Joe Kupferberg, M&T ’18

Highland Park, IL

Engineering Major:
Systems Engineering, Mathematics

Wharton Concentration:
Individualized Concentration (Institutions of Money, half FNCE, half LGST)


I chose M&T because I wanted to acquire a skill set that would allow me to approach rigorous, cutting-edge ideas in technology, data analytics, and systems-level thinking. My goal is to bridge the gap between the theoretical and the commercial. Nearly every industry will have to assimilate modern technology, and those who understand technological innovation and can communicate about it in a business context will make the most impact. M&T provides an environment to explore exactly that intersection through the curriculum, community, and program resources.


My favorite class at Penn so far has been Transnational Cinema. Every week, we read film theory and philosophy related to film viewership, aesthetics, and comparative literature. We then see how those theories play out in the work of various directors, watching movies from all over the world.


On campus, I’m very involved in Ideas4Action, a partnership with the World Bank that sources and helps implement ideas for financing the UN’s sustainable development agenda. I’m also a member of the Wharton Alliance, Wharton’s LGBTQ organization.


The M&T community has been a source of support, friendship, professional and intellectual opportunity, and roommates (shout-out to Rodin 508!). Some of my closest friends at Penn were from my M&T lineage, which does a great job of bringing together students from different classes.


So far, my favorite summer experience was after my sophomore year, when I interned at a commodities trading shop in Chicago. The firm was beginning to shift to algorithmic trading. That opportunity to help develop algorithms and see how people at the firm were bridging the gap between market microstructure and technology was an awesome way to apply my coursework to the business world.


Philly is awesome! In addition to incredible coffee shops and restaurants, it has a great music scene. Whether you like EDM, hip-hop or the DIY punk scene, there are tons of awesome venues that get great musicians to come through.