Tanguy Flahault

Class Year: 

2013
Hometown: Paris, France

School: 

Ecole Active Bilingue Jeannine Manuel

Language: 

German

Why Huntsman?

Growing up in Paris in a family of doctors, Tanguy took a chance when he chose a college path in business before really knowing what a business education would be like. He had always had an interest in math and economics but was completely foreign to the world of banking or consulting. Before attending Ecole Active Bilingue Jeannine Manuel (EABJM), an international high school in Paris, Tanguy had also studied English and German in boarding schools in England and Germany respectively. Within EABJM’s culturally diverse student body, Tanguy developed an interest in international studies. 

Tanguy knew that he wanted to go to college in the United States because he felt that the American educational system would leave a lot of doors open for longer than the French system. “For instance,” he explains, “if you want to go to law school after you graduate,you still have that option.” Tanguy also wanted to study in an English speaking environment where he could further develop the language but also continue studying German. When he found out about the Huntsman Program through a classmate at EABJM, it seemed like the perfect fit. “At Huntsman you get the best of both worlds; an intellectually stimulating humanities education as well as a very practical training in business.”

Tanguy felt right at home in the international Huntsman community and says that the cultural transition of studying in the US was made much easier as a result. “For international students, what’s nice about going to Huntsman is that you won’t be categorized as ‘the international kid’ because it’s such a diverse community.  I’m a full-time international student here but I’m not an exchange student so you’re treated in the same way as non-international students and you can integrate much better. Interestingly, while the German and French cultures are fairly similar I felt much more like a foreign student in Munich than I do at Penn.  The experiences of being a foreign student and an exchange student are very different, and few programs would allow you to experience both.”

Study abroad in Munich

Being from Europe afforded Tanguy the opportunity to work in Frankfurt at AMR International, a strategy consulting firm, for three months before starting his four month semester in Munich. The experience helped him get accustomed to Germany before going to University. Even though his colleagues were German, they also spoke English which was reassuring during the first few weeks. During his internship Tanguy was able to apply the business and accounting skills he had learned in Huntsman in a real world setting.

In Munich, Tanguy enjoyed the diversity of his study abroad education and says that “not taking business related classes abroad was great for my personal development.” One of his favorite classes abroad was one on the war crime trials of Eastern Europe. “It was great to be able to take the regular German classes at the university in Munich and not just classes for foreigners, which would have been in English.” Tanguy traveled extensively within Germany and also visited Austria, the UK, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic. His trip to Prague was actually a weekend cultural excursion from a course on Germany and its South Eastern Neighbors.

The Huntsman Experience

Now in his junior year Tanguy couldn’t be happier with his decision to come to Huntsman. “Before starting the Program I really didn’t know much about the various fields in business, but the core curriculum is set up so that you are exposed to a little of everything at the beginning before deciding on a concentration,” he says.  In Wharton Tanguy is pursuing a double concentration in Finance and Statistics, with a math minor in the School of Arts and Sciences.

During his freshman year Tanguy interned for Community Lab, a non-profit branch of The Earth Institute at Columbia University, founded by Professor Jeffrey Sachs (former economic advisor to Kofi Annan), that advises leaders of developing communities, governments and local leaders on health and education systems. While there, he worked on fundraising and communication for projects in Kenya and Timor-Leste, which helped him see the big picture on global macroeconomic issues.

The cultural accessibility of Penn’s campus has been one of Tanguy’s favorite things about coming to Huntsman. “Cultural options are really important and Philadelphia is ideally located because not only are there are great museums, shows and a wide variety of dining options, but Philly is also close to D.C. and NYC, which are great weekend destinations.” Tanguy has been able to see the Lion King musical, has gone on a ski trip to the Poconos and taken a trip to the Barnes Foundation, one of the largest private art collections in the world.