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Invent Penn State Summer Founders Program
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Michael Miller

Liberal Arts Major(s): Chinese
Other Major: Values-Driven Product Design
Hometown: Hershey, Pennsylvania

What was the best part of your experience?

Throughout this past summer, enrichment funds from the College of the Liberal Arts allowed me to take a risk. Instead of pursuing an internship or taking classes, I launched a startup with my good friend Jack through Invent Penn State's Summer Founders Program. Together, our mobile app Loancrunch is simplifying the student loan process, empowering students and graduates with one platform to easily understand, manage, and repay their student debt. Getting time to actually pursue something I'm passionate about was by far the best part. So many times, we get caught up in classes and activities that we like, but we shelve that creative pursuit or project we love. This summer was an opportunity to take mine off the shelf, and the College of the Liberal Arts helped me do just that.

Getting time to actually pursue something I'm passionate about was by far the best part

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically, starting my own company as a student has reinforced my decision to pursue my self-designed major, Values-Driven Product Design. Digital product design plays a key role in how we all live our daily lives. Getting to design a product this summer that is actually helping people showed me the endless possibilities within the field. Penn State didn't have an interdisciplinary product design major available, so I created my own through the Bachelor of Philosophy program. Alongside my study of Chinese, I couldn't be more excited to keep expanding the definition of what it means to be a student and lifelong learner.

How will this experience impact your career goals?

Through Penn State's Summer Founders Program, I've had the incredible opportunity to meet hundreds of successful entrepreneurs, student founders, and Penn State alumni who are all doing amazing work. We were able to meet with and learn from Penn State alumni at tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple. Actually exploring the work cultures of these innovative places is helping guide and inspire my own career path and helping me appreciate all the meaningful work still left to be done.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.
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