Erik Hummel

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Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, '13

"I did not realize how special Penn was until I started my internship at Barclays. Penn is a competitive place and many students take pride in their individual schools. As soon as I started my internship, it did not matter what school or major you had, Penn alumni and my fellow Penn interns immediately bonded. Compared to all of the other elite schools in the program, everyone from Penn worked together to make sure we succeeded as a group. While each person had individual goals, the group’s mind-set was making sure Penn had more offers than any other school, which we accomplished. My friends working in other industries have experienced the same bonding and working together. They always tell me of connecting with fellow Penn grads at their company and how they always work to help each other. The Penn network continues to amaze me and Penn truly is a special institution."

From professional soccer to Penn

"Penn’s LPS Bachelor of Arts program offers a unique opportunity among the Ivy League schools for non-traditional students. I finished playing professional soccer overseas and wanted to complete my college education. As I interviewed at different universities, it became apparent that most colleges do not recognize the need for a program that addresses the non-traditional student. When I discovered the LPS program at Penn, I decided to visit in person and meet with the LPS staff. After our meeting, I instantly knew the LPS program was the best program in the country for my needs. The LPS staff immediately related to my situation, made me feel right at home and took the time to show me how their LPS program differed from other programs. I felt they really cared and wanted to help students in my situation. Penn was the only university I talked with that did not separate non-traditional students from the traditional 'pool' of undergraduate students. The LPS program gave me the same opportunities as any student attending the University. I began to believe Penn truly wanted to help me succeed, regardless of my background or decision to delay college after high school."

Penn networks

"During my first year at Penn, I developed an interest in finance and started thinking about working on Wall Street. I wanted to contact Penn alumni that had graduated from the College and worked in finance. I soon discovered QuakerNet—a simple to use, up-to-date alumni database that allows students and alumni access to Penn alumni working in a variety of fields and professions. I was interested in alumni currently working in finance domestically and internationally. I sent emails to three dozen alums, and most were very helpful and gave me good advice as to what courses I needed to take to prepare myself for a career in finance. Being able to talk directly with the alums during my first year at Penn allowed me to structure my schedule and program and make sure I would be prepared to work in my chosen career. At the start of my junior year, I reached out to the alumni that I was able to make a strong connection with, and they helped me prepare my resume for on-campus recruiting (OCR). I was fortunate to interview with many firms and eventually decided to accept a summer internship with Barclays as a Sales and Trading Intern. When I started my program at Barclays, the Penn alumni networking power became very apparent. From my first day in the program, I had three mentors assigned to me, and each was a Penn alum. They worked hard to help me secure a full-time offer with the firm upon graduation. There was a great deal of competition for jobs during my particular summer internship, but I was able to secure an offer to work on the Barclays Equity Trading Desk. About half of my trading desk had graduated from Penn, and it really showed me the strength of the Penn alumni network."

From Wall Street to a sports business career

"After I graduated from Penn, I started working at Barclays in New York on the Equity Trading Desk. I was working there for several months and realized that while the profession was all that I had prepared for, there was something missing. I came to realize that soccer has been a big part of my life at every important stage of my personal and professional development. With further reflection, and with the counsel of a few of my Penn professors, I decided to take a bold step and combine my interest of business with my love of soccer. I applied to a position that opened at the headquarters of Major League Soccer, to work within the Commissioner’s Office in NYC. I later learned that a Penn alum noticed my resume, and he was the first person to interview me in this department. After we finished, I had a number of impromptu interviews with other department personnel. The sports business industry is very difficult to break into, and I am very grateful for the help of a Penn alumnus who guided me through the interviewing process. I decided to leave Barclays and accept an offer to work with Major League Soccer’s Predictive Analytics Team. At its core, this position is the MoneyBall version of soccer for Major League Soccer. "