This week, the Ambassador sat down with Christian Butts, Business Director of COE and a sophomore in Wharton concentrating in Business Economics and Policy and Social Impact and Responsibility.
The Ambassador: How and why did you join the IAA?
Christian Butts: After being involved in the World Affairs Council at my high school (shoutout to Cherry Hill East), I knew I was highly interested in continuing to learn about the international community and be in a group with other people who were passionate about the global community, too. While I competed in Model UN in high school, I had always enjoyed the policy discussions and the international development case studies the most, so I wanted to find a community where this zeal was not only accepted but welcome and part of the culture. So after interviewing, I realized that COE truly was the branch where I felt at home and would enjoy my time in the IAA the most, and that definitely holds true today!
TA: Tell us your funniest IAA experience
CB: One of my funniest moments in the IAA would probably be playing the game “Contact” with COE. When I chose the word “Vestibule”, Michael and Diane both had a hunch what it was and said “science” and both guessed “vestibular.” Janice immediately got out of her seat and sternly and loudly said “But that’s not science!” In response, everyone else in the room started cracking up and we even created a meme out of it. I think I was crying from laughter.
TA: What about your most awkward IAA experience?
CB: My most awkward IAA experience was probably during security shifts at UPMUNC my freshman year. There was one room that was loud every time I walked by, but as a freshman I wasn’t feeling assertive enough to knock and tell them to quiet down, so I just walked by expecting it to eventually settle down. Eventually after my 4th or 5th go around, I decided to knock and I thought I saw an IAA member go into this room, so I also wasn’t as nervous about it being delegates from a different school. I knocked loudly and said “C’mon guys, just quiet down” very casually, but it was a group of female delegates from a different school who just said sorry and closed the door. I haven’t even told anyone about this story because of how embarrassed I felt. Now that I’m typing it out, it doesn’t seem nearly as bad, either.
TA: Who is your IAA crush?
CB: My IAA crush is the entire branch of COE <3
TA: What’s your favorite thing about COE?
CB: My favorite thing about COE is the bonding that has taken place so quickly. It’s probably cliché to say it, but COE is like my family in the IAA and I think that aspect of it is pretty great because I’ve gotten close to so many awesome people. The school visits, the conference, and the new philanthropy event are our functions and we kill it, but the connections make it a really great experience.
TA: What’s your spirit animal?
CB: A Shetland sheepdog four shore.
TA: What other clubs on campus are you involved with?
CB: Penn Global Impact Collaborative, Wonk Tank Public Policy Publication, Black Wharton, Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, and The Pennchants (All-male, All-awesome, All-ass kicking a cappella group)
TA: What is your favorite song right now?
CB: Oui by Jeremih