Allison Collins

Class Year: 

2015
Hometown: Ridgefield, Connecticut, USA

School: 

Ridgefield High School

Language: 

Italian

Why Huntsman?

Allison has always loved learning new languages and traveling. During high school, she studied Spanish, French, and Italian and medaled in foreign language poetry recitation competitions. She also had the opportunity to participate in cultural exchanges to Toulouse, France and San Rafael, Argentina, which made her certain that study abroad would factor into her college decision. Allison was especially excited by the opportunity the Huntsman Program offered to connect with her Italian heritage through studying Italian and attending Bocconi University in Milan.

However, during high school, Allison was also interested in math and economics courses and had enjoyed competing in applied math competitions. She saw business as a practical application for math, so Huntsman was a perfect fit because it uniquely combined all of her passions. While it may be possible to study both International Studies and business at other universities, she found Huntsman’s seamless fusion of the two unparalleled.

The Huntsman Experience

Since arriving at Penn, Allison reports that the Huntsman Program has exceeded every one of her expectations. Academically, she’s enjoyed the flexibility the program affords. In the College, she is pursuing a minor in Italian Studies in addition to the International Studies major, but she has also had time to take courses purely out of interest. In fact, her favorite course at Penn was “The Translation of Poetry and the Poetry of Translation,” a class where students brought in their own translated versions of poems to workshop each week. In addition, Allison has also been able to continue improving her Spanish and French language skills while taking courses to fulfill college requirements, such as through an early French history course taught in French that satisfied History and Tradition. In Wharton, she is pursuing concentrations in Finance and Operations and Information Management (Business Analytics), which she believes has equipped her with many practical skills to succeed on the job.

Outside of the classroom, Allison has similarly been thrilled with all that Penn offers. As a high school student, she came to Penn’s Model UN conference, ILMUNC, so she was excited by the opportunity to help plan it as a member of the secretariat and conclude her MUN career as Director-General her senior year. Allison has also explored her interest in writing through extra-curricular activities; she worked as a tutor in the writing center and both wrote for and served as an editor of the International Business Review.

Yet more than the academic and extracurricular offerings, Allison cites the strong community bond as the best aspect of the program. One of her favorite memories is the visit of her roommate from India – along with two other Huntsman friends from overseas – to her home for their very first Thanksgiving! She’ll also never forget the close-knit feel of living in KC3 freshman year, whether it be memories of the happy birthdays sung at midnight in innumerable languages or the doors left open for people to hang out in each other’s rooms.

Future Plans

After freshman year, Allison pursued her interest in math and finance by working for Moody’s Structured Analytics and Valuations team—an internship she obtained through past performance in applied mathematics competitions. While she greatly enjoyed her summer at Moody’s, she also wanted to explore her passion for writing. With the help of the Huntsman Program, Allison spent her sophomore summer at Euromoney Magazine in London. She had an incredible experience and learned a great deal about both the financial markets and what a career in journalism would be like, but realized that she wanted to be part of the action rather than writing about it.

As a result, the following summer after her junior year, Allison chose to intern with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), as she believed consulting would allow her to leverage both the quantitative and soft skills from her previous work experiences, as well as give her greater exposure to different industries. Allison is excited to be returning to BCG’s Boston office after graduation. Whatever the future may hold in the long-term, Allison is certain that Huntsman will have afforded her the language skills, cultural knowledge, and business acumen necessary to succeed in the global workplace.