Coco, a Wharton student, is concentrating in finance and statistics. She enjoys working with numbers and thinking about the narrative they tell. In class and with friends, Coco works on case studies to analyze challenges that real companies face. In Finance 203: Advanced Corporate Finance with Professor Christian Opp, Coco and her classmates create original financial models, perform quantitative analysis, and find financial solutions to real-life corporate problems. To practice professional communication, groups present their case write-ups to the whole class. One of Coco’s favorite courses is Statistics 430: Probability with Dr. Mark Low, a passionate Professor of Statistics. Coco is drawn to the thought process required for classes like Stat 430 and Statistics 431: Introduction to Statistics. She applies skills and concepts learned in these classes to data analytics projects from case studies to research for her start-up, Candid Beauty, a platform connecting users to curated beauty products.
Coco is fascinated by language and currently speaks six languages. First semester, freshman year, she enrolled in Spanish 208: Business Spanish. Instructor Geraldine Lebaudy became an early mentor to Coco, encouraging her to attend Penn-in-Madrid, a six-week summer program, and pursue a Spanish minor on campus. Coco enjoys Spanish classes like Lebaudy’s, which connect humanities to commerce, and Professor Olga Guadalupe’s course,Introduction to Spanish Literary Analysis, in which Coco read and analyzed influential Spanish texts. Coco also loved her travels and studies in Madrid the summer after freshman year. While learning about art history and literature specific to the region, Coco had opportunities to explore Madrid and its surroundings—by attending birthday parties with her host family, travelling to additional cities including Granada and Barcelona, and sketching interesting buildings and landscapes.
Coco’s passion for entrepreneurship began in high school when she founded the financial literacy nonprofit Target Alpha. As a freshman, Coco and co-founder Jeriann Gumilla founded Candid Beauty, a company featuring personalized beauty product recommendations. In Candid Beauty’s second year, Jeriann and Coco began working with a newly launched female mentorship initiative designed by Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship to support female entrepreneurs on campus. Coco and Jeriann communicate frequently with their three New York-based mentors, all eCommerce, retail, and beauty professionals, by email and through monthly face-to-face get-togethers.
Coco is also a board member for the Penn Wharton Innovation Fund, an organization that awards start-ups, including Candid Beauty, with capital for validation, implementation, and launch. In her dual role as entrepreneur and board member, Coco appreciates her exposure to business models and new ideas at Penn.
Wharton 101: Business and You is part of every Wharton freshman’s Penn experience. Coco’s Wharton 101 teaching assistant (TA) was integral to her finding a home on campus. As a sophomore, Coco became a Wharton 101 TA to give back to the Wharton community. In addition to academic responsibilities, Wharton 101 TAs facilitate small group discussions on any and all aspects of the Penn student experience. Students share their academic and personal successes and challenges, while TAs provide a listening ear and advice. The bonds among the Wharton 101 community are enduring. Wharton101 (previously Management 100) TAs are part of a long-standing, informal organization that unites undergrads and alumni. The ever-growing group meets for activities, networking, and an annual alumni dinner.