Prior to Huntsman
Before joining the Huntsman Program, Nadia grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, about half an hour from Penn. In addition to her classes at the Baldwin School and extracurricular activities in student government, Nadia spent her high school years working to promote girls’ education in the developing world. Nadia founded a chapter of the organization Girls Learn International at her high school. Girls Learn focuses on empowering women through education, and pairs Chapters in U.S. middle and high schools and with Partner Schools in countries where girls still lag behind boys in access to education. Nadia chose a Partner School in rural Pakistan to maintain a connection to her Pakistani heritage. She had the opportunity to visit the students and create a documentary to highlight Girls Learn International’s efforts. This closeness to an international initiative, as well as a long-held fascination with politics, drove Nadia to pursue a program in international relations and economics. When she found out about the Huntsman Program and its dual degree curriculum, she was intrigued by the opportunity to continue working within her interests, which also included studying business (Nadia comes from a family of entrepreneurs) as well as Spanish. “I wanted to pursue a degree with applicable skills to effect change in the world. I am interested in social entrepreneurship and social impact, and the Huntsman Program’s curriculum, with its balance of business and a liberal arts education, was perfect.”
The Penn Community
At Penn, Nadia has enjoyed adjusting to college life and has especially enjoyed her classes in History, Spanish, Law and Social Change, and Managerial Economics. Outside of the classroom, Nadia is pursuing her interest in using business for good and is involved in a number of social impact initiatives. She is a member of the Wharton Microfinance and the Penn International Business Volunteer (PIBV) clubs. PIBV promotes awareness of the need to use business skills to benefit those in need throughout the world, and organizes student trips to consult for nonprofits and NGO's in developing countries. Nadia even had a chance to travel to Ecuador with PIBV to consult for Manna Project International and to help the nonprofit launch a microfinance program for farmers in the Chillos Valley.
Though locally raised, Nadia has greatly appreciated the global scope and closeness of the Huntsman community. Coming from a small school with a class of sixty, she loves how Huntsman provides a small, close-knit community within the huge Penn student body. Nadia is good friends with her roommate from Costa Rica and has made close friendships with a number of her diverse classmates. “There is something special about the community. You get to meet people from all over the world and are constantly exposed to something new.”
Nadia chose to concentrate in Operations and Information Management in Wharton, and wrote her senior honor’s thesis on microfinance in Argentina, and how to use behavioral economics to improve it. After graduation she will be advising companies on mergers and acquisitions in a strategy consulting position with Ernst & Young in New York City. She finds entrepreneurship very appealing and hopes to start her own company one day.