Lauder Student Spotlight: Clark Brown Jr.

We are delighted to share profiles of our new Lauder Class of 2022. Lauder students are gifted, driven, and exceptionally academically talented. Students share their stories, offer advice, and discuss their reasons for joining the Lauder program.

1. Where you are from and what were you doing before Lauder?

I’m originally from Cherry Hill, NJ, close-by to Philadelphia. I went to college in Washington DC, and then I worked at HSBC Bank in New York City for five years. After that, I continued working at HSBC in the Mexico City office for two years before Lauder.

2. What made you decide to pursue Lauder along with Wharton as part of your graduate studies?

For me, Lauder was the difference-maker. I wanted a program where I could perfect my language skills. In undergrad, I studied Spanish, Mandarin, and a bit of Portuguese. Now I’m in the Portuguese language program at Lauder. The opportunity to work on my language skills was very important to me.

I’ve always been interested in having a deep understanding of international issues. I enjoy delving into all the global considerations, such as politics, history, and relationships between countries. I know that understanding how businesses operate across borders, cultural considerations, and how to interact with people are all vital skills for me as someone who wants to work abroad again in the future.

3. How are your courses going so far? How are you balancing doing two degrees at once?

Academics at Wharton and Lauder have been extremely stimulating. The first semester was challenging, but once I got back into the swing of being in school, and with making the adjustments to learning virtually, it became easier. At Lauder, I’m expanding on my field of knowledge and covering the gaps that I entered with. I’ve truly enjoyed being able to think more strategically and analytically.

In terms of balancing the degrees, developing good time management skills have been helpful to me. The work-load isn’t too difficult to manage, and balancing the two programs has forced me to be more efficient with my time. Truthfully, any degree program would have been an adjustment.

Even though we weren’t able to have our summer immersion this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I was still able to connect with my classmates in a meaningful way. Having the second degree has a great opportunity to be a part of a smaller community within a larger community. Even before Lauder started, I was able to connect and bond with my classmates and hear their stories, which has helped me with the transition of coming to Wharton.

4. Are there any events, experiences, or conversations that you’ve had so far that have been especially meaningful to you?

During the summer after the George Floyd murder, Wharton students organized a unity and diversity conversation about race in America. I was thrilled to see many Lauder students taking part. We had a deep discussion about race in America, focusing on the systemic elements that are still embedded in society. Since Lauder is so diverse with students from all over the world, it was a great opportunity for me to share my experiences with others who many not be so familiar with issues of race in America.

As an African-American man in the US, it is normally difficult for me to be able to have deep discussions about race with people that are not of my own background. It was meaningful for me to be able to share my experiences, and help people to understand the importance of these issues.

5. What do you enjoy the most about being a part of the Lauder community?

Everyone has such interesting backgrounds! Lauder students come from many different countries, and speak many languages. They’re really great individuals that I’ve enjoyed getting to know. People in my Lauder classes are driven and motivated, and we drive initiatives that are important to us. Seeing how invested everyone is in the community really makes me happy to be a part of Lauder.