Student Profiles

Hoyt Gong, LSM '21

Hometown: 
Pasadena, CA
College Major: 
Biology
Wharton Concentrations: 
Healthcare Management

What are your 3 favorite aspects of LSM?

The alumni support is amazing – I’ve reached out to numerous LSM graduates in industry and graduate school and they’re always happy to talk and offer sage advice. 

The LSM Lounge – sit in the lounge for a few minutes and you’ll be sure to bump into a fellow classmate to catch up, talk about their latest experiences, and maybe work on some problem sets together. Reminds me of Bell Labs and how it was designed to promote that collaborative spirit. 

The advising – I really appreciate the tailored advising that the LSM cohort offers coming from a large public school. Dr. Stokes is a great resource to address my questions on academics, careers, and campus activities. But beyond our advisor, the LSM community from the professors to the board are supportive – shoutout to Jeremy Wheatly, our program coordinator, who taught me some cinematography tricks when I picked up my first camera. 

What do you think makes LSM unique?

I think we’re all really passionate about driving change in healthcare one way or another – but that diversity of our academic and career interest really makes it interesting. We each have our own story and background coming into the program with unique ways of bridging that biology and business intersection. For example, while a fair number of us head off to medical school, the roles we enter are diverse; from epidemiology to health technology to regulatory policy, the LSM community has, in my opinion, some of the most interesting people I’ve met. 

What are your favorite experiences at Penn so far?

Interviewing Roy Vagelos! I’m part of a student-led online platform called The Sign.al where we expose students to unique career paths by publishing interviews with successful individuals from non-conventional backgrounds. Had the great opportunity to reach out to Dr. Vagelos himself and hear from his perspective directly.

What internships/research have you done so far?

Coming from a wet-lab research background at the California Institute of Technology, I wanted to explore the other types of research at Penn. This past summer, I worked with my Healthcare Management professor to develop a project looking at how global health systems approach the drug approval process. Using statistical software, I’m exploring how various approaches to health interventions correlate with both economic and patient outcomes.

At the start of freshman year, I wanted to explore the entrepreneurial side of science and got involved with a local biotechnology startup, Oncoceutics, in business development. Climbing the steep learning curve, I began by organizing clinical data and researching competitor pipelines. I continued my internship into the summer and took on developing our pricing strategy for our lead compound, organizing data on spreadsheets and holding conference calls with consultants.

I think the fast-paced nature of interning at a startup with less than ten employees really gave me an opportunity to experience hands-on work commercializing a discovery from the bench. I’m grateful for not only how supportive my co-workers were in catching me up to speed on our work but also how much responsibility I was able to take on when I asked. It was very rewarding being able to first learn quickly coming in but then taking off those training wheels to work on larger, more impactful projects.

What extracurricular activities do you do at Penn?

On campus, I write for The Sign.al, a student online platform interviewing individuals with unconventional career paths. Additionally, I’m on the consulting committee of the Penn Undergraduate Biotech Society (PUBS) and the finance committee of the Wharton Undergraduate Healthcare Club (WUHC). 

Remotely, I serve on the American Red Cross National Youth Council, a group of 13 college students across the United States working to promote national initiatives on youth volunteer engagement.