Lowell went to a small private high school (there were 65 students in his graduating class) so in applying to college he ruled out small liberal arts colleges as well as Ivies such as Dartmouth, Yale, and Princeton. On the other hand, being from a small school he was used to private attention — so, he says, Huntsman was "a perfect fit." The Program's curriculum keeps Lowell busy, but he has found the workload quite manageable. He has kept up with his coursework while working at The Enterprise Center, a business accelerator in West Philadelphia that assists high-potential minority entrepreneurs.
The Huntsman Program sponsored Lowell's trip to Barcelona the summer after his freshman year. There he worked at a research institute while taking classes at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. Lowell spent his semester abroad in Cuba, where he took classes at the Universidad de la Habana and conducted independent research on the interaction between language and sexual identity. (That research later became part of a paper for a doctoral-level course at Penn.)
In addition to the Huntsman Program, Lowell is majoring in Urban Studies. He is interested in urban development here in the United States and doesn't expect to have a career abroad, but the chance to travel and to learn about other cultures in his coursework was important to him. Lowell doesn't think that any other school would have given him quite the same opportunities to do so. "At the end of four years," he says, "I may wonder how I got it all done, but I'm doing it! The 40 credit units are not at all limiting. And Huntsman gives me the chance to do a number of different things."
When he arrived at Penn Lowell knew nothing about investment banking or Wall Street, but he'd always held a job and had always been interested in how organizations work. He has been involved on campus with Wharton Community Consultants, a joint MBA/undergraduate program that provides consulting and advisory services to nonprofit and community organizations throughout the Philadelphia area.
Lowell also co-founded the Wharton Politics and Business Association, an organization that provides a forum for students to learn about, discuss and debate political and business issues. Throughout the year, WPBA hosts a lecture series that brings various professors, politicians and business leaders to campus. Additionally, WPBA sponsors an annual policy competition, with Penn students developing policy proposals for issues such as energy, urban poverty and health care.
During his junior summer, Lowell worked at an investment bank "in the public finance division, at the intersection between finance and politics." He says that the Huntsman Program makes students more attractive to employers and grad schools because of students' knowledge of business fundamentals and their understanding of the global context within which organizations operate. He has been offered a full-time position at the same investment bank that he interned with last summer. In the long term, he's interested in a career that straddles the public and private sectors. In fifteen or twenty years, he sees himself consulting to governments on issues related to finance.