Involvements while at Penn: Penn Running Club, Theta Tau

What have you been up to since graduating?

“I worked for about 9 months after graduation as a programmer / data analyst at a tiny options trading firm in Philadelphia, then became a software engineer at Google in the Bay Area and that's where I still am. I work on the server side of Google Voice, mostly focusing on data access, storage, and retention.”

What was the biggest change, going from college to career?

“No longer belonging to an institution. I still lived in Philadelphia after graduation, so most of my friends at that time were OT people who hadn't yet graduated. I felt otherized when I would return to campus to visit them: Suddenly I was very aware that there was this big institution (Penn) that existed for the benefit of a certain group of people, and I wasn't one of them. My PennCard no longer swiped me into buildings, etc. And I didn't get that feeling of membership at work because there were only six people in the office and I wasn't friends with any of them. My favorite thing about going to Google was recouping that sense of membership. Every time I badge into a Google building I still savor the reminder that I'm a member of the institution.”

What are some of your favorite OT events/memories?

“My favorite event was elections and my second-favorite was delibs. I liked being in a space where people I loved and respected discussed their thoughts and made decisions together.

My favorite memory was the first time I made a scavenger hunt. I didn't feel like studying for finals but I wanted to be near my brothers in DRL so I sat with them while they studied and made a puzzle hunt for them. You can still see it in the FB group.

I also really liked the ski trips”

Do you have any advice for us still here at Penn?

“1. I felt welcome in OT but not always wanted. When there are parties or events, consider messaging brothers individually to let them know you want them to be there.

2. "I have a midterm in three days" is not a valid reason to reject a dinner or lunch invitation. You were going to spend an hour on reddit anyway; get lunch with that hour instead. Set aside a few hours for diligent study, study diligently during that time, and don't think about the exam outside of that time.

3. Brodate every brother again. You have the time.

4. Sit in the front of your classes and be that kid who participates. Make sure the professor knows who you are so you feel embarrassed to turn in low-quality work to them.

5. Be aware that some paths of study lead to easier lives (in terms of pay, stress, culture, et al) after graduation than others. Do follow your passions, but make a fully informed decision first. Talk to people who have already graduated and ask them about their lifestyle. 17-year-old you might not have taken these things into account when picking a major.6. Consider being involved in student organizations without holding an official leadership position.”