Bachelor of Arts, Harvard University
I was working in a clinical research program for Parkinson’s disease when I entered the Post-Baccalaureate Studies program. My initial hope was to take some classes – perhaps in Biology or Public Health – to complement my medically oriented job.
I discovered a lot during these courses! First off, my goals have changed. I’m now committed to a future career in medicine and am finishing up my final pre-med requirements. In additional to this prerequisite coursework, I’m hoping to be able to take some other classes that might complement my career plans, such as Spanish or Epidemiology. I want to take these next year when I am applying to medical school.
The program’s flexibility makes it so easy to plan out a program of study. Because I was able to take a range of courses, it allowed me to learn so much more about what I wanted to pursue. You can enter the program with a very specific goal in mind, or just generally with hopes of continuing to learn! Since classes are offered on the evenings and weekends, you can work or pursue other endeavors while you attend.
Another thing I enjoyed is the diversity of the students enrolled. One of my classmates, I discovered, had been a rock musician prior to joining the College of Liberal and Professional Studies! Apart from being just really cool, it also reached me on a personal level. You see, I took off time for ballet before going to college. And finding other people who have a passion for the performing arts as well as a rigorous academic environment really spoke to me.
The classes have all types of students – from people finishing up their undergraduate degrees to professionals taking night classes simply for the sake of learning – everyone has different goals and reasons for being enrolled.
Bachelor of Arts, Master of Business Administration, Case Western University
It wasn’t until I was studying actuarial sciences for my MBA that I learned what an actuary actually does. Right away, I knew I wanted to switch careers and become an actuary. I have always loved math. When I was young, while other kids played, I found my greatest joy in solving math problems and teaching myself new concepts. With the heavily math-based actuarial science class I found myself once again staying up late solving problems and having to force myself away. The school I was attending did not have an actuarial sciences program, so I didn’t have the opportunity to pursue my dream career, until I moved to Philadelphia.
I found that the College of Liberal and Professional Studies offers an amazing opportunity for non-traditional students, like me, who are lifelong learners, looking for development opportunities. My goal when I entered the Post-Baccalaureate studies program was to complete the actuarial science and related coursework and take some of the Society of Actuaries’ exams during the process. Because of the post-baccalaureate’s flexibility, I have been able to complete the program as a working adult and on a part-time basis. I’ve also learned that with discipline, perseverance and courage, I am able to accomplish any goals I set for myself.
I am very grateful for the opportunities I have had with the College of Liberal and Professional Studies and I hope to someday be able to give back by helping other aspiring actuaries, especially those who are non-traditional students and career changers.
Bachelor of Arts, Smith College
Master of Science, Florida State University
Because I work full-time, I wanted to take advantage of my tuition benefits. So I have been exploring all the courses that I missed out on as an undergraduate – hello, statistics! Others, I just did not have time to fit into my schedule or did not realize I was interested in the subject until after I graduated.
One of the Post-Baccalaureate Studies program greatest assets is the sheer number of courses offered in the evening. There are so many options to consider. And it was very helpful to be able to take classes that would not interfere with my work commitments.
It was hard enough to balance work and life and then I went and added school to the mix. Yet, my coursework is as important to me as anything else I do, so I make time for it. Turns out, I have better time management skills that I thought I did! But what I have enjoyed the most is meeting people with goals similar to my own – to continue to explore courses for personal enrichment.
Bachelor of Business Administration, Emory University
“I was working as an operations analyst for an internet marketing company, and decided I wanted to pursue a graduate degree in economics. Much to my chagrin, I lacked the necessary coursework to apply; so I decided to fill in those missing courses with Penn’s Post-Baccalaureate Studies program.
Personally, I have learned to be a better student. It was invaluable to be able to create my own curriculum. I enjoyed the freedom to explore different course offerings. It allowed me to strike a nice balance between exploration and completing my goals.
The opportunity to get to know and work with the amazing Penn faculty members has been humbling and intellectually stimulating. The professors here are truly brilliant. I was even able to work with one of the professors in the Department of Economics as a research assistant. That job not only allowed me to integrate my academics with experience, it has opened doors for me, professionally.
Through the College of Liberal and Professional Studies, I’ve learned skills and made connections that have tremendously advanced my career. And I am now on track to pursue my dream career, something that would not have been possible without the intermediate step of the Post-Baccalaureate Studies program.”