Members of the Eberly College of Science and the B.S./M.B.A. program are proud to announce that three of their students graduating this spring have already committed to full-time positions. The five-to-six-year program allows students to graduate with a bachelor of science degree from the Eberly College of Science and a master of business administration degree from the Smeal College of Business.
“I hadn’t heard of the B.S./M.B.A. program when I got a letter in the mail inviting me to apply. Some things have changed since I was in high school, but mailed letters were how the program used to advertise to students. We’re a small program with about 10 people a year, but we really get grow personal connections. It’s the best thing to have people there to help guide you and support you.”
Alice Liu began her studies at Penn State in 2015 and started on her M.B.A. in the fall of 2019. Earlier this year, she received an offer to work at Deloitte Consulting and has committed to a full-time position starting next year. In the long term, Liu hopes to be a supply chain consultant in health care or life sciences. Currently, she works at the Small Business Development Center at Penn State as a graduate assistant. Her academic successes have led her to positions with Johnson & Johnson and TeleTracking Technologies, Inc., and Pfizer. Liu credits the network of alumni she’s met and her peers for much of her successful undergraduate and graduate experience.
“My B.S./M.B.A. experience has been amazing,” she said. “I’m so proud to be part of this program, and I tell the undergrads all the time. We’re all very involved, and we understand the importance of having this community and the resources. We’re constantly there for each other to talk about internships and co-ops and job hunting. I know how much having a community and graduate students to connect with helped me as an undergraduate student.”
Throughout her academic career, Liu often reached out to alumni for mentoring and found that people were often open to connect. As a soon-to-be alumna, Liu is excited to be part of the greater Penn State network. She shared that if there’s one thing she’d like to tell alumni, it would be “how much we value them. What makes us stand out from all other universities is how strong our alumni community is and how willing alumni are to help. I’m so excited to be part of the alumni network and be a mentor to students.”
“I had applied to 16 colleges, and after being accepted into the Schreyer Honors College I decided to visit campus and ended up switching from a math major commitment to business, instead. Someone must have noticed my switch, because I was contacted about the B.S./M.B.A. program. It was an email out of the blue, but the program is a perfect fit and I couldn’t be happier.”
Sofie Lutfy began her studies at Penn State in 2016 and started on her M.B.A. in the fall of 2019. Earlier this year, she received an offer to work at Honeywell International Inc. and has committed to a full-time position beginning in June of 2021. When asked how she felt about finishing her academic career and entering the workforce, Lutfy explained that it’ll be a bittersweet transition. “I’m very excited,” she said. “College has been amazing, and I’ve loved being here for a fifth year because of the B.S./M.B.A. program, but I know that I’ll be ready to leave when I graduate."
Lutfy also expressed her appreciation of how the program has allowed her to incorporate her undergraduate quantitative and statistics skills with her M.B.A. studies. As someone who had a passion for math since high school but also wanted to learn more about business, the program has allowed her to grow in both fields. Lutfy credits her science background for much of her problem-solving capabilities in business. Not only has the program allowed her to pursue both studies of interest, but it has also provided a network of people who have helped her along her journey.
“To all the alumni that I’ve met and that are involved, thank you so much,” she said. “I have really appreciated all the support that they have given. The peers and alumni I’ve met through the B.S./M.B.A. program are incredibly involved and giving, and this goes beyond academics.”
“I applied to Penn State as a management major and was admitted, but halfway through my senior year I had a change of heart and switched my major to biology. When I made that change, I was contacted about the B.S./M.B.A. program and was super interested in it because it combined the two exact things I was deciding between.”
Jonathan Westlake began his studies at Penn State in 2016 and started on his M.B.A. in the fall of 2019. Earlier this year, he received an offer to work at Deloitte Consulting and has committed to a full-time position beginning in late 2021. When asked about what sparked his interest in Deloitte Consulting, Westlake explained that there he had the chance to work across industries on solving thorny problems with people and teams that he automatically connected with during the interview process.
Westlake credits much of his successful undergraduate experience to the flexibility of the B.S./M.B.A. program. In just his first year of college, Westlake assisted in launching a startup company called Reflexion. During his two years of full-time work, the company built and patented a concussion-diagnostic device for the college and high school athletic markets. Westlake now works for a different health technology company, Evidation Health. They focus on using wearable devices in digital clinical studies. Throughout the program and even during the pandemic, the flexibility of the B.S./M.B.A. program has allowed Westlake to learn from the classroom and from the workforce.
“A big part of the program is the out-of-classroom experiences, and I think that’s where I personally grow the most,” he said. “I spent more than a year of my undergrad completely out of class and working full time in startups. The program gave me the flexibility to work while taking classes, and it’s proven to be a successful model for me."