What You Wish You Knew: Kat M, C'17

1. Name, Hometown, Major

Kat M

Darien, CT


2. What do you wish you knew when you were a freshman?

I wish I knew that Penn that while would present me with challenges that I had never faced before, my experiences here would equip me to rise to meet them. The pace of life at Penn is fast but rewarding. Sometimes it can be overwhelming, but usually it’s much more engaging to be challenged by others’ high expectations -- in and outside the classroom.   

3. Most memorable experience?

I have had a great time at Penn, so I have a few very memorable experiences. One is when the current Executive Vice President, Craig Carnaroli, told me that one day I would have his job. The EVP oversees the functions of the university that operate as businesses, like dining, real estate, and IT. Craig, who is second in rank after President Gutmann, is an exceptionally nice and thoughtful administrator (and Penn grad!). Craig, some other students and I have been working together since my sophomore year to tackle issues around Penn’s high costs of attendance. This year I have had the opportunity to serve as Penn’s elected undergraduate student body president. As President I have tried to advocate for lower costs across the university - not just in terms of formal tuition and fees, but also costs students face to participate in classes, like textbooks and course codes, and costs students face to participate in extracurriculars, like Greek life dues and club sport fees. The administration has committed to trying to solve these challenges, and to do so they take student input seriously. I have really enjoyed getting the chance to work with the admins, like Rodney Robinson from OSA (pictured here), to collectively make the Penn experience better for all students. 

Another experience I want to highlight is from my senior year fall. It was pouring outside. One of my housemates came and asked me if I wanted to get a banh mi sandwich with her from a Vietnamese market in West Philly. We would walk there and back, she suggested. For whatever reason we thought it was a better idea not to bring umbrellas, so we got drenched during the ten minute walk. At Penn we are very lucky to be able to live within walking distance of so much culture. The city of Philadelphia has so much to offer. West Philly is a great place to live, explore, and eat - even in the rain.

—Hannah F, C'17