Current Students

Madeline Lau

Hometown: Hillsborough, CA
Class Year:
Target Language: Spanish
Study Abroad: TBD
Minor: Spanish
Wharton Concentration: Marketing & OIDD

Why did you choose the Huntsman Program?

I chose the Huntsman program for the ability to add a secondary linguistic and cultural fluency to my business degree. Even more important to me was its strong community filled with such supportive, driven, and diverse people.

What has been your favorite thing about the Program? What aspects of the Program have been most useful to you?

Living on KC3 Freshman year. Everyone is from such diverse backgrounds you can never not learn from someone. Most useful: fluency in another language. People undervalue that, and sometimes you don’t see how important it could be until it’s too late. You are also able to call back on background and insights you had during your time abroad that allow you to be an intermediary in future social and business responsibilities that someone without your experience could not do themselves.

Which courses have you enjoyed the most? Why?

History of Capitalism – classic Huntsman experience. Everyone calls upon their own life experiences, and there is a huge interesting mix of cultures, values, and opinions. The class also gives a solid background on the history of capitalism and explains many social, political, and economic events that happen today. Legal Studies 100: Ethics and Social responsibility – talks about effective social philanthropy. It goes against the stereotype of the shrewd businessman, and teaches many values that are important in a workplace to create an optimal company culture.

How do you feel Huntsman has prepared/will prepare you to reach your career and personal goals?

Huntsman is not just linguistic fluency, but cultural fluency: being able to have experience living in the culture is so vital, especially in my future career path, as I am able to navigate those social cues and establish those connections effectively myself. Huntsman has also nurtured in me an ability to appreciate and learn from backgrounds that are not my own. I’ve loved being able to learn so much from all my classmates that aren’t things I can read about in a textbook, like social cues, slang, things they do for fun, etc.

What skills will you take away from your study abroad experience? What part of this experience was most valuable to you?

I learned how to immerse myself in a culture, and take advantage of any opportunity to get involved and learn something about myself, others, or another culture. The most valuable part was being completely removed from my peers and family at home and being able to reflect on my past experiences and current ones and put them all into perspective. During my study abroad, I was able to step away for a moment from a fast-paced and intense Penn experience and recuperate and work on my self-improvement.

Are you involved in any co-curricular activities at Penn? What is your role?

Lauder Institute: Research Intern, researching the future of fashion retail 180 consulting: project leader for this year, past year have worked on marketing and operations for 3 non-profits Penn fashion week: COO, coordinating events to bring in prominent speakers for Penn students interested into going into corporate retail.