Interview with Wilson Tong, C’09

Wilson Tong, C’09 / Urban Studies
Vice President, Hutchin Hill Capital, LP
New York, NY

How has your liberal arts degree been influential throughout your career?

It is easy to become fully absorbed in your work and company—and I have found that my liberal arts background helps to remind me of the world’s tremendous opportunities (whether it be life or professional) beyond the day-to-day. Also, I have observed that, in many cases, my liberal arts degree in Urban Studies has enabled me to be a distinctive candidate for a particular role or offer differentiated perspectives.

What is the value of the Penn network, and how has it played a role in your career?

The value of the Penn network is immense, and several members of the Penn community, including alumni, former classmates, administrators, faculty and staff, have played important roles in shaping my personal and professional development through advice & guidance, relationships, exposure to new topics, etc…—since the day I set foot on campus through today.

We tend to associate the Penn network with alumni, but it is important not to forget all of the resources on campus!

How do you stay connected with Penn Arts & Sciences, and why is it a priority for you?

My experiences at Penn have been hugely impactful on me—and I look forward to continuing to stay engaged in different capacities at The College and Penn in general.

This year, I had the privilege of serving as a Co-Chair of my Class Reunion’s Gift Committee, and since graduating from Penn, I have volunteered with the Penn Alumni Interview Program. Additionally, I have aimed to take advantage of Penn events and programming in New York City, such as Engaging Minds.

What advice would you give students at The College who are trying to decide what career path to pursue?

One of the exciting aspects of The College’s liberal arts education is how broad-based, multi-faceted and interdisciplinary it is. Although we have Majors, The College affords its students the opportunity and flexibility to explore several disciplines, especially across Penn’s undergraduate schools. I believe that this philosophy is reflective of the varied passions and boundless aspirations of Penn students – characteristics that our students need not abandon when they enter the working world.

I would encourage our students to feel empowered to pursue their passions and multiple career paths, which could lead to one or more successful careers throughout one’s professional life. There are many ways to make an impact on the world—why limit yourself to one?

What was your favorite course at The College and why?

One course that is particularly memorable was Research as Public Work: A Real-World Project To Help Create A New West Philadelphia High School (URBS 327). It was a fun, hands-on course that offered a neat combination of the theoretical and practical—all in the West Philadelphia neighborhood.

Additionally, courses such as URBS 327 were influential in developing my interest in urban education—and I am very excited to have recently joined the Board of Directors of The Academy For Teachers, an educational organization focused on teacher enrichment.