Julio Germán Arias Castillo
Prior to joining the Huntsman Program, Julio Germán had lived in Panama all his life. An ambitious student, he participated in and won medals for the National Academic Olympiads in Math, Physics and Chemistry. During his childhood he was an award-winning singer, and participated in several musicals.
In high school Julio Germán co-founded Mission: Harpy Eagle, a club whose main goal is to protect Panama’s national bird. As Youth President, he was selected by the United Nations for the 2009 TUNZA International Youth Conference on Climate Change in South Korea. At the conference, he met students from all over the world who were lobbying for a climate change treaty in the COP 15 Conference in Copenhagen. Julio Germán credits this experience, which introduced him to a broad international community, as the reason for his interest in international studies.
When deciding on a college, he chose the Huntsman Program because he felt that the curriculum would provide him with the best opportunity to pursue his interest in a business education, while learning more about international relations and politics.
Beyond the Classroom
At Penn, Julio Germán is an active member of several student organizations. In his freshman year, he was elected Community Service Chair for the Wharton Latino Undergraduate Association, through which he organized a Valentine’s Day Rose Sale that raised more than $3,600 dollars for Explore Dominican Republic, a charity helping to improve education. Under Julio Germán’s leadership, Wharton Latino also co-hosted a book drive with Student Ambassadors of the World and collected more than 500 books donated to Worldfund, an organization which helps to improve education in all of Latin America. Last December, Julio Germán was re-elected to the Wharton Latino board as Vice President and is now in charge of all the marketing initiatives of the club.
Julio Germán is also Vice President of Marketing of the Wharton Business Law Association where he has helped to coordinate panels with Penn Law professors, current JD/MBA students, and firms like Goldman Sachs. He was selected by the Office of International Student and Scholars Services to be part of the International Student Advisory Board. As Undergraduate Chair of the Administrative and Financial Affairs Committee, Julio Germán is currently lobbying for an increase in international student financial aid.
A proud Panamanian, Julio Germán has brought notable Panamanian leaders to Penn. He organized a forum for talks by the Panamanian Ambassador to the United States and by a former President of Panama. He has also arranged for the Panama Canal CEO to serve as one of the keynote speakers for the Wharton Latin American Conference, for which he is working alongside Wharton MBA students as part of the Conference’s marketing team.
This past summer, Julio Germán returned home to intern for Citibank Panama in their Global Transactions Services division.
A World of Opportunities
When Julio Germán arrived at Huntsman, he only spoke English and his native Spanish. Originally enrolled as a French target, he switched to Portuguese in his second semester. “Even though I love the French language, I believe Brazil is going to be in the forefront of business and international policy in the twenty-first century. The opportunity to learn more about its language and culture was something that will positively impact my career goals.”
At the end of his freshman year Julio Germán received a Huntsman Program Summer Study Grant to spend five weeks studying Portuguese at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica in Rio de Janeiro. The intense language-immersion program allowed him to experience Brazilian culture up close. “I took capoeira lessons, visited important cultural and historical sites around Rio, and traveled to São Paulo and Brasília,” he says. “I am grateful to the Huntsman Program for giving me that opportunity.” Julio Germán enjoyed the program so much that he is planning to return to Rio during his junior year semester abroad.
This summer, he will participate in a Wharton International Program in Australia, a 12 day course, organized by the Division of Student Life at Wharton to broaden international awareness and promote a better understanding of the business culture in Australia.
Julio Germán plans to continue taking advantage of all the opportunities available to him as a Huntsman student. After graduation, he would like to work for a few years in the United States before returning to Panama to work in the private sector and eventually enter Panamanian politics. “My biggest dream is to one day become President of Panama.”