The insider's guide to the Jerome Fisher Program at the University of Pennsylvania

Why I Love M&T: Sam Burns and Pratyusha Gupta

Sam BurnsSam Burns, M&T Class of 2018

In high school, I was your typical STEM fangirl: Mu Alpha Theta, molecular genetics research, Scientific American subscriptions, you name it. My Snapchat username is still some nerdy biology pun. But when spring came in my senior year, I was torn. If I want to be an engineer, shouldn’t I go to an MIT or Georgia Tech? What was the value of doing both a business degree and an engineering degree? For some high school seniors this spring, you may be thinking the same things.

So why do I love M&T? M&T has allowed me to dive deep into an engineering curriculum, while learning about what it takes to get a technology to market. Through my business classes, I’ve learned that behind, say, a semiconductor acquisition, there’s a whole lot of cultural and structural factors that can make or break the success of the deal, regardless how cool the tech itself is. Through my involvement with Weiss Tech House and the M&T Innovation Fund, I’ve seen how critical team dynamics are for a young microfluidics or graphene start-up. While my engineering classes and research at Penn have equipped me with the scientific background and problem-solving skills necessary for creating new technology, concurrently pursuing a business degree allows me to see a fuller picture of innovation and realize how parameters such as costs, demand, and human behavior can drive the impact of innovation.

Also, the M&T office has free printing & coffee.

Sam, from Naples, Florida, is a member of the M&T Class of 2018. She studies Materials Science within Penn Engineering and has yet to declare her concentration in the Wharton School.

Pratyusha GuptaPratyusha Gupta, M&T Class of 2016

As a senior, I have had plenty of time to reflect on my time in M&T. Being a part of this community has been a rewarding journey full of amazing people, incredible academic experiences, and an opportunity for personal growth.

Originally, I chose M&T because of my own indecisiveness: I could not figure out what to study so I thought, “Why not study two things?” My own uncertainty led me to come to this amazing program. Here, I have gotten the opportunity to study financial transactions in depth, learning about real estate, private equity and bankruptcy from world renowned professors and industry professionals. At the same time, I have studied theoretical computer science, covering topics as broad as artificial intelligence, algorithm design, and optimization. Having two parallel tracks of education has expanded my scope of thought and made me a more thoughtful, analytical student overall. Despite the fact that I will be pursuing a career in finance, my engineering education has provided me with the quantitative, systematic reasoning skills that will assist my career going forward.

My favorite part of M&T has undoubtedly been the community. The M&T office is my favorite spot on campus; it’s full of fun conversation and laughter. My peers never fail to make my day brighter. I have M&Ts in every part of my life as my roommates, friends and teammates, and I could not be happier. I am thankful to the M&T community and will remember these four years as the ones that changed my life for the better.

Pratyusha, from Dover, Delaware, is a member of the M&T Class of 2016. She studies Computer Science within Penn Engineering and Finance in the Wharton School.

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