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 Sam Ellis about her favorite activity at Penn.
The summer after my freshman year, I stayed on campus and worked as a research assistant for the Management Department at Wharton. Under the guidance of Professor Saikat Chaudhuri, an M&T alumnus from the Class of 1997, I was tasked with compiling data and looking for patterns regarding acquisitions and divestitures of Fortune 500 companies. While at first I barely understood what those words meant, my eyes were quickly opened to the very active world of corporate M&A. It seemed like companies were consistently buying each other or selling off units and I had the amazing opportunity of being on the front lines in helping to understand why.
After such a positive summer experience, I wanted to remain active and make sure other students knew about the opportunities to learn valuable skills and contribute to knowledge creation through research. When classes started again in the fall, I was luckily selected to join the Wharton Undergraduate Research Board (WURB). WURB’s mission is to foster a stronger research environment among Wharton students and the board itself has around 15 members each year. While I was disappointed to learn that many Wharton undergrads are not sure of how to get started with research, I was excited to build enthusiasm and encourage my peers to get involved in the research community.
Over the past few years, we have worked closely with students, professors, and administrators to successfully implement initiatives such as a mentorship program, a symposium, and an update on undergraduate research for the curriculum review. We also started an international summer research program where students receive funding to work as research assistants abroad. Hearing the positive feedback from students who have attended events or applied for summer programs and seeing tangible growth in the undergrad research community have made our work very rewarding. I have formed strong friendships working with such a close-knit team and as a senior, I am looking forward to seeing what WURB has in store for the future.
Sam, originally from Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania, is a member of the M&T Class of 2015. She studies Electrical Engineering within Penn Engineering and Finance in the Wharton School. After graduation Sam will join Rothschild in New York as an Investment Banking Analyst.