Journey to India/Halfway There

Hi, my name is Zach Chen, and I am from Nashville, TN. I am actually writing this blog post from the Mumbai airport because I forgot to write it before my departure, and this was the first time I was able to find internet! I am currently a sophomore at Wharton and the College of Arts and Sciences studying Biology, Finance, and Statistics. This summer I will be interning at Aravind in Madurai.

As a dual degree student in the life sciences and business, I applied to the Aravind internship mainly because I was interested in the intersection between healthcare and business. Aravind, being such an extensively studied healthcare system, not only seemed like an interesting place to be but also a place where I could learn a lot. I am hoping to be involved in clinical trial research as well as the social entrepreneurship aspect of Aravind. 

At Penn I’ve been largely involved in the social impact area. I am a part of Social Impact Consulting as well as an intern for Wharton Social Impact Initiative. During my time at Aravind, I’m really looking forward to experiencing first hand the social impact work that is done there. Just reading online articles and watching documentaries about Aravind, I am already starting to realize just how innovative and special it is in the healthcare sector. Maybe someday, I can start my own Aravind type of healthcare system. 

However, the whole career aspect is only one half of my motivations for going to India. The other half is just to explore a place that is completely foreign to me. I’m sitting in the airport, which in my opinion is completely different from airports in the U.S., and it almost feels surreal that I am in India already. I really came into the internship with very few expectations in terms of the types of experiences that I will definitely have and the people who I will definitely meet, but for some reason, I am certain that in the end it will prove to be an irreplaceable experience. 

Actually, I think my plane is boarding. So because I couldn’t find a picture of my at Penn currently. Here is a pic of me at the airport!



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About Zach Chen

I am currently a sophomore in the Vagelos LSM program at the University of Pennsylvania studying Biology, Finance, and Statistics. This summer I will be interning at Aravind Eye Care Systems in Madurai, Tamil Nadu India and can't begin to express how excited I am!