International Studies & Business

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Christine Luo

Class: 2012

Hometown: Plymouth, Minnesota

High School: Wayzata High School

Target Language: German

Study Abroad: Frankfurt, Germany

There is no replacement for living together in King’s Court your freshman year. The experiences and memories will definitely last beyond the 4 years at Penn.

The Huntsman Experience

Christine was born in Germany to Chinese parents, spent the majority of her childhood in Vienna and moved to Minnesota at the age of 10. She knew she wanted to continue with her international experience at college, and when she stumbled upon the Huntsman Program brochure at Penn’s admission office, she knew this was it. Throughout her 4 years, Christine has taken German courses in business, cinema, political science, literature, and topics on the European Union.

Christine continued to explore her international interests through internships. Sophomore year, she interned at a private equity firm in Frankfurt, her first exposure to finance. That following summer, she interned at the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. Both of these experiences gave Christine the opportunity to understand the intricacies of working in foreign countries and an exposure to both sides of the Huntsman Program. Following her interests, Christine pursued an internship the summer after junior year in investment banking at Sawaya Segalas. There she found her passion for finance.

Christine, along with several classmates, including Huntsman students, led an initiative to begin Wharton Europe. This initiative was based on Christine’s experience during on campus recruiting where she realized the lack of resources for internships and full-time jobs in Europe. The main goal of Wharton Europe is to assist Wharton students with an interest in Europe and connect Penn’s undergraduate students with European organizations.

Study Abroad in Frankfurt

Being able to study abroad in Germany was kind of a homecoming for Christine. She left the country at the age of three and looked forward to exploring more about the country of her birth. She chose Frankfurt because of its importance in the European financial sector and the excitement of observing the European Central Bank in action at the start of the Euro Crisis. Christine spent eight months in Germany during the spring of her sophomore year. During the first 10 weeks of her stay she interned in private equity, and then she enrolled for the semester at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität.

Because of the flexibility of the German university system, Christine was able to organize her work as she saw fit and take time to travel. She visited Munich, Prague, Barcelona, Paris and Palma de Mallorca as well as childhood friends in Zurich and Vienna. In addition to traveling, Christine was able to absorb Germany’s fanaticism for soccer during the 2010 World Cup. Watching the games at public screenings and celebrating in the streets of Frankfurt were Christine’s favorite part of study abroad. The World Cup even inspired her senior thesis topic: the German national soccer team as a model for integration in Germany.

What's Next?

Christine will be moving to New York City in the late summer 2012 to pursue her passion for finance. Having loved her junior year summer internship, Christine accepted a full-time position at Sawaya Segalas and is looking forward to starting. Before that, Christine is taking full advantage of the summer and is planning a road trip across the United States and a backpacking trip around China. Most of all, she’s excited that her friends will also be moving to New York and for all the possibilities the city has to offer.