Steve Blum, M&T ’07
Los Angeles, CA
Biomedical Science; Master of Biotechnology – Molecular Biotechnology Track
WHAT ARE YOU DOING CURRENTLY?
I am currently pursuing my medical degree at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
HOW DID M&T PREPARE YOU FOR YOUR CURRENT ROLE OR LIFE AFTER GRADUATION?
M&T encourages its students to creatively pursue their goals, and this influence has been a guiding force in my life since I arrived on Penn’s campus over 10 years ago. My college career allowed me to develop my passion for science while exposing me to the invigorating process of translating ideas into projects. I had the opportunity to build upon these experiences after graduation by working at a firm that helped to form and grow biotechnology companies based predominantly around technologies invented at academic institutions. As an aspiring physician, I aim to treat patients while helping to participate in the development of future treatments. This concept of merging scientific expertise with innovative problem solving is rooted in my M&T experience.
M&T granted me the flexibility to create my own academic course and has prepared me for a career that combines my interests in medicine and entrepreneurship. M&T students engage in a variety of activities and interact with impressive students and faculty across campus. This experience gave me the academic background, communication skills, time-management capabilities, and professional opportunities to follow my desired path.
HOW DO YOU CONNECT WITH THE M&T COMMUNITY?
The M&T community provided an excellent academic, professional, and social background for me both during and since my time at Penn. I have been fortunate to interact with alumni and professors who were influential in helping me to create various opportunities and discussions that have guided my academic and professional goals. As an alumnus, I have had the chance to share my experiences with current M&T students and prospective students who are applying to the program via the Penn Alumni Interview Program.
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE M&T PROGRAM?
My favorite part was and still is the people associated with the program; the faculty, staff, students, and alumni are tremendously impressive. The setting encourages students to expand the boundaries of their thinking and collaborate with one another. It is a unique environment that was initially created by Dr. William Hamilton when he founded the program. Dr. Hamilton embodies the ideals that he has taught, and I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity to benefit from his guidance.
WHAT ACTIVITIES DID YOU TAKE PART IN WHILE AT PENN?
M&T encourages students to become involved in various aspects of the program and the broader campus. Within M&T, I was a Residential Teaching Advisor at the inaugural M&T Summer Institute (M&TSI) as well as a peer advisor and a student employee. I pursued exciting research opportunities that eventually culminated in a year-long evolutionary biology project as part of my master’s degree. I also had a summer internship with Johnson & Johnson, and during my senior year, I had the opportunity to work with the founding team on the start-up that became Reputation.com. I am a brother of the Phi Chapter of Beta Theta Pi, played multiple intramural sports, and consider myself to have been an avid foodie and explorer of Philadelphia.