Emily Hsiao

Class Year: 

Hometown: Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA


Huron High School


Chinese (Mandarin)

Choosing Huntsman

Emily, born in Ann Arbor, MI, grew up speaking Japanese with her mother and Chinese with her father. Her interest in international relations stems from growing up with culturally different parents. “They had very different views and wanted to expose me to both cultures,” and thus, Emily attended school in Japan and Taiwan every summer, spending a month and a half at each. This, coupled with her father’s professional life—he’s in tech—, allowed Emily to meet, in the Huntsman Program, both her own international interests and her father’s business interests. “My dad wanted me to do business and I wanted to focus on International Relations. The Huntsman Program was our compromise.” Huntsman Day solidified her decision, “I realized business was applicable to any area of study; IR presented limits. From there, an interdisciplinary education became very important.” Growing up in Ann Arbor, Emily admits she was considering the University of Michigan, but she also wanted to attend college away from home.

Life at Penn and Huntsman

Once at Penn, Emily found herself involved in a variety of organizations. She participated in the University Choir and took violin lessons through the College House Music Program. She was part of the Wharton China Business Society Spring Program and organized a spring break trip for students to visit and apply for internships in Shanghai. She has since then moved to the Career Program, offering workshops and finding internships for Penn students in Greater China. During her freshman year, Emily and a fellow Huntsman student founded Rotaract, an international organization focused on community and international service as well as career development. She is the current President and is also on the district Rotaract committee, overseeing 9 Rotaract Clubs across Pennsylvania. Lastly, she enjoys volunteering with Alpha Phi Omega, Penn’s service fraternity, and conducting research with Penn’s Lauder Institute.

The Huntsman Program has introduced numerous international experiences to Emily. She was a marketing intern twice in Shanghai, China, at Goodyear Rubber and Tire, Inc., and at Shokay, a social enterprise founded by a Huntsman alumnus. At Goodyear in Shanghai, she worked directly for the President of Asia Pacific, creating mini research reports to enhance the importance of the region. She also interned in Goodyear’s Tokyo office, where she developed social media marketing strategies and promotional ideas—her idea was chosen over a PR agency’s as the company’s December promotion. At Shokay, she worked on a non-traditional marketing campaign where yarn bombing was used to invite people to the store and teach people how to knit. Last summer, she studied intensive Spanish for 6 weeks in Salamanca, Spain where she worked to improve her Spanish language skills. 

This past fall, Emily spent the semester abroad at Peking University in Beijing. “I loved my international strategy class. The professor used interactive media to show us the propaganda and strategic moves the Chinese as well as other nations used in various situations.” Emily joined the Rotaract Club in Beijing and developed many friendships through her community service interests. While abroad, Emily also visited other parts of China: Inner Mongolia and Yunnan, with fellow Huntsman students. Emily had originally planned to study abroad in Japan at Kyoto University, but her time in Japan was unexpectedly cut short when the tsunami and earthquake hit. She still plans to study abroad in Japan and is considering an extra semester in order to do so.

Emily’s Wharton concentration is the joint concentration in Marketing and Operations Management. Her favorite class thus far has been her Social Impact Marketing course. This particular class allowed her to evaluate an individual company’s corporate social responsibility and contribution to society as well as how that impacted profitability. More importantly, the class increased her awareness of social impact and its intersection with business, a subject about which she is passionate.

Looking Ahead

Emily will be spending her junior summer working in management consulting for Bain & Company in their Tokyo office. As she enters her senior year, she is looking forward to taking more marketing and OPIM classes. At the moment, she is considering working in consulting right after college, but eventually would like to attend graduate school and work at a social enterprise or nonprofit. She has appreciated the numerous resources and opportunities offered by the Huntsman Program. “On Huntsman Day, the alumni on the panel were working at non-profit organizations as well as law and medical practices. I felt then that the program would allow me to pursue my interests, and since then I have found that to be true.”