Stefanos Kasselakis

Class Year: 

2009
Hometown: Ekali, Greece

School: 

Phillips Academy Andover

Language: 

German
Huntsman definitely gave me a wide range of knowledge and skills, which has allowed me to debate effectively, whether it is at a Model UN conference or at a networking event. My communication skills have improved a lot as a result of Huntsman.

Why Huntsman?

Born and raised in a suburb of Athens, Stefanos visited the United States for the first time when he attended a summer session at Andover after his freshman year of high school. He enjoyed the experience so much that he applied to become a full-time student there and spent his last two years of high school studying there on a scholarship. Before moving to New England, he thought that his future lay in mathematics and physics - his brother went to MIT and Stefanos had even represented Greece in the Math Olympiad! However, at Andover, he was forced to expand his horizons and discovered that he had interests and talents in other fields. In his first year, he won the Physics Prize and in his second, the prize for French! He knew that the Huntsman Program was the right place for him because of its unparalleled breadth. After beginning his studies, he discovered that the curriculum also had great depth; he took classes in diverse fields without sacrificing quality in any one subject.

Stefanos put his new knowledge to use outside the classroom as well, through participation in a number of extracurricular activities. Stefanos has been heavily involved in Model UN throughout his time at Penn. He was named Best Delegate at the Harvard conference and has chaired a General Assembly committee all four years that he's been here. He chose the conflict in Darfur as one of his committee topics and that issue also became the topic for his Huntsman senior thesis. As a weekly columnist for the International Herald, a newspaper for the Greek-American community in North America, he wrote weekly columns on a variety of topics, including the situation in Darfur, as well as the U.S. presidential election, child soldiers in Africa and the Greek educational system.

Stefanos has served as VP for Marketing in the Wharton Management Club and as Alumni Chair and President of his fraternity. He has completed internships with Greece's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the "Center for Strategic International Studies," a DC-based political think tank. During his junior year, in addition to a full course load, Stefanos spent 20 hours a week working for Joe Biden's presidential campaign at its headquarters in nearby Wilmington, DE. He was even selected to lead ground organizing efforts in Sioux City, Iowa.

In addition to a wealth of experience in politics, Stefanos has already put his business skills to use in the family business. During a summer vacation, he flew to China and created a joint venture between his father's American corporation and a Shanghai manufacturer. He says that thanks to his Huntsman education, he knew how to approach different cultures and leverage his skills to get the venture started. He is still involved in the management and marketing decisions.

What next?

During his junior summer, Stefanos interned with Merrill lynch in Commodities Sales & Trading in New York City and Houston, Texas. He enjoyed working in commodities because they are real world products which can be affected by world events. So, his love of international affairs was just as relevant to the work as his immensely useful business skills.

He was the only undergraduate intern in his group of MBA and PhD students. Despite his relative youth, however, he felt that the Huntsman Program left him well-prepared for the challenging work, and clearly, his supervisors agreed. They've already extended an offer for a post-graduation job in London.