Category Archives: Interview Program

The Class Cup

By: Jake L.

In my last post I discussed the importance of virtual committees. Virtual committees enable Alumni to break geographical restraints and serve as ambassadors to Penn through the Penn Alumni Interview Program. This gives more students the opportunity to learn about Penn as well as advocate for themselves.

Since then, much of the Interview Program’s focus has been on increasing the number of virtual interviewers. The first step towards this goal was the creation of a page describing virtual committees. Next was the creation of an infographic, giving a visual representation to the importance of virtual interviews.

To expand our recruitment efforts even further, the Penn Alumni Interview Program has decided to run a competition among the five most recently graduated classes (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014) in an effort to recruit new members. We are currently four days into the competition and already more than 200 new members have signed up to join the Alumni Interview Program! The Class of 2014 is currently in the lead with almost 120 new members. It is extraordinary to see so many alumni stand behind this important cause, helping share Penn with the world!

Although this is a great boost in numbers, we need help of alumni in order to reach our goal of 100% applicants interviewed. If you are already a member of the Penn Alumni Interview Program, you can help by recruiting friends to join. If you currently aren’t a member of the Interview Program, join a committee today!



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Filed under Interview Program, Jake L.

What do you consider Penn Today?

By: Noelle McManus, C’17

What do you consider Penn Today? For me, it’s everything I see and do on campus. I’m up to date on most of the things that happen on campus. I check the Penn social media and I always read the e-mails they send. I am working diligently on learning more and more about everything at Penn. This is the exact reason why I was so intent on perfecting the meaning behind ‘Penn Today’.

Working for the Alumni Interview Program has been such a wonderful experience. They also see the importance of what ‘Penn Today’ is. Our interviewers are alumni from all over the world, young and old, alike. This idea of ‘Penn Today’ would benefit anyone from prospective student to our oldest alumnus. It could be a place that houses everything that exists at Penn, today!

Currently, a place like this exists only in a small scale. It has been my job for the summer to create my own version of ‘Penn Today’. The ins and outs of the academics, activities, resources, and most important news, all gathered together in one place. This is the place to be for anyone looking to enlighten themselves on what life is like at Penn in 2014. I have been working hard to gather the information for this hub and to present the information in an intriguing way. With feedback from those around me, I hope to provide a meaning to what ‘Penn Today’ really is!

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Filed under Campus Life, Interview Program

Welcome, 2014 Interviewers!


People join the Alumni Interview Program for all kinds of reasons- I’m partial to this 2014 grads motivation.

If you’d like to speak with prospective Penn students, click here.

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Filed under Interview Program, Liz P.

I’m Interviewing Because…

Author: Liz PinnieLiz Blog

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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Alumni Programming, Interview Program, Liz P., Volunteering


By: Rachel S. C’16

I never thought I would study abroad. I’m a transfer, so my time at Penn is already shorter than most, but as an International Relations major, I felt obligated to apply for an abroad program. I filled out the application very last minute, and was both excited and anxious when I found out I was accepted– now I had a big decision to make.

The great thing about Penn is that there are so many opportunities and activities going on at any time, but that also makes it easy to feel like you’re missing out on something. I considered the opportunity cost of going abroad– all the meetings and classes and late nights with friends I would miss– the financial costs, the academic planning and maneuvering I’d have to do, and I still had almost no idea if I was going the day before the deadline to respond.

My decision came down to a conversation I had with a fellow transfer. I explained to her my concerns and worries and excitement and fears about going to London, while she patiently nodded and listened. At the end of my long, long rambling, she gave me simple, clear advice: “Why are you worrying? You know what you want, and you should go with that.”

She was right. Penn is great because of all the opportunities it offers, and going abroad is one of them. I forgot that in the pull of Penn’s campus that I’d always wanted to study at one of the world’s oldest universities in a city rich with history and food and culture that I’ve always loved. Next semester in London, I’ll try to remember that advice: you know what you want– why aren’t you going for it?

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Filed under Interview Program, Patrick B., Rachel S., Student Perspective

A Long-Expected Party

Author: Patrick Bredehoft


Diligence is the mother of good luck.

~Benjamin Franklin

Today, the Interview Program staff is preparing for a party.  Or rather, 52 parties.  Between April 3rd and 27th, alumni from around the world will be hosting local events to welcome the newest cohort of admitted students to Penn.  These events are sponsored by generous Penn alumni from dozens of interview committees (from Phoenix to Pakistan), and while each event will undoubtedly have a slightly different flavor, the common celebration of a Penn education is sure to be a constant.

We’re also doing our part to ensure that each admitted student event is stocked with red-and-blue party supplies, by shipping boxes of Penn-themed gear to more than 15 states and 20 countries.  So, if you happen to hear a chorus of “Hurrah, hurrah, Pennsylvania” coming from somewhere in your town during the month of April, don’t be surprised.  In fact, we’d encourage you to join in the celebration, and to help us welcome Penn’s Class of 2018 to the four incredible years that lie ahead!


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Filed under Interview Program, Patrick B., Sweeten Alumni House, Uncategorized, Volunteering

The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

Author: Liz Pinnie

Yesterday a friend from Admissions stopped by the Interview Program Office for a cup of coffee during his break from sitting in committee (yes, it’s that time of year!).  As he melted into a chair and took a slug of his coffee, we started to chat about his impressions on reading hundreds upon hundreds of interviews.

What has recently struck J. about interview reports is the ability of interviewers- of all Penn class years and schools- to touch upon those certain qualities that makes Penn Penn, and a Quaker a Quaker.  Interviews took place via skype, phone, and in person conversation all over the world this year- from Dubai to Detroit, from Slovakia to Santa Monica- from alumni ranging in age from 22 to 85.

In 64 years, there have been a few changes at Penn- a transition from typewriters to computers to tablets, the conversion from Penn-specific building to community oriented growth in West Philadelphia, the evolution from weekly letters home to dorm hall phone calls to texts, the creation of Locust Walk as a pedestrian thoroughfare, the full integration of women to the University, and growth through eight different Presidents (among a few other changes- The Arch, anyone!?).

However, what we’re seeing from interview reports is that the more things change, the more they stay the same.  Throughout Penn’s past, a passion for activity both inside and outside of the classroom has remained, along with a desire for growth in knowledge, a hunger for integration, and excitement for innovation.

Over 12,000 of your fellow alumni are discovering students with these indelible Penn qualities from all over the world through interviews- if you’d like to help, join the Interview Program by clicking here, and share with us what you think makes a Quaker a Quaker.


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Filed under Campus Life, Historical, Interview Program, Liz P., Memories of Penn, Uncategorized, Volunteering

New Growth

Author: Patrick Bredehoft

To have dragons one must have change; that is the first principle of dragon lore.

~Loren Eiseley

Penn’s campus (and West Philly in general) has been awash with change lately.  This weekend, the winter’s endless snowstorms gave way to a flood of sunshine, and alongside the swollen banks of the Schuylkill, the renewed clamor of construction projects was suddenly everywhere.  And it’s not just the ever-growing River Walk—the Cira South building is slowly rising over Chestnut Street, and across Penn Park, Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine is getting a brand new student facility.

Closer to campus, other construction projects abound.  The wholly-renovated ARCH building is gorgeous, and almost as beautiful as the removal of the ARCH construction boardwalks that forced pedestrians onto one another’s heels as they tried to cut through campus at 36th Street for the past several months.  Hill Field has vanished behind the high construction fences that don’t yet offer a peek at the development of Penn’s newest residential house for undergrads.  Plans are in the works on the Perry World House for international initiatives, alongside a host of other projects that promise a long summer of construction cacophony.

As for the dragons, we’ll have to wait and see—fresh snow is predicted for tomorrow…

Here Be Dragons

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Filed under Campus Life, Interview Program, Patrick B., Uncategorized

A Fluff-Tastic Surprise

Author: Liz Pinnie

With just two weeks left in the Interview Program cycle, days have been filled to the brim.  However we had a chance to stop and marvel at our amazing interviewers the other day when we received a package from some of our incredible Massachusetts Chairs! Liz Pinnie

Inside was everything our hungry and sugar-crazed crew could want:  Squirrel Nut Zippers, Neco Wafers, Boston Brown Bread, Fluffernutter Sandwich ingredients and an abundance of Cape Cod Chips.  Many thanks to Shannon Scully, Paula Breger, Mimi Neuman, and Felix Layne, our awesome 85% or Bust Team from the Phillips and North Shore Interview Committees!

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Filed under Alumni Programming, Interview Program, Liz P., Sweeten Alumni House, Uncategorized

Snow Dazes

Author: Patrick Bredehoft


When it snows, you have two choices: shovel, or make angles.  

~Author Unknown (so it might have been Benjamin Franklin)

Yesterday, all of those desperate calls to 898-MELT finally paid off: the university was closed due to unprecedented weather woes, this time from a foot of snow brought forth by winter storm Janus.

Patrick 1-23

Janus, the two-faced Roman god, was believed to preside over transitions: the beginnings and the ends of conflicts, births and deaths, past and future—his domain is any gate or doorway leading to an unforeseen route.  Since January 1st, this Penn traveler has already journeyed along plenty of new roads: I’ve already flown more than 35,000 miles in 2014, across the country and around the world, and most of it was to celebrate and promote the university.  Traveling with the Dean of Admissions and the AVP of Alumni Relations, we celebrated historic levels of interest from prospective students, alongside phenomenal engagement from alumni across Asia.  When one is sitting on a different airplane each day, finding the time to make (or keep) a New Year’s resolution seems almost beside the point.

This Janus-sponsored snow day is therefore a welcome opportunity to pause and reflect on the year that has passed, as well as the one to come.  Penn has much to be proud of, but there is also much more to be done.  How can we offer interviews all of these incredible new applicants to the university?  Is there some way we can get an army of sentient robots to help?  And why don’t meteorologists get a score based on the accuracy of their past weather predictions?

Ben did once comment that, “Some are weather-wise, some are otherwise.”  Here’s wishing for much wisdom and success in the New Year, and the occasional snow day to help us all ponder the open roads ahead.

Patrick 2-23

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Filed under Campus Life, Interview Program, Patrick B., Photos, Uncategorized