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Seeking to Improve Access to Financial Services for the Poor in Kenya
February 25, 2013

As soon as I heard about Wharton’s Global Consulting Practicum (GCP), I knew I wanted to take this course. The GCP is an elective in which Wharton full-time MBA and EMBA students are teamed with business students at partner universities around the world to consult for a company or organization. Kenya 8Usually, the client is seeking to enter or expand its position in the U.S. or other world market, but the program also includes social impact projects with governments and nonprofits.

I was interested in the GCP because it would be an opportunity to gain experience working with an organization outside of the classroom and beyond the scope of my own job. Specifically, I wanted to work on a social impact project that could ultimately help millions of people in a developing country.

My team of five Wharton | San Francisco EMBA students was assigned to work for the Gates Foundation (our client) on a project in Kenya. The issue involved how to increase access to financial services for people who are living on below $2 a day. How do you create a better banking system? How do you provide better credit? How do you make things like health and life insurance available? How can you apply new technology to help streamline financial service processes?

Continue reading "Seeking to Improve Access to Financial Services for the Poor in Kenya" »

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Wharton EMBA Alumna Uses Degree to Impact Education in Jamaica
February 14, 2013

Deika Morrison has a unique perspective about Wharton given that she earneDeika 3d a dual undergraduate degree in business and engineering from Wharton and Penn, and then earned a Wharton MBA through the executive program in Philadelphia. Now, the founder of several businesses and a charity in Jamaica, we asked her to talk about how her Wharton education has impacted her career. Here’s what she said:

“After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 1994, I went home to Jamaica where I worked for the government before deciding in 2001 to get an MBA in order to transition to the private sector. Based on how much I loved my four years as an undergraduate at Wharton, I knew I wanted to come back here for my MBA.

Continue reading "Wharton EMBA Alumna Uses Degree to Impact Education in Jamaica" »

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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.’

Continue reading "Wharton’s Global Modular Course in Rwanda Focuses on Conflict Resolution and Leadership" »

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First-Year EMBA Classes are off and Running
July 15, 2011

Welcome to our newest students in Wharton’s EMBA Program! Both the East and West Coast classes are comprised of exceptional students from near and far.

At Wharton | San Francisco, most of the first-year class is based in the Silicon Valley and San Francisco area, however students are also commuting from Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, Oregon, Texas and Washington. The class of 96 students brings an average of 11 years of work experience to the program with nearly 50% holding advanced degrees.

Continue reading "First-Year EMBA Classes are off and Running" »

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Wharton MBA Alumnus Reflects on Value of Independent Studies
June 22, 2011

Jimmy Smith When Jim Smith entered Wharton’s executive MBA program in 2005, he also launched the Digital Network Group, an IT and management consulting firm with a mission to create economic and social value for local communities. Wanting to work with professors on his particular interests outside of the core classes, he sought out independent study projects that would help him develop his business. 

As a first-year EMBA student, his initial project was with Prof. Terry LaPier on leading social change through the application of information technology. “That experience provided me with an opportunity to develop a framework that effectively leverages the business, government, nonprofit and academic sectors in a cohesive, systematic and repeatable fashion,” he says. “Through that study, I came up with an idea to build a computer assisted mentoring system for students, as well as a platform to help nonprofits improve their own capacity to provide services – both of which are key elements of my business today.”

Continue reading "Wharton MBA Alumnus Reflects on Value of Independent Studies" »

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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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Student Story: What Social Impact Means to Me
April 4, 2011

As social responsibility becomes a priority for both large organizations and new startups, the Wharton Program for Social Impact is likewise growing in popularity with current and prospective students. Raghavan Anand is a first-year Wharton | San Francisco Executive MBA student who has extensive experience in education- and healthcare-related non-profits.  He spoke to us about what social impact means to him.

Continue reading "Student Story: What Social Impact Means to Me" »

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Wharton Executive MBA Program Helps Alumnus Build Career Path Combining Consulting, Science and Entrepreneurship
March 2, 2011

While you might think that most executive MBA students come from corporate environments, there are plenty of Wharton students who come from other backgrounds. Alumnus Stephen Tang is a good example.

After finishing his PhD in biotechnology, Tang started up a technology assessment consulting firm and became the assistant director of the Center for Molecular Bioscience at Lehigh University. However, he quickly realized that he was just as interested in the business of science as he was in the science itself. But to pursue a career path in business, he knew he would need “more seasoning” in business so he applied to and was accepted into Wharton’s EMBA program.

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Wharton MBA for Executives Program Alumnus Applies Curriculum to Not-for-Profit World
August 5, 2010

When Roland Warren, president of the National Fatherhood Initiative, was attending Wharton’s MBA for Executives Program, working for a nonprofit organization wasn’t part of his career plan. He had actually applied to Wharton’s program with the goal of transitioning from a marketing role at Pepsi into the field of healthcare management.

However, during his time at Wharton, he discovered a new area of interest – wealth management – that ultimately led him into the not-for-profit world. After graduating in 1996, he took a position as an investment advisor at Goldman Sachs in private wealth management and joined the board of the National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) where he was “blown away” by how many kids were growing up without fathers.

He recalls, “I wanted to make a difference in the lives of kids and when NFI’s founder asked me in 2000 if I would leave Goldman for the world of nonprofit management, I said yes. A lot of times people struggle between success and significance. Success is often viewed from the perspective of how much money you make, but at the end of the day, I wanted a life that was also significant and I had an opportunity to do something significant here.”

The NFI’s mission is to increase the proportion of children raised with involved, responsible, and committed fathers.  Under Warren’s leadership, the group runs a variety of activities such as public awareness campaigns and providing high-quality fatherhood resources directly to fathers, community- based organizations, businesses, prisons, military bases, hospitals, schools, and churches

He notes that one of the biggest challenges in the not-for-profit world is getting the message out for your organization and making an impact. “At nonprofits, there are similar issues to a business setting, but with less capital to work with. You have to get people to stretch themselves to accomplish your mission, but you can’t use a financial ‘carrot’ to motivate people. It’s also very competitive, perhaps more so than in the business world because dollars are scarce, results can be more difficult to measure, and returns are long term. It’s not like Apple and Dell where they can introduce a new product and the market will quickly tell you who wins,” he explains.

Fortunately, he’s found that pretty much everything he learned at Wharton has been “incredibly applicable” at the NFI. “Whether it is operations management, product development, or human resources, what I learned in school is all transferable to what I’m doing here. I think of my leadership class with Prof. Michael Useem and human resources class with Prof. Peter Cappelli all the time.”

Warren adds that having gone through the program with classmates from so many diverse industries has been useful for him at the NFI as well. In addition to helping him think about business issues from different perspectives, he’s also been able to work with a few as consultants and one former classmate currently sits on the organization’s board.

“Working in the nonprofit world, you have a different perspective on what you expect to get back from an MBA. You don’t go into nonprofits to get rich, but to be enriched,” he says. “For those of us in nonprofits, the ROI of an MBA is gaining a broader understanding of the different types of business issues that apply regardless of whether you are at IBM or a not-for-profit. And to be able to build deep relationships with your classmates is also a real return on your investment.”

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Love at First Sight: Wharton EMBA Alumnus Changes Careers to Help Nonprofit through Turnaround
June 16, 2010

For 20 years, Wharton Executive MBA alumnus Rick Rockelli had worked for leading Congressional-based publishers in the private sector. However, after reading an article in The Washington Post about the Close Up Foundation – an organization that helps students become informed and engaged citizens in the U.S. democracy -- the course of his career literally changed overnight.

Continue reading "Love at First Sight: Wharton EMBA Alumnus Changes Careers to Help Nonprofit through Turnaround" »

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Social Events Play Key Role in Wharton Executive MBA Student Bonding
May 25, 2010

Contrary to what might be believed about student life in an executive MBA program, Wharton MBA for Executives students cite the friendships forged with classmates as one of the highlights of their Wharton experience. So how are students able to create such strong bonds?

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Making an Impact: Wharton EMBA Students Share Highlights of Global Consulting Practicum Trip to Botswana
January 26, 2010

In her first year in Wharton’s EMBA Program, Sarah Sullivan, a program analyst at the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, DC, heard about the social impact projects in Wharton’s Global Consulting Practicum (GCP). They sounded like a good fit with her growing interest in social enterprises in developing countries, but she wanted to finish her core courses before signing up.

So after completing her first year courses as well as an independent study over the summer for a small beeswax producing company in Cameroon, she and five EMBA classmates signed up for the GCP. The course typically pairs teams of Wharton full-time and executive MBA students and faculty with teams from partner universities in countries such as China, India, Peru, and Israel to consult with a client company interested in entering or expanding its position in the U.S. market. However, their social impact project was a bit unique in that it involved working with a partnership between the University of Pennsylvania, government of Botswana, and the University of Botswana to build capacity in Botswana in response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Having recently returned from a visit to Botswana for the GCP project, we asked Sullivan and her teammate William “Willy” McColgan to share some of the highlights of their trip with us. Here’s what Sullivan had to say:

“Since we left at the end of December, everything was still closed for the holidays in Botswana so we spent the first four days in South Africa and went on safari. It was a great opportunity to get to know my classmates even better and build a stronger foundation for our group.

When we went to Gaborone, Botswana, we first met the University of Botswana business students who were working with us on the project to hammer out our goals and what we would be doing for our client. We then met with a lot of people in Gaborone – doctors, people from the Center for Disease Control, the Ministry of Health, and a few business leaders and citizens. We even got a tour of the capital and a neighboring village, which was a chance to see more of the country and get a better feel for the culture.

We were blown away by how developed Botswana is compared to many other African countries. Yet despite their development and healthcare infrastructure, it has the highest prevalence of HIV with 25% of the population infected. There is not enough capacity in terms of beds, space, medicine, and number of hours with doctors and staff. Seeing that was really hard. And it made coordinating the work really challenging because you could spend hours on this fascinating project.

While there, we did identify a lot of issues that the partnership is facing. We’ll now conduct more research on the partnership and what needs to be done to sustain its funding with a long-term strategy. Our goal is to have specific recommendations in place by May.

This experience has confirmed my interest in doing business development and strategic planning for social enterprises in developing countries in the future. It also made me realize what an incredible opportunity I’ve had at Wharton that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I’ve travelled to new places, met a lot of great people, seen other organizations in different environments, and gotten a world view of society. This was a capstone experience for me!”

McColgan agrees that the GCP trip was a wonderful experience. Here’s what he said about the project:
“When I first heard about the GCP’s social impact projects, I thought that no matter what else I do in the EMBA program, this is something I would look back on years from now and say it was really worthwhile and made an impact.

Once we arrived in Botswana, we headed straight over the border into South Africa for a safari to get adjusted to the time difference and prepare for the week ahead. What I remember the most from those days was getting stuck in the mud as it started to get dark and imagining all the things moving around you as well as a toga party on the game reserve on New Year’s Eve.

When we got to Botswana, we spent a lot of time planning and discussing our project and meeting with hospital staff, government representatives, and our University of Botswana counterparts. Later in the week, we went on the medical wards and met with residents from Penn’s Medical School as well as a Penn School of Nursing faculty member doing research on sabbatical. The University of Pennsylvania has certainly made an impact in Botswana. Hopefully our Wharton EMBA GCP team can help this continue.

This will definitely be a highlight of my time at Wharton. And I certainly strengthened my relationships with my classmates during that time, which is lasting. We’ll always have Africa!”

Many thanks to Sarah and Willy for sharing their GCP experiences. Learn more about the GCP.

Related blog: Wharton's Global Consulting Practicum EMBA Students Build International Teams While Working and Having Fun

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Making an Impact: Wharton EMBA Alumnus Talks about Using Degree to Improve Healthcare in India
December 15, 2009

Chris Dickey had a Doctorate in Public Health, but his job as general manager of a health services company in Manhattan wasn’t fulfilling his goal of making a real impact on a large number of people’s lives. To change that, he enrolled in Wharton’s MBA for Executives Program in 2006 where he seized the opportunity to brainstorm with classmates whenever he could about possible business plans. Soon after he graduated, he and a partner had a plan in place to create Healthpoint Services, a market-based approach to meeting the health needs of consumers at the base of the economic pyramid. In addition to providing clean water, the business also provides medical clinics in remote villages that connect patients to doctors via videoconferencing technology and remote diagnostics.

It’s been about 18 months since he graduated so we asked Chris to share some of the highlights of his unique entrepreneurial experiences with us. In addition to sending us a video video from a recent trip to India, here’s what he had to say:

“Poor people in the developing world typically don’t have access to clean water and affordable, high-quality health care. We set out to change that through a village-based unit called a Healthpoint that combines a Reverse Osmosis plant attached to a raw water source with the latest in telemedicine technology, approved drugs, and 65 diagnostic tests (and counting) that cover a range of common illnesses.

My partner, Allen Hammond, and I are convinced that we are among the pioneers of this new market-based approach to meeting the health needs of this vast group of consumers making and spending less than about $3 per day. We believe that a commercial venture focused on delivering high-quality care at an affordable price will create efficiencies, economies of scale, and a profitable, scalable company that will transform health outcomes for millions of people.

We officially launched the first three Healthpoints in India last October to some fanfare – both the Punjab Governor and Finance Minister were there as well as the national media. The politicians were so impressed with the operation that they asked us to build 600 more units in the next three years!

I recently returned from a visit to the Healthpoints, which are in Mallan, Doda, and Kotbhai, and also to our new call center based in Bathinda. I’m delighted to say that the units are all thriving, even after such a short time. The waiting rooms are full, people are lining up with 20 liter jugs to purchase clean water, and the staff is thrilled to be part of a revolutionary effort to provide access to health care for rural villagers.

During that trip, I watched a follow-up visit to the Healthpoint in Mallan by a woman who had been treated by us for joint pain a week before. She came to review her progress on the prescribed medicines and to get further instructions. She appeared to be very content with her treatment, which cost her 30 rupees (about $0.65) plus the cost of the medicines. Her doctor, too, was happy with the outcome. The fact that the doctor and patient were looking at one another through video screens seemed not to register to either of them.

The next morning, we drove to Doda, a village of about 1,500 families, nearly all of whom make a living from the vast farmland that surrounds it. When we arrived at the Healthpoint, several men were packing their 20 liter jugs full of water (which cost them 2 rupees) on the backs of their bicycles. One of the amazing aspects of this company is that getting the water has become a man’s job in these towns, replacing a traditional woman’s chore. We think it’s because the Healthpoints are also high tech gathering places and getting the water is now a cool thing to do for the men!

Inside the Healthpoint, I joined a consultation in progress. A farm worker was suffering from pains in his shoulder and side. He had been to the local government clinic where he was given vitamins and a pain killer without any real discussion. Our clinical assistant took the man’s blood pressure, temperature, pulse, and weight, carefully entering it into his electronic medical record. During the examination, our doctor was present via a large screen monitor and was asking lots of questions. It turns out that the patient had experienced several episodes during his life that appeared to be epileptic seizures. The doctor ruled out an immediate threat to the man’s health and then asked whether the patient could afford 500 rupees to get an EEG in Bathinda to check for epilepsy. The patient said yes, he had saved enough over the past year to cover the expense.

Absent a referral by our doctor, who is known in Bathinda, that EEG might have cost the worker several thousand rupees, a sum that he would have to borrow from a local loan shark, thereby ensuring that neither he nor his young family would ever escape the economic and health consequences of his illness.

I saw several other patient visits that day, not only in Doda, but also in Mallan and Kotbhai, and I was impressed by the warmth and care provided by our staff and also by patients’ ease in being seen by a doctor on TV. It’s incredible that most of these individuals have never seen a real doctor before and now they interact with one as if it’s the most natural thing in the world. The video and sound quality is so high, the lighting is so good, and the care with which the employees treat these poor patients is so genuine that the exchange of information is excellent. I’d gladly trade some of my experiences with the medical system in New York for ones like this.

When I think back on all those hours spent at Wharton discussing business ideas that would  make a difference, we owe a significant debt of gratitude to my Wharton EMBA colleagues, including Sarabjit Singh, Vikas Khurana, Mike Parker, and Rittik Chakrabarti.  I really believe that there is a tremendous demand for services like ours, not just in Punjab but in many other Indian states and other developing countries.”

Thanks to Chris for sharing those highlights and good luck to Healthpoint Services in its future growth!

To learn more about Healthpoint Services, contact Chris Dickey at: chris.dickey@e-healthpoint.net

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Wharton EMBA Alumnus Represents School at NSHMBA Conference
November 17, 2009

While many students might measure the value of an MBA in financial terms, Cesar Bocanegra prefers to measure the ROI on his EMBA degree a bit differently. “I like to think about it in terms of quality of life and the connections that began in school,” says the 2008 graduate of Wharton’s Executive MBA Program. “I talk to at least one Wharton friend every day whether it’s chatting, email, or on the phone and you can’t put a dollar sign on that!”

Bocanegra, executive VP of Operations for DonorsChoose.org, recently shared his enthusiasm for Wharton’s EMBA Program with thousands of participants at the National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA) Conference in Minneapolis. He’s been attending the conference for years, first as a representative of his former employer, AT&T, and then as a Wharton student. However, this year he represented Wharton as an academic sponsor.

The three-day event, which is the largest Hispanic MBA conference in the country, provided plenty of time for networking with professional development sessions as well as career expos where attendees could talk with corporate and academic sponsors.

Bocanegra says that many of the questions he was asked at the expos pertained to how the Wharton EMBA program is structured and how it differs from the full-time MBA program. “I explained how in the Executive MBA program you keep your day job and build relationships over the course of every other weekend when you stay on campus whereas in the full-time program you are there the entire time, but don’t apply the skills you learn immediately in your day job,” says Bocanegra.

Another common topic of conversation, he says, related to the curriculum. “There is an impression that Wharton is heavily finance focused. I explained that while Wharton offers a diverse set of classes, students do have a significant finance course load.  Wharton emphasizes core skills and finance is big a part of that core – it’s something you need knowledge of in any area of business,” he says.

Bocanegra notes that some people he talked to were surprised to hear how rigorous the EMBA program is. “The reality is that you are giving up a lot more than every other weekend because of the homework and assignments that need to be done between classes. I talked about how the Wharton Executive MBA program has the same requirements as the full-time MBA and lasts the full 24 months.”

He adds that all the hard work is definitely worthwhile. “There are many benefits of a Wharton education from opening doors to all of the connections that are made through the program all the way to the knowledge that you learn,” he says. “It’s almost an expectation that when people hear you went to Wharton that you really know what you are talking about. At the conference, I highly recommended the Wharton EMBA program to anyone interested in applying!”

Learn more about Cesar.

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Orchestrating her Career: Wharton Alumna Talks about Value of EMBA Degree in the Arts
November 11, 2009

When Yu-Ling Cheng told her parents that she wanted to change her college major from pre-med to music, they weren’t thrilled with the idea.  After all, how many people really make it in the music world playing the violin? So they made a deal and Cheng changed her major to music as well as the more “stable degree” of economics, which would provide something to fall back on if music didn’t work out.

Fortunately, it was a good choice and she found economics “fascinating.” After college, Cheng earned her Master’s Degree in violin performance, but continued to pursue her interest in business by interning in development with the Boston Symphony. That internship led to a League of American Orchestras Fellowship, which places people who excel in arts management at major music organizations. “That’s where I really fell in love with business,” recalls Cheng.

After her fellowship ended, she became the director of marketing for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, but felt she still needed a better overall understanding of business. “A long-term goal is to be the president of a major orchestra and to do that you need strong business skills, preferably an MBA, and the ability to raise money. I knew I would need to invest in my future and get an MBA so I started applying to several programs,” she says.

Cheng considered schools closer to her home in Pittsburgh, but found they didn’t measure up to her personal standards. And since she wasn’t sponsored, she wanted to get the best education possible for her money. “It’s a huge investment, especially not being in a field like finance where every other year your salary doubles. It’s a long-term picture for me, but I felt like every penny – and the commute -- would be worth it,” she says.

The commute to Philadelphia turned out to be the easiest part of the program. The hardest part, she says, was all of the studying. However, her learning team was a huge help in that area. “Our team of seven people was great because we all had strengths in different areas and were there to support each other. Being part of that team allowed me to know that I would be fine at Wharton,” she says, noting that although they all graduated last May, the group is already planning a reunion dinner in Philadelphia.

Cheng says that the diversity of her fellow students turned out to be one of her favorite things about the program. She explains, “When you work in the arts, you tend to work with passionate people who are also from an arts background so to be exposed to a whole different group of people was great! And my classmates were curious about the arts too. It was interesting to hear their opinions about our world.”

During her last two semesters at Wharton, she did an independent study with another student to create a dynamic pricing model for the performing arts industry. The project gained so much momentum that they’ve continued with their efforts, inviting their faculty advisor Prof. Senthil Veeraraghavan to visit the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and involving a Wharton PhD student in ongoing work. “That is what really gets me excited about Wharton – the relationship didn’t just end at graduation but continues,” says Cheng.

She adds that she “absolutely recommends” Wharton’s EMBA program to others in the arts. “It made me more business savvy and helped me develop a framework for thinking through problems that I couldn’t necessarily have gotten on the job because we all see problems similarly. The more diversity at the workplace, the better the company will do.”

She continues, “A lot of people in the arts may not consider an MBA because there might not be the payoff in the end with the salary, but that is short-sighted. I know I will be moving into a VP role at some point and this degree has helped expedite that natural progression. I also started teaching arts marketing as an adjunct at a university in Pittsburgh and recently invested with my fiancé in a winery where I was voted onto one of the five board seats. The ROI may not be the traditional ROI, but it has already started for me in a lot of different ways!” she says.

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Wharton Nonprofit Board Leadership Program Expands to Wharton|San Francisco
September 23, 2009

Hands-on learning is nothing new for Wharton EMBA students. After all, they go right back to their offices after weekends in the classroom to apply what they have learned. And they have ample opportunities for hands-on learning outside of work through International Seminars, the Global Consulting Practicum and Wharton’s Leadership Ventures to name a few.

Wharton l San Francisco students now have another option via the School’s Nonprofit Board Leadership Program (NPBLP) , which selects and trains Wharton MBA students to serve on the boards of directors of nonprofit organizations for one year using their high-level knowledge of areas such as accounting, finance, and marketing. Launched in 2005 to match Wharton MBA students in the Philadelphia area with nonprofit organizations, the NPBLP expanded this year to San Francisco.

“It was important to bring the program to Wharton|San Francisco to provide more leadership opportunities for students, to reach out to the local community, and to support local nonprofits by providing them with world-class business management knowledge,” says second-year EMBA student Caspar Horne, president of Provisi Experts in Santa Clara, CA, who helped establish the West Coast NPBLP program.

Horne says he was stunned by the enthusiastic responses from nonprofits in the San Francisco and Bay Area. In fact, there were more nonprofits interested in the program than available students so he hopes to expand the program next year.

While serving on a nonprofit board may sound like a lot to balance on top of work, family, and class commitments, Horne says it’s not as bad as it sounds. “It’s about  eight to 10 hours a month including the monthly board meetings and gives students a much richer experience during the Wharton MBA for Executives program because it’s not just reading a case and making decisions on paper. These are real organizations with real challenges,” he says.

Horne adds that since EMBA students tend to be farther along in their careers, many are interested in giving back through community leadership. “This program helps students prepare to take on those roles by working on causes they are passionate about. And it’s a great way to network beyond the student body!” he says.

Wharton|San Francisco second-year Executive MBA student Anand Hariharan, a manager at Cisco Systems in San Jose, was recently matched through the program to serve on the board of One Million Lights, a nonprofit seeking to distribute one million environmentally friendly, rechargeable solar lights to people around the world. “A deeper understanding of social entrepreneurship coupled with a goal of better education and quality of life for children and the under-privileged is the ultimate opportunity,” he says.
Other nonprofits participating in the Wharton|San Francisco NPBLP include the YMCA, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Junior Achievement, Education through Music, and Breath California.

Get more information on Wharton’s NPBLP.


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Wharton EMBA Student Finds "Perfect Fit" at Nonprofit, DonorsChoose.org
September 16, 2008

When César Bocanegra was four months into his first year of Wharton’s EMBA program, he knew he needed to make a big change. He not only wanted to leave his job at a large private company, which would mean giving up a partial EMBA sponsorship, but he also wanted to take on a job search in the middle of the program in order to find a more fulfilling position at a nonprofit.

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Learning How to “Dream Big” – Classmates Enter Nonprofit World with Digital Network Group
August 12, 2008

Despite having attended the University of Massachusetts at the same time, Jim Smith III and Vikrant (Vik) Kothari never met.  What finally connected these entrepreneurs was the Wharton EMBA program. Smith and Kothari -- who both hold graduate degrees in engineering -- credit their classes at Wharton, as well as their biweekly train commute to Wharton’s Philadelphia campus, with bringing them together.

Smith and Kothari graduated from Wharton in 2007 and now run Digital Network Group (www.digitalnetworkgroup.net). Smith, who is senior partner, recalls that shortly before starting the Wharton EMBA program, he left his position at CGI as partner and executive consultant and began consulting on his own to crystallize his business plans. The result was his launch in 2005 of the Digital Network Group. “I wanted to bring a solution to the market to increase the supply of talent for corporations and develop students by bringing them through a pipeline that leveraged my technical skill-set, familiarity with issues in urban areas as well as apply my new market understanding and skills that I was acquiring at Wharton.”

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Wharton EMBA Student Establishes Charitable Foundation
December 7, 2007


A second year Executive MBA student's vision has been realized by combining his Wharton education, military experience, and an unending reserve of energy and dedication.

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