Senior Grace Hao has taken full advantage of exploring Philly and Penn’s campus and encourages others to do the same.

What makes Penn special

The thing that really makes Penn special is the people! I have definitely met some of the coolest, most high achieving and inspiring people here. It is so amazing to meet new people and learn about their unique experiences. Everyone brings a different perspective to the table, and the thing that makes Penn so special is that it brings all these people together!

Grace Hao wields her saber as the Squad Captain of Penn’s competitive fencing team. Photo credit: Michael Nance

Three things you love about Penn and Philly

  •  I love the food scene in Philly and at Penn! There is such a variety of cuisine and type of restaurant around this city. Restaurant Week is one of my favorite weeks because it offers a great opportunity to try new dishes! I love the food trucks on campus. Some of my favorites include Terry’s, Hemo’s, Lyn’s, and Don Memo. Terry’s can add hashbrowns and avocado to whatever you get (normally I get a Bacon Egg and Cheese) and it’s such a game changer!
  • I love Locust Walk! During the spring especially, Locust is so pretty, and the weather is so nice. Whether I’m just sitting somewhere along Locust or walking down, it’s always such a pleasant experience and you’re guaranteed to see someone you know!
  • I love how accommodating Huntsman Hall is! There are so many resources that make studying in Huntsman so convenient. For a snack, I can always stop by Pret or a vending machine. There are tons of water fountains and public/private study spaces as well. I also love the convenience of the printers scattered around the building.

What you enjoy most about business school

I love how flexible the Wharton curriculum is! There is such a wide variety of concentrations, business fundamentals, and additional requirements that really allow you to try and pursue whatever you’re interested in. Business school is not only shaping our technical skills, but also our soft skills. For example, the Wharton curriculum includes leadership, business communication, and teamwork/interpersonal influence development, all of which are extremely applicable to the outside world. Lastly, business school allows you to take a plethora of non-business classes as well, which is great for trying new things and broadening your horizons.

Something you would tell your first-year self

I would tell my first-year self to not be so hard on myself. When you’re a first year, it is so hard to look at the bigger picture and maintain perspective on the situation. Every bad grade feels like a failure and every inconvenience feels like the end of the world. Coming from a senior, I would definitely tell my first-year self that everything works out and will be okay. Have fun because the relationships you make and maintain are what will stick with you throughout the years, not the one bad grade you got.

Favorite Penn tradition

One of my favorite Penn traditions has to be Homecoming. This takes place in the fall when the weather is perfect for being outdoors. From being at the football game, to seeing a bunch of alumni back on campus, Homecoming represents so much school spirit in one weekend, and is definitely one of my favorite Penn traditions!

– Sara Hoover, November 2022*

*Sara is the Communications Coordinator for The Wharton School’s Undergraduate Division.

Posted: November 3, 2022

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