- Class: Alum
- Major: Business
- Gender: M
- High School: Freehold Township High School
- Transfer Student: N
Penn is a diverse place in a great location. In a major city that serves as a cultural center, and situated directly in a distressed part of that city. The opportunities for exploration, learning, and helping a community are unparalleled at any university. The resources available to students are phenomenal, however in some of the schools grading can be a bit tough. The administration is competent and responsive - Amy Gutmann, one of academia's pre-eminent political scientists, is a perfect president to further the vision of Benjamin Franklin. The university has taken difficult positions on issues like music piracy, and also promotes free speech like few other institutions (and not just free speech for those who agree with the administration or majority of students!)
Academic resources, class options, quality of professors, opportunities after graduation are all beyond compare outside of the Golden Trinity of Harvard/Princeton/Yale. Competition is fierce, particularly in the Wharton School, which has a strict curve and students are licking their chops over 100-hour-per week banking jobs. Professors are, for the most part, quite accessible and approachable. There is a good balance between theory and practice, to both refine the learning process or scientific method, as well as to succeed in graduate school or a career. One of the coolest classes I took was called Consulting to Growth Companies. I served on a consulting team to work with a small, but growing, company screened by the Wharton School, and assess their needs and draft a report instructing the company on how to meet their goals and grow their business.
Very diverse, but self-segregating. It sort of defeats the purpose of diversity when you see people in large groups of people who are all the same. In addition, there are many classes and departments that focus on regions of the world and cultures, but the vast majority of people who take those classes are a part of those cultures and backgrounds. It is an overwhelmingly liberal campus, but political dialogue is very civil and is encouraged by professors and the administration. I have never felt uncomfortable as a Republican at Penn, and it was a privilege to coordinate and participate in debates and seminars with my Democratic colleagues.
The Best Things
If you're looking to find online surveys to take, you won't be disappointed
The Worst Things
It's not as respected among the general population as it should be