Thomas Altmann

Class Year: 

2006
Hometown: Vienna, Austria

Language: 

German

Thomas grew up in Austria and originally had no intention of applying to schools in the United States because he was initially looking for something more focused than a typical liberal arts education. However, after investigating programs at LSE, Oxford and Cambridge, he quickly became concerned about the overly limiting academic programs offered there. He saw the Huntsman Program as a unique opportunity to study business without forsaking other interests, and it was the only US program to which he applied. After arriving on campus, he found that Penn was not only a distinguished academic institution, but also a fun and exciting place to live.

Staying in King's Court with his Huntsman class during freshman year allowed Thomas to get to know his colleagues and survive the first year of tough classes with the support of his peers. He spent the remaining three years after freshman year living off-campus with friends from all around the world, but never lost touch with his colleagues from the Program, eating lunch in the office, working on teams with fellow Huntsmanites, and serving on the Huntsman Program Student Advisory Board. Thomas took advantage of the Huntsman Program as an opportunity to take graduate level courses in German comparative literature and his stay in Berlin to study the political and legal framework of the European Union as well as European History. In addition, he acquired proficiency in Spanish as his fourth language (he learned French in high school) during his stay at Penn.

After graduating from Penn, Thomas joined a hedge fund in Greenwich, CT that focuses on distressed companies. Though his current job makes most use of his Wharton skills, he is determined to return to Europe eventually (with a potential lay-over in Asia) and expand his international education through practical experience. As an alumnus, Thomas feels that the Huntsman degree continues to provide him significant optionality in his future career, opening doors and enabling paths that each degree alone could not offer.