zoey watches out the window for the squirrels.
Cathryn, originally from St. Louis, Missouri, is a member of the M&T Class of 2015. She studies Bioengineering within Penn Engineering and Finance, Management, and Entrepreneurship & Innovation in the Wharton School.