Where They’re Headed: Catherine Wen ’15

Physics major Catherine Wen ’15 is headed to Goldman Sachs as an operations analyst.

Catherine Wen ’15 is headed to Goldman Sachs as an operations analyst, but you might not have guessed it from her class work while at Haverford. She majored in physics, took engineering classes at the University of Pennsylvania and, during her year abroad, the University of Melbourne, and wrote a thesis on fluid dynamics, but she says it was all towards a common goal.

Wen always wanted to go into finance, and plans to use her experiences at Goldman Sachs to eventually return to the world of engineering. “I am still very interested in exploring the engineering field,” she says, “particularly product design, which entails a lot of engineering, but also a finance background, which made this position quite ideal.” She eventually intends to pursue additional schooling, either by returning to the classroom for an MBA or a master’s in engineering, to better prepare her for future opportunities.

Wen took advantage of the course exchange with the University of Pennsylvania for her engineering studies. “I was able to take a nice mix of engineering classes in mechanical design and bio-mechanics,” she says. “But the nice thing about that was learning to think in a new analytical way, seeing the physical applications of physics and science and how they’re applicable to our world.”

She spent her junior year studying abroad through a Haverford-sponsored program at the University of Melbourne. While there, she worked for Engineers Without Borders, where she developed on programs for national initiatives and worked for increased engineering education throughout Australia. “I learned a lot about how some sciences can be applied to global citizenship settings,” which Wen explains was inspired in part by her freshmen and sophomore years at Haverford.

Wen may not have taken many economics classes while at Haverford, but she says her new job is a new way to utilize the skills she gained here. Outside the classroom, she credits her senior thesis work with Asociate Professor Peter Love, her on-campus job as the overnight host coordinator for the Office of Admission, and her position as an international student resource person as opportunities that encouraged her to take ownership over her own work and prepared her to take on any challenge, including those that await her at Goldman Sachs.

—Jack Hasler ’15

“Where They’re Headed” is a blog series reporting on the post-collegiate plans of recent Haverford graduates.