Vasu Shandar '25

Vasu Shandar

Bellevue, WA
College BA
Wharton BSE
Healthcare Management and Policy

1. Why did you choose LSM?

While I always knew I was interested in pursuing a career in medicine, I was unfulfilled at the idea of only studying science in college. There were so many aspects of the healthcare system I felt I needed to explore on a deeper level. I wanted to enter the medical field with a full understanding of healthcare delivery, medical innovation, and solutions to remedy our system. LSM offered the perfect opportunity to explore the intersection of business and science, even allowing students the opportunity to apply their education. Coupled with the incredible alumni network and close community, I knew this was the right program for me.  


2. If you have completed an LSM internship, where did you work and what did your work involve? What was the most rewarding feature of your internship?

Last summer I lived and worked in London at the London School of Economics with funding support from the LSM first-year grant. While there, I conduced data analysis in RStudio and Stata to assist in healthcare economics research involving long-term care, the political economy of healthcare, and life expectancies. The most rewarding aspect of my internship was being able to experience the healthcare industry from a new perspective and see the tradeoffs between access, cost, and quality, especially considering the emphasis different countries place on each aspect.


3. Are you doing research currently? If so, where and on what, and what do you like about it?

I currently assist in research at the Thaiss Lab in the Perelman School of Medicine. My work focuses on the gut microbiome, assisting in metagenomic analysis in R on the computational side and DNA extractions and library preparations on the wet-lab side. I enjoy being able to straddle both the computational and wet-lab domains, working in the lab to produce the data that I can later analyze on a more holistic scale.


4. What main extracurricular activities do you do at Penn?
At Penn, I’m involved in Penn International Impact Consulting (PIIC), a consulting club where we work with international NGOs. Last year, my team worked with This Life Cambodia, building a business model training for youth being diverted from prison. One of my best experiences was travelling to Cambodia last May to deliver onsite trainings. I’m also part of the Wharton Undergraduate Healthcare Club Impact committee, teaching healthcare curriculum to local Philadelphia high school students. I work with the Young Quakers program at the Netter Center to coach West Philly kids in different sports and volunteer at Esperanza Health Clinic in North Philadelphia.


5. Do you have plans for after graduation (tentative or otherwise)?

After graduation I’d love to matriculate directly to medical school. I’m interested in furthering my interest in neuroscience and infectious diseases, potentially continuing down the research path or pursuing a combination of medicine and research. With my LSM education, I want to eventually pivot to social impact work with health systems in developing countries.