Tomorrow on @PennCareerDay: Jeff Barg, COL ’02/MCP ’10 – PA Horticultural Society

Be sure to follow @PennCareerDay tomorrow for great insights from another Penn alum about their career path and a typical day at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society!

Jeffrey Barg is Associate Director for Planning and External Policy Relations at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.  At PHS, he develops and maintains the organizational policy agenda and government relations at the federal, state and local level, and manages projects related to urban greening, creative placemaking, vacant land reclamation, urban agriculture, community and neighborhood gardens, landscape studies and more.

Prior to his work with PHS, Jeff worked with the Penn Institute for Urban Research at the Consortium for Building Energy Innovation at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.  Before that, he had a long career in journalism as managing editor for Philadelphia Weekly.

Jeff holds a BA in American History and a Master of City Planning, both from University of Pennsylvania.  (Editors note: He also plays a mean blues guitar.)

 

Practical Learning At Its Best

Josh Oppenheimer – COL’13, MPA ’13, L’16

It’s usually hard waking up at 4:30 in the morning. But, not when you have to catch a train from Philly for a meeting in Washington . . . at The White House.

During the fall semester of my 3L year at Penn Law, I enrolled in an administrative law class that examined how the various federal agencies in our government operate, and what – if anything – could be done to make them more efficient. My class had previously spent a day in Philadelphia, meeting with Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) from the Social Security Administration and counsel for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 3. Now, we were off to meet with policy leaders in our nation’s capital.

While I knew that the administrative state was large and bureaucratic – cue the presidential candidates listing which agencies they would eliminate if they were elected President – I never knew how large it really was. Our first stop was on Capitol Hill, where we met with staffers working on administrative reform bills. Sometimes, sweeping change needs to come from the top, which is why Congress is currently debating how best to reign-in what some call “rouge” agencies.

Sometimes, though, effective change must arise from within.

After our meetings on Capitol Hill, we traversed Pennsylvania Avenue and – once passing through the black gates at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue – met with an official in the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. OIRA – as it’s more commonly known in the “alphabet soup” that makes up the D.C. lingo – is itself an agency that oversees and keeps in line the countless other federal agencies. That’s right, there’s an agency for the agencies! Like a coxswain on a crew boat, OIRA is tasked with making sure agencies’ policies line-up with one another and that the federal bureaucracy stays in-sync with itself.

As we finished up our day and headed back to Union Station to catch our train, I (almost literally) ran into a man whose old office we had just left. Peter Orszag, the former director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), used to supervise OIRA’s day-to-day activities. An agency overseeing an agency overseeing lots of agencies…Oh, Washington.

Though it looks like it will take more than a simple nudge to reform our administrative state, I am so fortunate that Penn Law appreciates not only the need for theoretical-based classes where we learn through textbooks, but also practical, hands-on experiences that come when we get outside the classroom, whether that be through scheduled meetings or serendipitous occurrences waiting for our train.

Josh and Orszag

Join Sean Lilley, 3D Software Developer at Analytical Graphics on @PennCareerDay

SeanLilley

Sean Lailley is a 2013 Digital Media Design graduate and now a 3D Software Developer at Analytical Graphics (AGI), building software for visualizing Earth and Space. He works on Cesium, an open-source 3D globe for the web. Specifically Sean develops the Cesium graphics engine, where his daily work includes writing shaders, adding support for new WebGL features, and efficiently rendering large datasets.

 Sean joined AGI in 2015. Prior to that Sean studied Digital Media Design where he focused on computer graphics and game engine design. In his free time he enjoys working on digital art, music, and games depending on what seems interesting.

Sean will be tweeting about his work day on our @PennCareerDay twitter feed tomorrow, February 3rd.  You don’t want to miss it!

 

Q&A With A First-Year Medical Student: Lauren Kus, College ‘15

Lauen Kus, COL ’15, interviewed by Todd Rothman, Senior Associate Director

This is an interesting time of year for many pre-med students – some are well-entrenched in the interview (and “waiting game”) point of the admissions cycle, while others are gearing up to begin the application process for the upcoming admissions cycle this Spring.  With that in mind, I thought I would share some insights about the medical school application process – as well as the firsthand experience of the first semester of medical school – from a Penn alumna and my former advisee, Lauren Kus ’15.  As an undergraduate student, Lauren majored in Health & Societies (Concentration: Bioethics & Society) and minored in Biology.  She is currently in her first year at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Q:       What aspect of medical school and/or your medical school training have you enjoyed the most so far?

A:        The most enjoyable part about medical school so far for me has been studying subjects that have clear relevance to what I will be doing in my future career. As a pre-med, I felt like a lot of the classes we had to take seemed relatively disconnected from medicine and healthcare. Medical school is very different. Anatomy is notoriously the most daunting class for MS1s, but there was such a clear connection to clinical care that I always felt motivated to study it. You might be able to get through Orgo without fully understanding NMR, but you if you don’t understand the anatomy of the heart, you’ll be in trouble as a future physician. 

Q:       In what ways is medical school similar to being pre-med at Penn?  What has surprised you the most about being a medical student so far?

A:        Being pre-med at Penn prepares you well for time management in medical school. You’ll most likely be taking around 5 different classes or subjects. For example, my first semester I took Anatomy, Biochemistry, Cell & Molecular Biology, Genetics, and Intro to Clinical Medicine. It would have been very difficult to manage that course load without the preparation I had from being pre-med at Penn. So, one similarity is time spent studying. You will absolutely spend A LOT of time studying in medical school. For me, it was significantly more than I had even spent at Penn. That was what surprised me the most about being a med student. Just like all Penn pre-meds, I turned down lots of social activities or study breaks in order to get everything done that I needed to for my pre-med classes. I expected to spend about the same amount of time studying in medical school. This was not the case. However, unlike Penn, everyone in your class will be in the same boat. All your friends and classmates will have the same workload, and be forced to spend a significant amount of time studying. So I didn’t feel like I was missing out on other things the way I sometimes did at Penn.

Q:       What undergraduate course(s) and/or out-of-the-classroom experiences have proven to be the most useful to you in your first semester of medical school?

A:        Any class you can take as an undergraduate that you might have in medical school will be helpful. As an HSOC major, I didn’t take a lot of extra science classes. However, my friends in med school who were, for example, Biochemistry majors found some of our intro courses to be more familiar than they were for me. That being said, you absolutely don’t need to take classes ahead of time (I didn’t and it worked out!). Extracurricularly, the most useful experiences I had were those clinical volunteering and research experiences that required patient interaction. In my Intro to Clinical Medicine class, we are tested on patient interviewing skills. I found it much less stressful than some of my classmates who had less past interaction with patients. Getting comfortable with talking to patients, in any capacity, will absolutely prepare you well for your clinical encounters in med school. 

Q:       What has impressed you and/or surprised you most about your medical school classmates?

A:        I am both impressed and surprised by the wide range of backgrounds that my classmates come from. As an HSOC major at Penn, I was exposed to a certain “type” of medical student. However, there is no one mold that all med students fit. Everyone comes from such unique backgrounds and my classmates have many different interests. This makes sense, I’ve realized, since all of us will end up going into different specialties! 

Q:       Looking back on your own pre-med preparation and the application process itself, what advice would you give to current applicants in the process?

A:        I would say – don’t rush! I applied without a gap year, and found it to be a pretty stressful process. Studying for the MCAT was rushed, and I missed out on a lot my junior year because of it. Senior fall was also a stressful time with applications and interviews. It worked out for me in the end, but I think if I did it over again I might take a gap year. Everyone is different, though, so you should do what works for you and aligns with your priorities. Additionally, I’d say if you’re not entirely sure about medicine, wait to apply. There’s not need to push it if you’re not sure that medicine is for you. I think it would be incredibly difficult to be motivated and successful if I wasn’t 110% sure that medicine was the career for me. Finally, and most importantly, enjoy Penn! My 4 years at Penn were some of the best. However, I think I spent a lot of it worrying about the next step instead of enjoying undergrad. Getting into medical school is a hard road, and being a medical student if tough. You’ll be a happier, healthier, and more successful medical student if you make sure not to burn out before you even make it there. 

 

Day in the Life: Anup Swamy, CAS ’99/MBA ’06, Vice President, Time Inc.

Be sure you’re following @PennCareerDay tomorrow, Wednesday November 16th to get an exclusive look at the day-in-the-life of a Vice President at Time, Inc!

swamy

Anup Swamy is a Vice President at Time Inc.  He currently leads Consumer Marketing for Sports Illustrated and SI Kids.  Additionally, he has recently added responsibilities for Consumer Revenue Expansion (e.g. New Product innovation) and Strategic Partnerships across all Time Inc. brands for Time Inc. Consumer Marketing + Revenue.  Prior to joining Time in 2014, Anup was at Bain & Company for almost 10 years, most recently as a Principal in the New York office, focused on Financial Services and Customer Loyalty.  Anup is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (BA 1999) and The Wharton School (MBA 2006) and currently resides in the NYC area.