By Mariana Velasco
Angel is a junior targeting Chinese from Jakarta, Indonesia.
Tell me more about your background. I grew up in Jakarta all of my life, and had been to the US a couple of times with my family. Found out about Huntsman through Kevin, he graduated from the program a couple years ago, he is also from Jakarta and our parents have been friends since I can remember, so we grew up knowing each other. He was the one who told me about the program and how much he loved it. I also attended a summer program at Wharton called Leadership in the Business World. That made me one hundred percent sure that I wanted to come to Penn and that I wanted Huntsman.
Was it hard to transition to college in the US? I would say that the transition was very smooth. I actually went to a high school in Jakarta where around thirty per cent of the students were Indonesians and the rest came from all over the world. I grew up in a very multicultural environment which I really loved. I wanted to keep that, and loved that Huntsman really embodied it.. Jakarta is certainly overlooked when it comes to diversity and multiculturalism. It is very global and diversity is ingrained into every aspect: from restaurants to national holidays.
How would you describe the college curriculum for Huntsman? I feel like it is a bit more flexible than the Wharton one. I have been really liking my college classes. They normally involve a lot of writing and reading. One of my favorite classes at Penn is International Security. It was a lot of analytical writing, which is something that I miss when I am in Wharton. This semester I am taking a Chinese Art History class and we go every week to the museum to analyze an artifact with our professor. I am definitely having a lot of fun with my humanities classes. In a way, college courses very nicely complement business education.
What are some of the differences that you experience as a student in Wharton and the College? When it comes to business education, I think it is really nice to always have someone who I know in my classes. The number of students at the business school is lower, so the chances that you are going to know someone in class are really high. The college is hard to tell, you can be taking very specific classes and constantly meet new people. I see the College as the space to truly personalize my education, it adds to my educational experience a more personal touch, while Wharton is much more focused on building a specific set of skills.
What is special about Huntsman? It is special that we all live together the first year. The first night we met, we all instantly bonded. It felt very magical. Despite forty five of us being so different in terms of background/culture/upbringing, we all somehow found comfort in one another. During high school I loved global politics, but also wanted to pursue business. On top of that, I also wanted to master Chinese since I have been learning the language since the age of five. Huntsman gave me all the opportunities I wanted to pursue. You also have the study abroad experience, not to mention the community. I really could not find anything quite like it elsewhere. If these are the things that interest you, Huntsman is really perfect for you.
What international issue do you care a lot about? Recently, how drug trafficking affects children. My friend in high school was involved in helping an NGO working on these issues back home. It is a big issue in Indonesia and I care a lot about it. The issue is very systematic and it can affect people who are very close to you.
What do you do in your spare time? I love pilates because of my mom, I grew up watching her do it. I also grew up doing martial arts. I also love exploring Philly with my friends. I make it a point to go on random walks to find local shops and try new foods. I try to go to areas that other people don’t normally explore. I think that’s what makes it so exciting!
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