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Ask a Wharton Student

This topic has 5 expert replies and 25 member replies
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GMAT/MBA Expert

Ask a Wharton Student

Post Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:47 am
Want to talk to a Wharton student about the Wharton student experience? Ask here!

We're lucky to have two Wharton representatives fielding your questions:

Please note that this isn't a discussion thread (or forum) for application advice. It's meant for talking about life inside the Wharton program.

A big thanks to our Wharton volunteers!

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GMAT/MBA Expert

Post Mon Nov 16, 2009 1:22 pm
Seed question for Juergen and Kathy:

What have you enjoyed most about your first year?

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gocard MBA Student
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Post Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:36 pm
Hi everyone,

I'm excited to be a part of this forum and looking forward to sharing my experiences. Since beginning Wharton, the adventures have been non-stop. We have a robust pre-term program where you really hit the ground running - hanging out at a Phillies game with hundreds of your classmates, taking classes to build (or refresh) knowledge that will facilitate the transition back to academics and give you a taste of course offerings, getting to know your learning team (by building model helicopters, canoe racing, etc.) at a weekend leadership retreat. And this was all before the academic year officially started. The most enjoyable part of business school has been going through this all with my cohort and getting to know the amazing people around me. All the opportunities and demands thrown at you in your 1st year can be very overwhelming at times, but you know there are 64 other people, from all over the world with different perspectives, who are experiencing the same thing as you and there to support you.

-kathy

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Post Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:38 pm
Thanks for sharing, Kathy. Sounds like you have an awesome cohort--very important since you'll be seeing a lot of them over the next two years.

And sorry about the Phillies. Smile

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gocard MBA Student
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Post Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:17 pm
Growing up in NYC makes me a yankees fan (and then a mets fan). But I keep my team allegiances to myself when I'm here in Philadelphia!

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Post Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:24 pm
gocard wrote:
Growing up in NYC makes me a yankees fan (and then a mets fan). But I keep my team allegiances to myself when I'm here in Philadelphia!
Smart move, Kathy. Smile

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dmateer25 Community Manager
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Post Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:43 am
Hi Kathy and Juergen,

It's great to have you both answering questions! I have one for you.

What is a day like at Wharton? What time do you typically start and end your day?

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Post Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:38 pm
Juergen and Kathy,
Can you tell me what mode of teaching is in Wharton? Is it theoretical or case basis? or both?

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Post Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:46 pm
Hi Umaa,

Regarding teaching method, it's definitely a mix of both case and theory, and the balance varies by course. Classes such as marketing, competitive strategy, legal and business ethics, management of people at work are weighted toward preparing cases. There is often also additional reading about theory/concepts from textbooks or academic/management journal articles, etc. to supplement the case discussions. Courses that have a strong quantitative component, such as financial accounting and corporate finance, tend to be weighted toward lectures. That's been my experience thus far with classes in the core curriculum.

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gocard MBA Student
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Post Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:24 pm
Hi dmateer,

A typical day at Wharton? Well, as witnessed by the time I'm posting this reply, days usually tend to end on the late side for me. =) In terms of class schedule, during the 1st year, you can expect classes Mon-Thurs from 9am-3pm with 12-1:30pm "free" for lunch. This means I usually wake up at 8am, check email, surf the morning news / read blogs, feed Lucy/take her out, get ready and scramble to La Colombe for my morning coffee fix. The lunch hours are usually filled with grabbing lunch with friends, presentations from the career management office about recruiting, resumes, etc. or industry presentations. The many clubs at Wharton also use this time to hold meetings, invite speakers from Wharton and outside to speak, or hold panel discussions (e.g. 2nd years talking about their summer internship experiences). Teaching assistants and professors also run TA sessions and office hours, respectively, to make sure you have all the help you need to do that problem set or ask questions in general. Typically, I'm usually attending one of the above or trying to catch up on reading/homework. In the afternoon after class, usually at least twice a week, I'm meeting for an extracurricular activity or getting together with my learning team to work on team projects. Then I head home back to Center City to try to find time to work out (rare these days), but at the very least each day, I take Lucy (dog) for a walk around Rittenhouse Park so she can obsess over squirrels and take a break from being cooped up in the apartment. During these past few weeks, employers have also been coming on campus or to local hotels to hold recruiting information sessions. So for example, students are invited to attend a 45 minute company presentation in the evening and then head to a cocktail hour or dinner to network with prospective employers. Then there's a solid several hours in the evening devoted to catching up on email, reading for courses, preparing cases, checking out facebook/net and of course - catching up with my husband. This means I'm getting ready for bed around midnight (when I'm on task).

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dmateer25 Community Manager
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Post Wed Nov 18, 2009 3:45 am
Kathy,

Thanks for the awesome response! It sounds like you are just a LITTLE bit busy! haha

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Post Tue Nov 24, 2009 5:30 am
Kathy,

Thanks a lot for your response.

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Post Wed Nov 25, 2009 11:49 am
Hi Kathy!
I wanted to ask you if you had the chance to attend the Management Communication course, and if have some insights about it.

Thanks!

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gocard MBA Student
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Post Wed Dec 02, 2009 5:17 pm
Re. Management Communication course

Hi Uymba - I have taken the management communication course required by the core. It's a relatively short course over a quarter, it was really enlightening and made me more self-aware as a speaker. You learn about elements of good verbal communication and get feedback - what is working well for you as well as tactics/strategies to improve your weaknesses. The class size for communications courses are quite small (10 people or less). The speech topics varied from dealing with crisis, media interviews, persuasive speaking, to speaking with data. In each class, you speak and afterwards, the entire class provides feedback. You're also video taped from day 1 and you can review them with the TA. While at first it was quite painful for me to watch, I found it to be an extremely helpful tool. It's a great opportunity to push your speaking skills to the next level and experiment.

Best,
Kathy

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Post Thu Dec 03, 2009 8:31 am
Kathy,

Thank you very much for all of your insight thus far. I am very interested in the prospect of attending Wharton, and I am almost finished with my round two application. In researching Wharton, I cannot help but notice the numerous community-oriented programs that Wharton has to offer. Outside of Wharton's stellar reputation in the business world, the main thing that drew me to the school was the social programs. I was wondering if you, or possibly any of your classmates, are currently on the non-profit track at this point. And if so, could you tell me a little bit more about Wharton has to offer in the realm.

Thank you.

Best,

Gabe

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