Tuesday, June 19, 2012

UPenn: Can We Go Back?

Independence Hall
Our first morning in Philadelphia was well spent.  Our first destination was Independence Hall, and after grabbing a quick breakfast at Honey Restaurant a block away, we met the Columbia cohort right outside the gate.  This trip to Independence Hall, where we were part of a larger tour group, reminded me a lot of my eighth grade field trip to Washington D.C. and how our destination revolved around early United States history and how this political foundation affects us today.  As the Columbia group had a lunch commitment with UPenn alumni and admission officers, we headed toward the National Constitution Center to rest before our UPenn tour. 
UPenn Freshman Dorm Quad
I can say that the tour of the University of Pennsylvania was truly enlightening.  The Columbia group was also on this tour after returning from their lunch, but we were separated during the campus walk part of the visit.  For the first half of the tour we were greeted into the Irvine Theater by Doris, an enthusiastic alumni who now works in the admissions office.  She described the many different courses that the school offers, and later went into depth about the typical admissions process and how to apply for financial aid, something I found particularly useful.  Currently I am not sure what field I want to enter as an adult or what exactly I want to study during college, but the options in various “schools,” that is, departments within the university and the availability of help and guidance on campus encouraged me to look into the school at a greater depth. 

Wharton School of Business
After our introduction to the university, Anna, a rising junior at Penn, led our walk around campus for the second part of the tour.  She is duel majoring at Wharton, the business school, and in nursing.  We explored the campus altogether and visited various buildings including the main library and the Huntsman Hall, which belongs to the Wharton Business School.  Anna belongs to the business school and displayed particular enthusiasm when explaining the opportunities offered through Wharton.  One thing that I liked about her experience at Penn was when she explained a recent trip she took to China, only for 10 days, to study economics and business.  These unique opportunities are really attractive to me and if I were to have more time I would have loved for more alumni to speak to us about their experience at school, which was perfect, because after resting at the hotel our next stop was Fountain Restaurant to meet UPenn alumni and admission officers.   

At 7 o’clock sharp we met with the UPenn group which consisted of admissions officers, alumni, and current students.  I found it a lot easier to speak to these people because of our visit to the campus earlier today.  When they were talking about campus life and the accessibility of the city I was able to better understand and visualize what they were talking about.  Again, similar to the dinner at Prospect back in San Francisco, we were seated in a private dining room and served delicious food.  After last night’s hefty steak dinner (don’t get me wrong, it was wonderful), I decided to stick to a seafood course instead.  
Wild Bass Dinner 

Day two was incredible.  Visiting Independence Hall was a good way to explore the city and it’s history, but I found it most important that we were able to visit with the Columbia group during the outing.  Even though it was only yesterday that we left the Bay Area, a lot has happened and traveling in this way has been am interesting transition.  Seeing familiar faces in the Columbia group was just comforting as well as enjoyable.  Who doesn’t want to visit the East Coast with friends?

In addition, visiting the UPenn campus and taking a tour has truly been eye opening.  Having alumni share their knowledge with us while on the tour certainly was valuable and then later speaking to alumni and admission officers and really understanding what they are talking about was beneficial.  I am attracted to the school from what I have learned today and am considering applying there when the time comes.   Today was really a day to remember and continue to make me proud to be a part of the Ivy League Connection and represent our school district. 

1 comment:

  1. A nice blog, Alex. It was interesting to read your thoughts about the site visit and the dinner. These site visits can be educational and informative and it appears from your blog that you're validating this.

    Thanks for the insight.