Penn Senior Julio German Arias Crosses Continents to Bridge Cultures

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Media Contact:Jeanne Leong | | 215-573-8151July 26, 2013

Julio German Arias’ first three years at the University of Pennsylvania have been filled with enriching, life changing experiences, both inside and outside the classroom.

His interests have led him to singing in the Glee Club, learning to speak French and Portuguese, studying in Rio de Janeiro and being elected a Wharton representative on the Undergraduate Assembly. The rising senior from Panama City, Panama, has also served on the executive boards of the Wharton Business Law Association, the Wharton Latino Undergraduate Association and the International Student Advisory Board.

In his freshman year, Arias was his college house’s co-leader of Penn’s environmental leadership program, Eco-Reps. He was among groups of students who helped develop educational events, activities and campaigns on campus to support the University’s environmental goals and Climate Action Plan.

“International students shouldn’t sell themselves short,” Arias says. “Be open to anything.”

His tightly packed schedule includes time for socializing. He sets aside at least one hour every day to catch up with friends.

Arias says, “It’s amazing how many activities you can be involved in at Penn. It’s about time management.

“Some of the most interesting things you learn or do may not be in the classroom. Someone you’re having lunch with might suggest that you apply to a certain program.”

A friend encouraged him to run for Undergraduate Assembly, and he was successful in winning one of the five Wharton positions. 

A scholar in the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business, Arias chose to specialize in Brazil as his area of the world to study political, economic and cultural styles. He spent a semester in Rio de Janeiro, taking political science, international relations and sociology classes. Also, he traveled to Australia, Morocco and Portugal through the Wharton International Program to study business culture there.

Last spring, Arias was among a small group of student leaders invited to a College Hall lunch meeting with Penn President Amy Gutmann to offer suggestions and share their thoughts about the University.

“The fact that she invited me and other Penn students shows that Penn cares,” Arias says.

This summer, he’s working at Morgan Stanley in New York City. He hopes to work in the financial services industry when he graduates in 2014. 

But, he has even bigger plans for his future. Arias’ dream is to become Panama’s President one day.