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

The Jerome Fisher Program Goes West: M&T Student-Alumni West Coat Socials

For the past few summers, the M&T NYC Metro Alumni group has hosted current M&T students interning and living in the area to meet up with alumni in the NYC region. This summer, the West Coast got in on the action! Earlier in the summer, M&Ts in San Francisco and Seattle enjoyed a potluck barbeque and connected with fellow M&Ts in the area.  A special shout out to alumni Cathryn Herbst (M&T, ’15) and Nicole Woon (M&T, ’14) for organizing the events in San Francisco and Sea ttle respectively.

We asked a few alumni and current students to share a bit about the events. See what they had to say below!

San Francisco: Julie Chen (M&T, ’21), Joseph Ooi (M&T, ’15), and Lauren Reeder (M&T, ’16)

“It was so great to meet with peers and alumni I never would have known otherwise. There were so many people! Many were less than 5 years out from M&T, but there were some from farther out, too. Everyone was so friendly and eager to talk. We talked about everything from Spring Fling to careers in the Bay Area.

At the social, I met Justin, a past president of the M&T Student Board, which was cool since I am a current member. We talked about the events they held during his time at M&T and traditions to plan. He helped me understand more of the history of M&T. I also talked to Guthrie, who is from Pittsburgh. like me! Meeting with and talking to all the alumni and students who came shows how amazing the M&T network is and how helpful and friendly our alumni are.” – Julie Chen (M&T, ’21), Computer Science, Undeclared concentration

“The weather and people were great. Meeting all the current students was certainly a stark reminder of how long I’ve been out of college now! I enjoyed reconnecting with my classmates, including a project teammate I hadn’t seen in four years. And, it was great to meet some of the next generation of M&T. I would encourage alumni to attend such events as it was a great way to catch up with old friends and an awesome opportunity to meet current students, exchange perspectives, and stay in touch with Penn.” – Joseph Ooi (M&T, ’15), B.A.S Computer Science, concentration in Finance

“As an alumnus, it was really nice to see the new and younger

folks and hear what they’re doing. And it was great to see old friends, and make some new ones! The weather and food were excellent. We even got to play spikeball! Looking forward to the next one.” – Lauren Reeder (M&T, ’16), B.S.E Computer Science, concentration in Finance and Statistics


Seattle: Tanu Balla (M&T, ’20) and Nicole Woon (M&T, ‘14)

“I picked Seattle for my internship this summer as it’s not as popular a place for M&Ts. I wanted to find out what brought some of our alumni there and why they stayed, and they certainly delivered! I talked with Nicole (M&T, ’14), Stephanie (M&T, ’17) and Matt (M&T, ’12) about internships and jobs, places to live, and fun things to do in Seattle. We bonded over their Penn experiences and they were excited to tell me about fun Penn traditions I’ve had yet to experience, like Hey Day.

It was a super casual barbeque, so it was really fun to just talk to alumni and get their honest opinions without thinking about networking. Stephanie even made her own ketchup for the burgers and it was amazing! The M&T network is strong, but it’s hard to know how to meet any of the alumni around. Events like these help us all actually understand the strength of the network and use it to help one another.” – Tanu Balla (M&T, ’20), Computer Science, concentration in Operations Management and Entrepreneurship

“The Seattle social was a great opportunity to take advantage of the gorgeous summer weather and reconnect with both fellow alumni and current students. As an alumnus, it was neat to see what current students are up to and learn how Penn has evolved. You certainly feel a wave of nostalgia talking about living in Rodin or how there’s no longer a Capogiro on campus (RIP!).

It was a treat getting to picnic at Seattle’s Gas Works Park. There were LARPers decked out in full armor jousting on the grass, a parkour troop bouncing off precarious ledges in the picnic area, and the Blue Angels flight demo squadron soaring overhead to celebrate SeaFair. You can’t beat an afternoon picnic with free entertainment!

In addition, I also got to meet M&Ts I didn’t know were in Seattle, whether they had just moved to the area or our paths hadn’t crossed yet. We started swapping lists of fun spots in the city right away. It was great catching up with long-time M&T friends and hearing about the latest news in their life. At the same time, I was able to match names with faces I hadn’t seen before I’ve already made plans to grab lunch with someone I just met and look forward to forging new friendships! It was also great catching up with long-time M&T friends and hearing about the latest news in their lives.” –Nicole Woon (M&T, 14), B.S.E. Bioengineering, concentration in Management (Entrepreneurship and Innovation) and M.S.E. Mechanical Engineering


Want to connect with M&Ts in your area? Contact us at to find out how to connect with current students and/or your local alumni community.

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