Though he’s concluded his time at Haverford, Anthony Walker ‘22 is continuing his academic journey nearby. The physics major is now pursuing a master’s degree in systems engineering, as a part of Haverford’s 4+1 program with the University of Pennsylvania. The program allows Haverford students to begin working on a master’s in engineering during their senior year at Haverford by taking classes at Penn, and obtain the degree with only one additional year of graduate study at Penn.
Walker intends to focus his graduate studies on optimization, simulation, decision sciences, and signal processing, though he is excited to take advantage of all available opportunities at the university.
“The master’s program in systems engineering has coursework grounded in the intersection of electrical and systems engineering, and provides students with strong theoretical foundations and interdisciplinary skills required to address the growing complexity of technological systems,” he said. “The curriculum is extremely flexible and allows students to tailor their studies to their personal interests and goals.”
After graduate school, Walker is interested in pursuing a career in systems or software engineering or data analysis. He hopes to find a way to incorporate his interest in environmental science to whichever career path he ends up on.
Walker said he was initially drawn to Haverford due to its communal environment and the opportunity to continue playing soccer, but his heart was set on studying engineering. When he learned about the 4+1 program, which would allow him both the undergraduate and graduate experiences that he desired, he was excited.
The academic and social environment at Haverford lived up to his expectations, facilitating hard work, growth, problem solving, and interaction.
“I specifically think of the linear algebra course I took with Professor Joshua Sabloff, which really helped shape my logical reasoning and thinking, and linear algebra is used heavily in many of the systems engineering courses at the University of Pennsylvania,” Walker said. “That was one of the most difficult classes I’ve taken, but at the end I showed that through perseverance, hard work, and commitment, I could succeed, even in a difficult course like that.”
He learned similar lessons of tenacity, accountability, and collaboration when he served as a co-captain for the men’s soccer team. He is thankful that Haverford provided him with a place to hone these skills, both inside and outside of the classroom.
His physics and astronomy professors Walter Smith and Dan Grin offered crucial mentorship, particularly as he was preparing for graduate school. He also received advice from alumni, who were able to provide him with experiences and perspectives about the transition from Haverford to graduate school.
“Enjoy where you’re at in life,” Walker advised. “Embrace the struggle, and even when you get discouraged, stay hopeful and continue pursuing your goal.”
“Where They’re Headed” is a blog series chronicling the post-collegiate plans of recent Haverford graduates.