Fellow Spotlight: Alison Schmitt, University of Pennsylvania


Name:   Alison Schmitt

Hometown: Rutherford, NJ

University: UPenn, Wharton ‘12

Major: Business


What led you to apply for Venture for America?

I had been looking through endless job postings for I-banking and other finance-related positions on my school’s career website, trying not to vomit, when I came across Venture for America. The program offered the perfect blend of flexibility and intimacy from working at a small company coupled with a formalized training program and a network of like-minded recent graduates. Basically, I was really excited.

What were you doing when you found out you were accepted?

Doing homework with a friend. There may have been a football game on in the background (obviously I was not very invested in the teams playing).

Now that you’re a fellow, what are you most excited about with regard to VFA? What do you hope to accomplish?

I’m most excited about becoming part of the start-up scene in a new city and being part of a group of individuals committed to the revitalization of their community. I hope to learn a lot and feel pride in my work.

If you had to live one place for the rest of your life, where would you choose?

Cape May, NJ. It’s quaint, has great restaurants, mini-golf, and a beach. Basically my happy place.

Best thing about UPenn: The inspiring students.

Favorite Book: The Giver, by Lois Lowry

Favorite childhood TV show: Rugrats (or any other Nickelodeon old-school cartoon). And Supermarket Sweep. And Family Feud (with Richard Dawson).

Favorite meal: Rabbit and sausage jambalaya at Coop’s Place in New Orleans.

Favorite holiday: Halloween

Best class you’ve ever taken: Community Economic Development

Favorite movie quote: “This is war, Peacock. Casualties are inevitable. You cannot make an omelet without breaking eggs, every cook will tell you that.” – Colonel Mustard, Clue

Favorite thing to do on Sunday: Sleep in and make pancakes.

Favorite entrepreneur/role model: My sister and brother-in-law

Favorite cereal: Honey Bunches of Oats

Most worn article of clothing: Red winter hat

Favorite sports team: Uhh…I live 5 minutes from Giants Stadium so I will say the Giants by default.

Best trip you’ve ever been on: Glacier trekking in Patagonia (Argentina).

Favorite historical figure: Simón Bolívar

Accomplishment you’re most proud of: Getting accepted into VFA!