Ben Griffiths

Class Year: 

2017
Hometown: Los Angeles, California, USA

School: 

Phillips Academy Andover

Language: 

Russian

Why Huntsman

Ben was born and grew up in Los Angeles, CA, though he spent many summers in the UK, where his family is from. However, he moved to the east coast for high school, to study at Phillips Academy Andover. Ben was very involved in social impact during his high school years; he founded an organization that collects used test preparation books and distributes them to students in underprivileged neighborhoods who might otherwise be unable to afford such materials. In fact, the organization is still operating today!
 
Ben also amassed significant abroad experience during high school. He spent his junior year studying abroad in China and additionally spent a few summers studying in Russia in Siberia through an international immersion program—though it ended up that he found himself the only foreigner among the Russians! After high school, he spent time in St. Petersburg as well to improve his Russian.
 
This exposure to Russian culture only fueled Ben’s interest in learning more and targeting the language when he found the Huntsman Program. To Ben, the program presented an unparalleled opportunity to pursue international business at the undergraduate level. Visiting Penn for Huntsman Day and meeting the diverse and interesting group of people that would comprise his class only confirmed Ben’s excitement about the program.
 

The Huntsman Experience

The community that attracted Ben to the Huntsman Program has remained the program’s distinguishing factor for him. He’s particularly enjoyed living together with the other members of his class on KC3 and enthusiastically describes how his peers are all willing to help each other out with coursework, as well as how the environment truly embodies the international and multicultural feel it was built up to be. 
 
Ben’s favorite course thus far has been Russian for Business, for which he has been working on a business plan that will soon be launched at a trade fair. He’s planning on pursuing a minor in Russian—as well as one in Chinese. Ben has also furthered his interest in China through joining the Wharton China Business Society; he was recently elected president of corporate relations and is excited to deepen his commitment to the organization through soliciting business sponsorships. In his free time, Ben plays squash recreationally. He also recently joined a fraternity, Tau Epsilon Phi.
 

Looking Forward

This coming summer, Ben is planning to intern with a private equity firm in Beijing called Hao Capital. He is hoping to gain both experience in the industry, as well as improve his knowledge of business terms in Chinese. In thinking of how Huntsman will prepare Ben to reach his career goals in a larger sense, he once again returns to the idea of a strong community. Being around people who are “like-minded and inspiring” in an environment where everyone wants to succeed pushes you to do your best, says Ben.