Coming from the Bay Area in California, Madeleine was exposed at an early age to cultures different from her own. She developed a particular love for the Spanish language and for Latin American culture. However, Madeleine had a broad range of interests in high school and considered a wide variety of college programs - everything from international relations to bioengineering. The Huntsman Program appealed to her for its inclusiveness: she'd be able to nurture her interest in mathematics through Finance classes, pursue her love of international culture and language through the Huntsman major, and still dabble in other disciplines through the liberal arts requirements. As a student, she's been able to do all that and even take elective courses in both German and Portuguese. (That's in addition to study of her target language, Spanish.)
Though it didn't come to mind while she was applying, Madeleine now believes that one of the best parts of the program has been the international nature of the other students. She says that her classmates have been fantastic and that "there's nothing more valuable than getting perspectives on world and domestic events from people from different backgrounds." Through Huntsman, she found a diverse community of unique students who share many of her interests.
The Huntsman Experience
Madeleine says that "the program is an academic goldmine, yet not overwhelming, and I've found other activities to enhance my time at Penn." She's a sprinter on the varsity track team and the highlight of her track career came when she had the opportunity to run the 4x800 relay at Penn Relays. Madeleine has also served as a peer tutor and a mentor for Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and this year she serves on the organization's board.
After her freshman year, Madeleine spent a month in Peru, working on the community development plan for an Andean village. The experience got her thinking about the larger policy frameworks that would help such small communities to develop. In her sophomore year, she and fellow students founded the Wharton Politics and Business Association, which gives Penn students the tools to become active participants in public policy. The group organizes a lecture series, publishes a newsletter, and holds an annual public policy competition (this year's topic was health care). In her senior year, Madeleine has led a team of WPBA members in writing energy conservation policy for Penn. "We need more empirical-minded people in public policy and Wharton is great preparation for that!" says Madeleine.
During her junior year study abroad in Buenos Aires, Madeleine had her first opportunity to be a policy analyst, through an independent study on Argentine exchange rate policy. Now in her senior year, Madeleine is interning at the Foreign Policy Research Institute with Dr. James McGann, the assistant director of International Relations at Penn. She is leading three students in work on Professor McGann's ‘Global Think Tanks and Policy Networks' project, which will serve as the basis for a book published by the United Nations as part of its Global Institutions Series.
Though her main interest is public policy, Madeleine feels it's important to have a strong base in Finance because, in her words, "the private sector is the forefront of innovation." She completed an individualized Wharton concentration in International Markets and Development and spent her junior summer interning with Merrill Lynch in their Latin American structured products group.
Madeleine has recently been awarded the University of Pennsylvania's prestigious Thouron scholarship to pursue graduate study in England. In the fall, she will begin coursework towards a Masters of Public Administration in International Development at the London School of Economics.