Deepening My M&T Community Connection at the NYC Student-Alumni Networking Event

Earlier this month, current Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology (known as M&T) students took a bus from Penn’s campus out to the Penn Club of New York for our annual Student-Alumni Networking event. First-year student Selin Hepiseri shares her experience from the event below.

M&T is a very tight-knit and small community. One of the most important aspects I considered while applying to become an M&T student was gaining this close “family” during college. I signed up for the NY alumni networking event to get to know more of this community, meeting alumni and learning from their experiences. As a freshman, I was expecting to make connections and gain insight from those who came before me, each with their own customized path within the bounds of the dual degree-curriculum.

Associate Director Sandy Sharp (center) with students at the event

At the event, I met many alumnae, hearing their stories and gaining valuable advice. I met Neil Danzger, CFO/ Co-founder of Rebar Systems. We talked about how M&T’s dual-degree curriculum allowed him to switch sectors easily, without being heavily burdened by on-the-job learning. I also talked with Varshil Patel, founder and CEO of Strive. We talked about how within the Program it’s natural to be more inclined at times towards either the M (Management) or the T (Technology) side of your dual-degree education, and not everyone merges these two sectors in the first post-college job. I also chatted with Jeff Kessler, Application Specialist at Keolis Commuter Services, about how following your passion (transportation systems in Jeff’s case!) was important in finding a job you enjoy day in and day out.

As I had imagined, this was a very memorable and significant experience I gained as an M&T. I not only met with alumnae but had a chance to connect with M&Ts outside of my class year. From both the alumni and upperclassmen, I got a sense of different paths that exist within M&T and found common ground within sectors I’m interested in pursuing. I also gained a better understanding of the different concentrations in Wharton and how they apply to the current job market.

Students, alumni, and staff posed fro a photo

The alumni that attended the event ranged from 1985 to 2017 graduates. It was impressive to see how connected M&Ts are, even years after graduation. The alumnae also talked about how their M&T connection continues to open doors for them. This is a real testament to how M&Ts value their tight-knit community, helping each other out regardless of distance or age difference.

At one point during the evening, the alumni shared their most memorable experience during their time at Penn as an M&T. Despite the variety in graduating years, there were a lot of similarities in their experiences. Most were around how the Program had built a community fostering curiosity, risk, and connection through classes, initiatives, events, and other experiences during their time at Penn.

All the alumnae I met were outgoing and well-versed on both the management and technology side of the current job market. They have a wide reach and made clear they are interested in helping current M&T students make connections through their network. Knowing I have a hundreds-strong community to support and advocate for me dramatically widens my professional future!

I am so grateful to be an M&T. I look forward to the day I can come back as an alumnus to continue the tradition of sharing, growing, and challenging the next generation to find their passion and influence the world.

Selin Hepiseri is a Systems Science Engineering major in the Class of 2022. Her favorite thing about the Jerome Fisher Program is coming to the Robbins House for a midday break to see members of  her small family and enjoy the delicious snacks!