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Welcome to the blog for the Wharton MBA Program for Executives! Postings to the blog features stories of the student experience, alumni accomplishments, and insights into the admissions process.

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Ski Trip Deepens Wharton | San Francisco Students’ Experience
March 26, 2013

Angela Chen, a first-year student in the EMBA program at Wharton | San Francisco, works in corporate strategy and finance at Vantage Data Centers in Santa Clara, Calif. She recently shared her experiences bonding with classmates on a student-organized ski trip:  DSC00320

Wharton’s EMBA program has been described as the ultimate challenge of time management. We have jobs, families and other obligations so it isn’t always easy to get together outside of class. However, bonding is such an important part of the Wharton experience that we seek out opportunities and make the effort to deepen our connections whenever possible.

Recently, we took advantage of having world-class skiing in our backyard and planned a trip to Lake Tahoe during an off-weekend. More than 20 people participated, including partners, kids and classmates from other classes. We rented cabins within walking distance from one another and spent the weekend skiing, snowboarding and, most importantly, connecting outside the classroom.

Continue reading "Ski Trip Deepens Wharton | San Francisco Students’ Experience" »

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Wharton | San Francisco Students Bond at Golf Outing
January 13, 2013

Wharton executive MBA students bond in many ways from shared meals to study groups to their International Seminar trip. However, there are a lot of social events outside of school that also strengthen their connections, such as Wharton| San Francisco students’ recent golf outing.

Second-year EMBA student Andrew Kohm, who organized the event, explains, “We had such good time together on our class trip to Brazil that I wanted to keep that momentum going. So I chose a golf Golf 1course half-way between San Francisco and San Jose and made it open to all students at all skill levels as well as their families.”

He ended up with as many people (and kids) who had never played golf as those with experience so they played in a scramble style to make it fun for everyone. Andrew, director of research and development at DFine Inc. in San Jose, notes that he also assigned teams to encourage students to play with people they might not have known as well before.

After the game, he handed out humorous awards, such as the “brain over brawn award” for the longest drive, and the “I over-analyze everything award” before heading out as a group for pizza.

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Speaker Insights are Highlight of EMBA Program for Wharton | San Francisco Student
November 4, 2012

When James Kilpatrick, president of the commercial real estate firm NAI Northern California, was invited to a Wharton executive MBA admissions reception by a friend, he wasn’t really considering pursuing an MBA.  But after attending the event “just for fun,” he was so impressed with the students and alumni -- and how their Wharton education was impacting their careers -- that he began to research MBA programs that very night.

“I saw it as a way to shift the trajectory of my career and move my company forward, but also as a form of personal development.  I found that Wharton’s EMBA program was hands down the right choice because it’s a world apart in terms of the commitment level and culture of the students and the rigor of the curriculum,” recalls Kilpatrick. “It really spoke to me thaPerkins Kilpatrick Talkt world-class faculty and students and top companies from thousands of miles away all had this enthusiastic interest in participating in Wharton’s EMBA program in San Francisco.”

Now a first-year executive MBA student at Wharton | San Francisco, he says a highlight of the program has been the guest speakers. “The Wharton brand is very strong and speakers want to come here. We often get one or two major speakers during class sessions, which leads to a jam packed day, but that’s just the way most of us like it. I recently leveraged the Wharton brand and invited my neighbor Tom Perkins to speak. The cofounder of Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers is arguably one of the most successful venture capitalists in the history of Silicon Valley and shared unique insights into the world of VC and entrepreneurship, discussing his views on best practices for investors and entrepreneurs, and answering questions about what types of solutions he might focus on if here were in the shoes of our EMBA class.”

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Wharton EMBA Alumna Shares Tips for Juggling Work, School and Young Kids
October 25, 2012

If you are a parent considering Wharton’s EMBA program, you know that you’ll have some additional balls to juggle in addition to work and school. But it’s “completely doable,” says Priya Chidambaram, who graduated last May in Philadelphia and whose kids are now 6 and 3. We asked the senior financial analyst at IBM in New York to talk about how she managed to balance work, school, home (and a career switch) while in the program. Here’s what she said:

“Being a parent, I knew that going to school would mean sacrificing time away from home so it had to be worthwhile. As a result, I had specific criteria for evaluating EMBA programs. It couldn’t be Priya Graduation - Family picwatered down or MBA-lite; it had to offer the same intensity as a regular MBA. For that same reason, I wanted a program that required the GMAT. And I wanted a residential program because I didn’t want to be able to rush home early after class, which I knew would be tempting if I were closer to home. I wanted the full school experience. Wharton was really the only school that fit all of my criteria.

“Once I was accepted, I started working out my support network for my kids. In the first year, my husband took care of mostly everything, but this meant he had to talk to his company about working from home every other Friday and adjusting his work hours. It turned out that coming to Wharton meant a lot more than just me talking to my boss. It was a family endeavor.

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Los Angeles Student Talks about Class Bonding for Commuters
October 10, 2012

While students in Wharton’s EMBA program commute from all over the world, a highlight of the program is its distinctly residential feel. In part this is due to the requirement for students to stay over on class weekends at either a designated hotel in San Francisco or the Steinberg Conference Center in Philadelphia, but it’s also because of the many social activities that facilitate class bonding.

We asked Wharton | San Francisco first-year student Vivi Lynch, senior production manager at Guess in Los Angeles, Calif., to tell us about how students in her class are making connections.  Here’s what she said:

Continue reading "Los Angeles Student Talks about Class Bonding for Commuters" »

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New Connections Made at Wharton EMBA Women’s Networking Event
August 15, 2012

With women still a minority on corporate boards and in upper management, second-year Wharton EMBA students Liz Armstrong and Emmelene Lee say it’s more important than ever for women in business to network and support each other as they progress through their careers. To facilitate those WEMBA 37 Women connections at Wharton, they recently organized a dinner for women students. We asked them to tell us more about that event and here is what they said:

Liz Armstrong (Toronto, ON): “At Wharton, our EMBA class is comprised of about 30% women. While we spend a lot of time together during class hours, we thought it would also be valuable to gather for a networking dinner.  This was a unique opportunity to get to know each other better.

“We had almost 100% participation at the dinner, which was partially sponsored by the EMBA office. The casual, unstructured dinner was successful and provided an opportunity to establish and deepen connections.

“The value for women at these types of events is huge because studies have shown that women don’t always have the same access to networks. But success in the business world is about more than just working hard.  Personal relationships are important as they provide insight, connections and diverse perspectives. I’m grateful that Wharton was supportive because the developing of networks is critically important.

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Wharton | San Francisco EMBA Students Build Bonds while Rafting
July 31, 2012

Whether it’s through teamwork in classes, late-night study sessions, social activities or the international trip, the bonds built among Wharton EMBA students are deep and strong.   SF 38s Rafting1The process starts pretty much as soon as students arrive and continues until graduation.

A recent example is the rafting and camping trip that a group of Wharton | San Francisco students participated in last month. We asked the trip leader, first-year EMBA student Zack McGahey, who is a senior manager of manufacturing at Revance Therapeutics in Newark, Calif. and co-owner of River and Rock Adventures, to tell us about the experience. Here’s what he had to say:

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Survival Tips from Partners of Recent Wharton EMBA Grads
June 26, 2012

When students graduate from Wharton’s EMBA program, their partners also receive a degree of sorts. We call it a Master’s of Understanding, and it’s our way of showing partners how much we appreciate their support. Students juggle full-time jobs and school along with all of their other personal responsibilities, and partners are an essential part of their support networks.

We asked two partners to share their experiences and offer a few tips for the partners of prospective students:  Lauren Tanzer, whose husband Matt just graduated in May from the Philadelphia program, and Susan Weems, whose husband Nathan just graduated from the San Francisco program.

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Wharton EMBA Students Use Independent Study to Help Veterans Transition to Civilian Life
June 13, 2012

When Lisa Nagorny separated from the U.S. Navy in 2008, she was juggling a move from Afghanistan to Washington, D.C., a job search, her wedding, and the purchase of a home. While all of those were DanandLisa_Wharton big transitions, the job search was particularly challenging.

She explains that as a ROTC student in college, she didn’t need to do an internship or job search or write a resume because she already had a set career path in the military. “But after I separated from the Navy, I soon realized that finding a job and transitioning to the workplace was going to mean a big commitment. I needed to find veterans who could mentor me through the process of translating my military experience into a more understandable resume and help me explore career options,” says Lisa, who is now an associate at Booz Allen Hamilton.

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EMBA Team Takes Top Award in Wharton Business Plan Competition
May 2, 2012

A team of Wharton executive MBA students in Philadelphia was awarded first-place in Wharton’s Business Plan Competition. Second-year classmates Eric Heil, a venture capital associate at Domain Associates in Princeton, N.J., Matt Tanzer, an associate director at Shire Pharmaceuticals in Wayne, Penn., and Mrinal Bhasker, vice president of technology and principal at Audacious Inquiry in Baltimore, Md., won the $30,000 grand prize for their plan for RightCare Solutions.

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Global Modular Courses Popular Among Wharton MBA Exec Students
April 3, 2012

Since the first global modular course was piloted in January of 2010, Wharton’s week-long mini-courses offered during winter and spring break have been extremely popular among Executive MBA students.

“We’re continuing to enrich our portfolio of these courses which provide a unique way for students to learn about business challenges and opportunities in parts of the world experiencing rapid change,” says Vice Dean of Wharton’s MBA Program for Executives Anjani Jain. “The global modular courses are an ideal fit for executive MBA students’ busy schedules and desire for greater exposure to international business issues.”

Last year, more than 40% of enrollments came from EMBA students who had the option of participating in eight courses around the world such as “Building Future Markets” in Cape Town, “Finance in Europe” in London, “Global Supply Chain Management in China” in Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hong Kong, “Innovation in India’s Healthcare Sector” in Hyderabad, and “Energy & Infrastructure in Brazil” in Rio de Janeiro.

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Wharton’s Global Modular Course in Rwanda Focuses on Conflict Resolution and Leadership
February 7, 2012

Wharton’s EMBA program is known for having a global focus with its International Seminar; however the addition of global modular courses has taken this to a whole new level. Launched in 2010, the week-long  mini-courses offer students opportunities to learn about topics such as financial institutions in Abu Rwanda GMC Dhabi, supply chain management in Shanghai, innovation in India, and leadership and conflict resolution in Rwanda.

Having recently returned from the course in Rwanda, we asked EMBA students Marla Bleavins and Bill Williams to tell us about their experience. Here’s what Marla, a second-year student at Wharton | San Francisco who is a special projects manager for Los Angeles World Airports, had to say:

“Most Americans know about Rwanda because of the tragedy of genocide that happened there in 1994, but we aren’t as familiar with the progress the country has made since then. It’s the fastest growing economy in Africa and one of the safest and least corrupt countries on that continent so I was intrigued to learn more about it through this course, which was taught by Prof. Katherine Klein and called, ‘Leadership, Conflict, and Change.’

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Wharton EMBA Student Wins NSF Award for New Venture: Graphene Frontiers
December 14, 2011

Congratulations to East Coast second-year Executive MBA student Mike Patterson for winning a National Science Foundation Innovation Corps Award!

Patterson and his teammates from the University of Pennsylvania were selected for their venture, Graphene Frontiers.  We asked Patterson to tell us about what it means to have won this award and how he became involved with this startup. Here’s what he said:

“Winning the NSF award was great.  Not only did we win $50,000 for our postdoctoral fellow Zhengtang Lao to work on the venture full-time, but we gained credibility.  The NSF picked only a handful of teams nationwide, and so the award is a validation that we’re onto something big.

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Wharton EMBA Students Learn about History and Leadership at Gettysburg
November 30, 2011

B&WWhen Brian Davis, a first-year EMBA student, signed up for a six-hour tour of the Gettysburg battlefield, it wasn’t because he’s a history buff. Rather, the director of communications for Allegiant Travel Company in Las Vegas, NV saw it as an opportunity to learn more about leadership and spend the day with classmates.  

“I’m still in awe at the opportunity to be here at Wharton and it’s such a short window that I want to say yes to any opportunity to learn that fits into my schedule,” says Davis, who recently spent a class weekend in Philadelphia with his fellow first-year classmates from Wharton | San Francisco. The Gettysburg tour was an optional Leadership Development Workshop offered to students from both coasts.

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Wharton EMBA Students Reflect on Class Trips to Brazil
November 16, 2011

Each year, second-year students in Wharton’s EMBA program vote on a location for their International Seminar trip. With options including India, China, Turkey and Brazil, it was a tough decision, but in the end both the East and West Coast classes voted on Brazil.

Brazil blog photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The BRIC country’s position as Latin America’s largest economy and its strength in a diversity of areas such as steel, oil drilling, and renewable energy attracted the students’ interest. During the week-long trip, they visited local and international companies to learn more about challenges and opportunities in the region.

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New Orleans Based Wharton MBA Student Blogs about Balancing Work, Life and School
October 22, 2011

In case you haChristy Luquire Study Groupven’t seen it yet, Christy Luquire is blogging about being a first-year EMBA student in Wharton’s East Coast program for the Poets & Quants for Executives Website. So far, the resident of New Orleans has written about everything from trading in jambalaya for cheesesteaks to using iPads in class to ordering takeout seven nights in a row.

Blogging after every class weekend, the vice president of Federated Sample, a market research technology company, shares anecdotes about her life as a student working full-time who commutes to school from Louisiana. A recurring theme in many of her posts is what it’s like to juggle school, work, home and other activities. She wants readers to know that although students have to make some sacrifices, it is possible and worthwhile. 

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Wharton’s EMBA Program Teams up with San Francisco Giants for Women’s Networking Reception
August 24, 2011

Wharton’s executive MBA program hosts a lot of events, but one of our recent panel discussions was particularly unique.  After all, it’s not every day that the School sponsors a women’s networking event  at a San Francisco Giants baseball game much less at a game against the Philadelphia Phillies.  

“The San Francisco Giants are a hot ticket in town,” explains Katherine Lilygren, who manages marketing and admissions at Wharton | San Francisco.  “This event was a great opportunity for us to raise awareness about Wharton’s EMBA program in San Francisco, particularly among professional women.  Diversity is very important in our classes so these types of events provide a wonderful venue for us to spread the word about our program to different audiences.”

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Wharton’s Residential MBA Exec Program: ‘A Communal Versus Commuter Feel’
August 8, 2011

Residential ProgramA common question from students living in San Francisco and Philadelphia is whether they are required to stay over on class weekends. The short answer is: yes. Wharton’s residential EMBA program requires  all students to spend class nights either at a designated hotel in San Francisco or in the executive facilities of Wharton’s Steinberg Conference Center in Philadelphia. Not only does this provide the necessary time for groups to study and complete projects, it also fosters deep bonds among students as they get to know each other outside of class.

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Global Consulting Practicum and Healthcare Course in India Expand Horizons for Wharton Executive MBA Student
June 15, 2011

Bruce Crocker, a legal advisor and trustee for the Hillman family in Pittsburgh, applied to Wharton’s MBA for Executives Program in Philadelphia not only to enhance his understanding of the investment landscape, but also because he thought the rigorous academic program would be good for his “60-year-old brain.” So far, he’s gotten a lot more from the program than he originally planned, including a vast knowledge about India’s healthcare system, new friends in India, and first-hand experience as a consultant.

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Wharton | San Francisco Students Get Involved with Nonprofit Board Leadership Program
April 23, 2011

First-year executive MBA student Tim Goodwin, a program director at Yapstone in San Francisco, has always been involved in volunteer work. So when he heard about Wharton’s Nonprofit Board Leadership Program (NBLP), which selects and trains Wharton MBA students to serve on the boards of directors of nonprofit organizations for one year, he wanted to participate.

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