Current Students

Maria Curry

Hometown: Peachtree City, GA
Class Year:
Target Language: Spanish
Study Abroad: Barcelona, Spain
Minor: Hispanic Studies
Wharton Concentration: Finance

Why did you choose the Huntsman Program?

My passion for solving international challenges like poverty and women’s rights without sacrificing financial sustainability and economic productivity in a country was one of the reasons I chose the Huntsman Program originally. Since being at Penn, I have also enjoyed studying about the political systems of foreign countries in depth and how they affect progress on such issues.

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

The ability and ease to study abroad in a variety of opportunities is one of my favorite things about Huntsman. The summer after my Sophomore year, I was able to participate in the Penn-in-Madrid program which to this day, along with my semester in Barcelona, has proved to be the most useful opportunity in furthering my fluency in Spanish. Moreover, I value the community and relationships I’ve built with my peers from Penn in the program and with foreigners from abroad programs alike.

Which courses have you enjoyed the most? Why?

Legal Studies 230 – Social Impact and Responsibility. The course is taught by Professor Gwendolyn Gordon who makes the class so enjoyable and the cases we read are relevant on a broad range of issues related to social impact today.

Spanish 348 – Don Quixote: Then and Now. The course is taught by Professor Michael Solomon who is so knowledgeable and passionate about the novel. The structure of the course is also conducive to actually reading and learning throughout the semester instead of just being tested on one specific topic twice in the semester.

Anthropology 104 – Sex and Human Nature. A few of us took this class because it sounded interesting and it has turned out to be just that and very informative.

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

By being invested in the curriculum of two different schools, the Huntsman Program has given me the mindset to think critically about challenges we face in the world today that are also complex and not confined to a single area of study. While I am going into Finance directly after Penn to better understand firsthand how financial systems ultimately play a part in such challenges, I plan to pursue public office in the future and use the knowledge gained in the Huntsman Program and network of my peers to work to solve them.

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

From living and studying in a foreign country for nearly half a year, I learned the benefits of pushing myself out of my comfort zone even more so than I do regularly. From building friendships with natives from Spain and learning about other cultures to simply improving my Spanish fluency by participating in local events and our University programming, I valued the knowledge I gained about a country and its people over time.

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

I have served on the Undergraduate Assembly for all my years at Penn as an Associate Member and Wharton Chair, and as a Committee Director. The UA the elected branch of student government tasked with improving student life on campus and within Philadelphia. I additionally serve as President of Cohort Yen in the Wharton Cohort System. Wharton Cohorts is the peer-mentoring and programming organization of Wharton for all first-year students.

Where have you interned?

I will be interning at Morgan Stanley in Investment Banking this summer. Last summer I was interning at TPG Capital Sixth Street Partners in Private Equity.