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Wharton Student Has Successful Coffee Chat With Parents Visiting For Homecoming


Photo by Amtec Photos / CC 2.0 (with edits)

Ah, homecoming. What a time to be alive. The weekend has come and gone, yet the school spirit still buzzes in the air, and the student body continues to shakily recover from Saturday’s debauchery. While most saw the return of hundreds of Penn alumni as a great chance to catch up with old friends or relive the glory days, other, more ambitious, cutthroat students saw it as a golden opportunity to network. 

Chris Harnwell (W’ 25) recounts the events of his weekend. At around 11 am on Saturday, he spoke with his father for an uncomfortably long 19 minutes at a Pret table. While Mr. Harnwell (W’ 91) was expecting a chat about Chris’s time at Penn so far, maybe some talk about girls or the Phillies and Eagles, his son was clearly here to talk shop. The conversation was guided to the father’s successful private equity firm and how Chris really seemed to emulate its values. After initial confusion as to why his son was wearing a button down and blazer at college, the meeting ended with a firm handshake and a promise to keep in touch. 

About 10 minutes after leaving his dad, Chris was at United By Blue interrogating his mother (W’ 94) about her executive role at her company, taking notes via Apple Pencil. The encounter ended abruptly when Chris’s mother decided she would rather attend a darty with the couple's other child, Carly (C’ 23). 

As Chris told me, “It’s great to see the folks every now and then. Lot of respect for what they do. It’s so important to build a strong network. You never know where it’ll take you.” He hustled off, clearly eager for his 2 pm Zoom call with his grandfather. Godspeed.