Daniel Li

Class Year: 

2012
Hometown: Reading, Pennsylvania, USA

School: 

Exeter Township Senior High School

Language: 

German

The Path to Penn

Daniel spent his early youth in West Philadelphia while his father finished his Ph.D. at Penn. Though his family would eventually relocate to Reading, Pennsylvania, Penn had already made a lasting impression.

Daniel decided to focus on business in college after seeing how useful it was in his parents’ professions. “Neither of my parents began their careers directly in business, but it seemed like managing people became a common thread in their professions,” he says. “I felt like no matter what I eventually chose to do, having a practical business education was essential.”

His father also worked internationally and Daniel saw his own future extending far beyond national borders. He wanted an education that put business in a global context so that he could learn to operate in a global economy. When he saw the Huntsman Program on Penn’s application he thought it sounded perfect and decided to apply early.

A World of Opportunities

Being a student in the Huntsman Program opened the door to many international opportunities for Daniel. He spent his freshman summer in a 2-month intensive language program at the Goethe Institut in Göttingen, Germany. During his sophomore year, his roommate from Kings Court put him in touch with UBS Investment Bank for an internship in their Singapore office. 

For his junior year semester abroad Daniel was excited to return to Munich because he had participated in an exchange program to Bavaria in high school. At Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, a course he took on Bavarian church history offered a particularly unique experience. “The class was taught in the biggest auditorium at the University and the classroom itself almost looked like a church with frescoes painted on the walls,” he recalls. His professor even brought students to dinner to engage them and get their perspectives as American students.

The Huntsman Program also gave Daniel the opportunity to travel to Madrid for the Wharton Global Alumni Conference and to London for the Alternative Investments Conference at the London School of Economics. Looking back on his experiences Daniel says, “The Huntsman Program reaches far beyond Penn, and I could not have received the same kind of international opportunities anywhere else.”

The Huntsman Experience

The first psychology class he took at Penn made a big impact on Daniel. He decided to major in Psychology in The College, and chose to focus on Operations and Information Management and Finance in Wharton. “I really enjoy learning about why people make the decisions that they do.”

Daniel worked with his OPIM professor, who he met during a Huntsman-sponsored lecture, on an independent study that led to his senior thesis topic. “I researched the loopholes people find in order to get their papers published and realized that just because information is published doesn’t necessarily mean that it is true,” he explains. 

In addition to research, Daniel was in the Penn Cycling club, played violin for the Penn symphony orchestra, and taught science at a West Philadelphia elementary school. During the summer after his junior year, Daniel interned at Monitor Group, a consulting firm in Boston. He enjoyed Boston so much that he returned for a consulting position with Boston Consulting Group after graduation. Daniel hopes that his experiences at BCG will prepare him for a future in international business.