Fall Fest 2023
More than 200 Penn Engineering Online students and alumni came together on campus last month for Fall Fest 2023. The weekend’s agenda included opportunities to explore the highlights of Penn’s campus in addition to a program full of presentations led by staff and faculty. These informational sessions covered a wide range of topics, from student engagement and new course previews to career services and advice from alumni. But the highlight for many attendees was the opportunity to convene with classmates.
“This program is amazing because it brings in people from different backgrounds, from doctors to lawyers to engineers,” said Andrew Price, an MCIT Online student from New Haven, Connecticut. “It’s quite the diverse group of people from all over the world, and it’s really nice to put faces to names.”
Students who enroll in Penn Engineering Online degree programs often place high value on the flexibility afforded by the remote learning format – but having the ability to form interpersonal connections is still an important and valued part of the online education experience. Fall Fest was an opportunity to forge new relationships and strengthen existing camaraderie. For many attendees, it was the first time they were meeting face to face with the classmates and faculty who they have interacted with through our vibrant online learning network.
“A lot of people are active on [the Penn Engineering Online Students Slack channel] so it allows you to not be shy because people do want to engage and do want to feel like a community,” shared Prinsa Patel, an MCIT Online student from Toronto, Canada. “You come here, you see them in person and it already feels like you know them. So it feels amazing.“
“It’s been an amazing networking event where you can form tight bonds with your peers and with faculty,” said Baruch Flores Chaves, an MSE-DS Online student from San Francisco. “This gives you a sense of belonging and enhances the experience of an online program.”
The Penn Engineering Online staff is grateful to the many students who traveled to Fall Fest from across the U.S. and around the world, coming together for a weekend devoted to building connections, forging unity and engaging in lifelong learning.