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Ask a Wharton Student

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gocard MBA Student
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Post Thu Dec 03, 2009 11:36 pm
Hi Gabe,

Definitely check out this website:http://wwwdev.wharton.upenn.edu/edu09/social/social-impact.cfm
There's a lot to wade through, but it does a pretty good job consolidating a lot of the social impact opportunities at Wharton. There are many facets of social impact (nonprofits, for-profit social enterprises, international development, etc.) but since you're interested in nonprofit, I'll try to focus on that. In terms of experiential learning, off the top of my head, I would point you to Wharton Community Consultants, nonprofit board leadership fellows, and social enterprise fellows (joint program with the school of social policy). Field Application Projects (FAPs) are also a great way to get hands on experience working with nonprofits (note that FAPs are not specific to nonprofit orgs): 4-6 students will work on a semester long project, there's no class but you meet with a professor once a week, otherwise you work on the team project on your own time. For example, this Spring we have projects with the Grameen Foundation and United Way Leadership Board Institute. In terms of academic offerings, there are classes like "leading nonprofit organizations" (check out "academic opportunities / MBA") and new courses being launched such as "social impact & responsibility: foundations" (which I'm taking this spring). Another resource to note is that the Career Management office has an advisor dedicated to nonprofit/public sector/social impact jobs.

Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any specific questions and I can try to dig up more info about particular initiatives.

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Kathy
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gocard MBA Student
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Post Fri Dec 04, 2009 7:43 am
Re: non profit

Just got this in my inbox this morning...

Wharton MBAs Take the Road Less Traveled
Wharton MBAs describe summer internships in nontraditional environments -- nonprofits, fledgling start-ups, charitable organizations, and more
Read Wharton Magazine feature
http://www.whartonmagazine.com/issues/424.php[/url]

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gkumar 2009 Beat The GMAT Scholarship Winner
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Post Wed May 19, 2010 11:15 pm
Hello, I am interested in learning more about Wharton. I have several questions:

1) What attracted you to Wharton first over other top-tier schools?
2) Does Wharton have any industry mentoring program to get real world exposure to various careers within your academic specializations?
3) What strategy and financial consulting initiatives exist where you can get hands-on experience?
4) What's your favorite class so far and why?
5) For those interested in a career in finance or even Wall Street, how do you deal with recruiting at a distance from Chicago or New York, the typical major financial hubs?
6) When is the best time to visit campus? Is the summer time before Round 1 applications a good time?

Thanks in advance!

gocard MBA Student
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Post Wed May 26, 2010 6:51 am
Hi gkumar,

1 & 6: I recommend visiting (ideally when classes are in session, so after September) and/or speaking with students & alumni. It was difficult for me to try to differentiate top schools from each other in terms of academic offerings and programs. Visiting and meeting potential classmates at the welcome weekends and talking to alumni about their experience / school positioning was also helpful.
2: Yes - many clubs set up mentor programs with alumni. They also set up alumni industry career chats throughout the school year. For example, they'll set up a panel of alums who have careers in finance and then you can have dinner afterwards to network some more. Your classmates are also a very valuable source of information.
3: For hands-on consulting experience, look into the Global Consulting Practicum, Wharton Community Consulting, Small Business Development Center, Wharton International Volunteer Program...there are many outlets depending on what kind of experience you're looking for. There are also several case competitions throughout the year. Time commitments / program lengths vary.
4: Most of my classes in the 1st year have been in the core cirriculum. I enjoyed the Strategy courses (under Management dept) and Operations Management. I found the frameworks and concepts very useful and applicable. My favorite electives so far have been Inside Indian Business (where we frequently had guest speakers visit/tele-conference such as the heads of Blackstone in India, BCG China, Bharti Airtel Asia, etc.) and Entrepreneurship.
5: New York travel is pretty convenient - bolt bus is the easiest and cheapest way (2 hours one way, $13 bux). PHL airport is about 20 minutes from center city by cab, so easy to get to if you need to fly. There's also a dedicated interview period where you have a week off from class to travel. It also helps that there are no classes on Friday, so you can use that day to travel as well.

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Kathy
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gkumar 2009 Beat The GMAT Scholarship Winner
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Post Wed May 26, 2010 9:03 am
Thank you so much gocard! Your response was very insightful, especially the numerous consulting opportunities. What's the best way to connect with a Wharton student/alumni for a specific field like strategy since I am not in the tristate area?

MBABound? Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Thu May 27, 2010 12:20 pm
Hi,

I was wondering what you have chosen as your major? I am very interested in, Business and Public Policy and Strategic Management.

Thanks

gocard MBA Student
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Post Mon Nov 01, 2010 6:19 am
@MBA Bound

I have chosen to major in strategic management. The major is about 5 credit units (where usually 1 unit can be fulfilled by core classes in strategy). Most classes are 1 unit (semester long) or can 0.5 unit (quarter long) so in reality...getting a major doesn't require that many classes. I often see classmates double major as well. Your major in business school isn't as significant as in undergrad and may or may not be relevant to recruiters when you're here. It's more about what you know - not your major. But that's just my opinion!

Best,
Kathy

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roshnipat1610 Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:42 am
Hello Kathy,
Thank you very much for taking out time from your very busy schedule at Wharton to answer our questions.
I was wondering if you could tell me a little about the leadership development activity at Wharton. I am familiar with the leadership ventures and the Leadership Fellows program. I was wondering if you could elaborate a bit more on these as well as the other leadership opportunities at Wharton.
Thanks again.

gocard MBA Student
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Post Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:21 am
@roshnipat

The leadership office at wharton runs the venture program, leadership fellows program plus leadership workshop and speaker series. I personally have not gone on a venture and am not a leadership fellow, but have done three leadership workshops. First one was Quantico (leadership at the officer candidate training school of the marines), Gettysburg (leadership lessons from the battlefield) and Small Group Processes (learning about small group dynamics and your personal leadership style.) There are many more workshop choices and I wish I could do more of them. Outside the leadership office, there are many opportunities for your personal leadership development from classes and workshops (total leadership and power lab come to mind...there is also the nonprofit leadership program) to extracurriculars- councils, conferences, clubs, etc. These are the more formal leadership opportunities. I have also learned about leadership working with my learning team during first year and on group projects. Hopefully that helps shed more light... A lot of what you do at bschool can be a leadership opportunity depending on how you define it!

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roshnipat1610 Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:32 pm
Kathy, thank you, very much for your very detailed and prompt reply. The leadership workshops and classes sound fantastic!!! There seems so much to do and so little time to do them!!!

ls413 Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:37 pm
Hi Kathy,
What is the culture like at Wharton? Do you find it to be cut-throat?

Thanks,
LS

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Post Wed Jul 13, 2011 2:51 pm
Thank you for making the time and answering all the questions.
(I am applying to the school for next year)I watched students videos and school photos as well as the information on the clubs and classes and everything there is about Wharton and i fall in love with it.now i have a few questions for you

1-I'm an international applicant,so i would really like to know how is the school in relate to international students? if you have any friends that you can comment based on their experience or what you know,it would be great

2-Next thing i want to ask is about your daily schedule,from what I've seen it's very busy and there's something to do at anytime.Isn't there pressure?Doesn't anyone get behind the school with all the clubs,activities,assignments,conferences,etc?

3-I'm considering a dual degree,so i really like to know how much time does the school work(the team works and homework! and assignments) take in any given day?if you could give me some idea about that,it would be great.

4-How is the life in the city? You coming from NY,how do you see and enjoy the city?
What do you do on weekends? What does the city has to offer?

5-What international opportunities does the school offer?from internships,study abroad to travel,conferences or anything else?

6- How exactly does the majors work? you mentioned some of your classmates major in 2 fields,how does that work? they take extra classes (more than the credits needed for the degree) or they take their electives in 2 different field?can you explain this for me?

Thank you again for the insider tips.
(I hit you with all the other questions later.Thanks again;) )

gocard MBA Student
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Post Wed Jul 20, 2011 2:24 pm
@ mehra

1 - Wharton is very "global" and it's a point of differentiation for the school. 40% of the class is international. There's the lauder program. There are international components to the core cirriculum and there are many electives focused on business outside the us such as private equity in emerging markets, supply chain mgmt in china, etc. During orientation, I even remember workshops geared torward int'l students teaching them about us sports culture, football, etc. There are also many clubs that organize conferences, special events, etc. specific to regions/continents/countries that anyone is welcome to join.
2 - This is hard to answer because everyone is different and has different priorities. You do feel pressure because there is limited time in the day and you distribute it between school work, extra-cirricular activities, career building, socializing, exercising, family relationships, and the list goes on... personally for me, it was very manageable but I had to prioritize and could not do 100% of everything I was interested in. Generally, everyone has time to get involved in extracirrics. Its a big part of the bschool experience.
3 - similar to answer 2. There are many dual degree students. How much time you spend on school work is up to you and what you need to get out of it. I know people who spent a lot of time studying because they wanted to make the deans list or struggled keeping up because english was not their first language. I also know people who were at the opposite end of the spectrum because they had other priorities. However, you can probably expect to be in class 4 to 5 hours per day, 4 days a week for your first year unless you waive out of classes.
4- I've lived in nyc and san francisco prior to Philly and I grew to really like it there. Its very walkable and easy to get around. Great food scene. NYC is a 2 hr bus ride away for ten bux.
5- these should be well documented if you look on the website. there are many many great intl opportunities.
6- its similar to undergrad. there are set majors or you can make your own. Most majors are 5 units. There are many to choose from. You must satisfy one major but you can have more. You need 19 units to graduate. I think if you take more than 21 units you have to pay more tuition, so more than 2 majors is unlikely.

Hope these are helpful comments. Sorry to be short! Let me know if you have more questions and best of luck!

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Kathy
MBA Student, Wharton

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mehrabounr Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Thu Jul 21, 2011 4:19 am
Thank you for making the time to answer all my questions.
I checked the school website again for more information,and watched a lot of videos on youtube from the school,students and some from "Wharton follies" which were hilarious.I think i've got enough insight to the school.

In my country,we didn't have the finance major in undergrad till a few years back.I was in the first class to graduate in this major.so during school we didn't have much of a guideline,professor to teach or books to read.It wasn't very organized so though I'm considered a finance graduate! i don't know much about it .(my work experience is in accounting and bookkeeping and i have no recollection of the rules for stock markets or formulas in finance)
Do you think it could hold me back in the school?If i get accepted,should i prepare before classes begin?


And my major concern which is not just about Wharton;
As you know all the essays and the admission process is based on the belief that students should have a clear mind about their life and career goals.Which I'm having a little problem with it.

Within all the majors the school offer,I'm interested in a lot of them.Better say passionate about a lot of them and they are almost in the same level of importance to me.I
For example nonprofit work,which is a huge part of my life but it doesn't have any place in my country cause most organizations in this field are considered criminals and have all sorts of problems with law.So if i had to come back here,i can't peruse this as my job but in a different situation i would seriously consider it as a career choice.
So depending on the opportunities and the events in coming years(like a new president),my decision can change.

But i don't think the admission committee would see my wide net of interests like this.It might look like a weakness or a point of concern.
Can i get your opinion on this matter?
If i declare a certain path now,can i change my career goals,or what major I want to study?does the school allow this? or even help ?

gocard MBA Student
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Post Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:13 pm
@mehrabounr

Once you are enrolled in preterm (orientation before school starts), you will be required to pass a math test. To be honest, I was better prepared to take the math test when I was 17 years old. This is the only academic requirement needed before you begin the core curriculum which includes finance. The school does not expect you to know any finance before you start. I personally had never taken a finance class before coming to wharton. Seeing how you come from a quantitative background, I would not lose sleep over this; however, you can always buy the textbook, brush up, etc. if you feel it would help you.

As for the major, as a student you can change your major without any issues. I changed my major from entrepreneurial management to strategic management and also added organizational effectiveness kind of at the last minute. No questions asked. What you seemed to be concerned about is how to communicate your intended career path or academic interests in your application. As a student, no one will hold you to what you stated you wanted to do in your application. In fact anecdotally, I think it is more common to do something different from what you wrote about. As an applicant, while I don't think adcom expects you to nail down to the job title and company, your future plans, I think it helps to show some focus, especially because this helps convince them (and yourself) of why you need an MBA. There is a lot written about this the admissions blogs about this so I would recommend looking there. I personally erred on the side of being more specific but not at the expense of being genuine about my interests.

Good luck!

_________________
Kathy
MBA Student, Wharton

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