College and Wharton senior and Integrated Studies Board Chair Jason Franks grew up the youngest of nine children on a Pueblo Indian Reservation in Laguna, N.M.
“My dad is a large-scale grower … he grows corn, beets, radishes.”
“You name it, he grows it.”
Franks said that his parents had always expected him to pursue a financially stable line of work — “one in which I could get my hands dirty,” he joked.
But Franks had other plans — he wanted to see the world after Penn, and perhaps satisfy his interest in helping to solve clean water problems in Africa.
“There’s so little water that’s clean,” he said. “I think we could really make a difference in places like Uganda, Namibia and Zaire if we helped them build reservoirs and lay new pipe to replace the lead ones which are outdated dangerous.”
But in November of last year, when “Fiasco” — as his friends call him — learned that he had secured an internship at the prestigious New York consulting firm Booz and Co. he was “thoroughly dismayed.”
“I didn’t want to just fall into some consulting job,” Fiasco said. “And like, never get out of it or something.”
According to a survey conducted last year, an amazing 65 percent of Penn graduates work in consulting, down from 67 percent in 2011.
Jason Schwartzman, Assistant Dean-elect in the School of Public Policy, thinks he has the answer to why Penn students are drawn in by firms like McKinsey and others.
“It’s probably the money,” Schwartzman said. “If I could do it over again I’d definitely give consulting a second thought.”
Penn President Amy Gutmann, who works closely with the Integrated Studies Board to provide a more far-reaching curriculum to ISB students, commented on the trend. “I think that if we look at the Penn Compact, the answer to these kinds of questions is simple,” Gutmann said. “More students taking on consulting jobs means a higher likelihood that we will be able to surpass the Making History campaign in 2014.”
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