Meet Penn State Behrend Graduate Caroline Upham

Caroline Upham

Caroline Upham

Credit: Contributed Photo

Major: Interdisciplinary Business with Engineering Studies (IBE) and Project and Supply Chain Management

Hometown: Erie, Pennsylvania

Scholarship: Provost Award

Why she chose Behrend: I really appreciate the value the college puts on the quality of education. Behrend adheres to Penn State standards while still maintaining an identity of its own. I love the strong community vibe here. I wanted a smaller school with a strong athletics program, and Behrend offered that, in addition to great academics.

Why she chose IBE: I’ve always considered myself a jack of all trades, so the IBE program which is a blend of business and engineering, was the perfect fit for me. It’s a broad and marketable major as it can apply to so many sectors of business and industry.

Campus involvement: I am a member of the women’s volleyball and track and field teams. I am also an officer for the Behrend Engineering Ambassadors and the National Organization for Business and Engineering (NOBE). I also serve as the Women’s Volleyball representative on the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).

Proudest accomplishment at Behrend: I had one really tough semester where I was able to maintain a heavy course load, do an internship, and participate in long and intense athletics season. I completed my work experience, my team won our conference title and made it to Nationals, and I made the Dean’s List.

Awards and recognition: I have been on the Dean’s List multiple times and earned the AMCC Academic Peak Performer Award for volleyball and track. I have a couple of conference titles on my résumé for both volleyball and track, as well.

Her definition of the good life: My concept of living a “good life” has changed during my time at Behrend. I used to believe the most important thing was to make enough money to enjoy my life outside of work. Now, I am more focused on finding a career that mirrors my values and goals. I want to be as passionate about going to work as I am about my personal hobbies. Money will come and go, but the time spent working is precious. I want to do something that matters to me.

Top priority: I want to move away from Erie, at least for a little bit. I want to learn to rock climb, to speak another language, and to travel to as many national parks as possible.

Alone time is vital: Time with friends and family is great and important but spending time with yourself is an important part of your personal growth. I have learned so much about myself by spending time alone. Become your own best friend!

Advice for first-year students: Sign up for as many clubs as you can, go to a bunch of meetings, and narrow down what you like or don’t like from there. Go to campus events, get free food, meet new people. Even if nothing appeals to you, you’ll start to see the same people over and over, and it’ll be easier to make friends. Get out and walk the gorge! And don’t spend your whole meal plan on ice cream and coffee like I did.

Caroline plans to look for work in the fashion or sports industries.