In the spirit of Homecoming weekend, Street reached out to some of our past Egos of the Week who are still living up to the illustrious Penn title. While we undergrads continue to toil away in Huntsman and VP, Amanda is downtown creating pasta dishes at Vetri, Bobby is changing the world with Venture for America and Kristen is studying in a scholar's program half–way around the world. Read on to hear about their thoughts on life after Penn, and what they miss the most about the good ol' Red and Blue. 

Amanda Shulman (C '15)

What you been up to since graduating from Penn?: I’m a cook at Vetri Restaurant in Philadelphia and I’ve been there for almost a year and a half now. As of late, I’m the pasta chef there. So I’ve kind of just worked all of the stations and have moved all the way up the line.

One thing you miss about Penn: I miss having my friends really close. Also, a 24–hour grocery store, FroGro… So I miss convenience.

One thing you don’t miss about Penn: Sitting down at a desk, classes, staring at a screen.

Anything you wish you had taken advantage of more while you were at Penn? What I would say is use Philadelphia, use the city. Like intern and get your hands dirty, because there’s so much opportunity there. I worked in restaurants all through college, and that’s actually how I got the job at Vetri. It’s an amazing city. It’s not New York but it’s better. Everyone’s friendlier and it’s more accessible.

There are two types of people in the real world…Those who are gluten–free and those who know what’s good for them.

Photo Credit: Amanda Shulman

Bobby Lundquist (C '16)

One thing you miss about Penn: I miss a lot of things… there were just so many people from administrators like Jess Mertz, who leads the efforts of sexual violence prevention, Wilcaf and spending time at the Penn Women’s Center with MARS, being an RA… I think it just really boils down to the people and I think that’s why Penn is so special. (Ed. note: We miss Bobby too, but he is crushing it right now at Venture for America, a fellowship program that connects recent grads to startups)

Is there anything you would have changed for your EOTW interview?: Looking back I don’t remember everything that I said but I wouldn’t change anything. I think I said something about putting my hand in a garbage disposal and not thinking before I do things, so I think I probably would’ve elaborated a little bit more than leaving it just at that.

Advice for undergrads: Just really focus on surrounding yourself [with] people who will take care of you and also people that you want to be compassionate towards, too. 

There are two types of people in the real world… I would give the same answer that I gave because I think it’s still true. I don’t know the exact wording, but something along the lines of 'People breathing in and people breathing out.' Yeah, I think it stays true.

Photo Credit: Bobby Lundquist

Kristen Kelly (C '16)

What have you been up to since graduating from Penn? I was accepted into the Yenching Academy, a scholarship program covering a two–year Master’s degree at Peking University. I spent my summer after graduation living in Philly and working in a restaurant in the Wissahickon, and then moved to China in August. Since then, I’ve been living in Beijing, learning Mandarin and working towards a degree in History and Archeology.

One thing you miss about Penn: Philadelphia. I grew up in Philly, so it might be wrong for me to say it as though missing Philly is specific to thinking about my time at Penn. I feel like I learned a lot more about the city and became a much more active Philadelphian during my four years in college.

One thing you don’t miss about Penn: Meetings all the time. Outside of Penn, it feels like there’s a lot more time just to hang out for the sake of hanging out. And I think that there’s a lot of value to that kind of unscheduled social time.

Is there anything you would’ve changed for your EOTW interview? So… here’s a confession: I still haven’t seen Kweder perform at Smokes. I failed the one assignment I was given after my interview! It’s on my list of things to do when I return to the US, I swear! 

There are two kinds of people in the real world… People who use squat toilets, and people who don’t. Thanks to China, I’m now comfortable in both categories.

Photo credit: Kristen Kelly


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