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Calling all Wharton Fall 2010 Candidates

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Re: Calling all Wharton Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 12 Jul 2009, 12:53
I'm in for R1 as well.

How is everyone approaching the first essay? Here's what I was thinking:

Intro (100 words)
Past experience (100 words)
Goals - short term (200 words)
Goals - long term (200 words)
Why Wharton, why now? (150 words)
Conclusion (50-100 words)

Any suggestions if I should focus on a particular part of the essay more or less? Should I even spend 100 words talking about my past experience?

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Calling all Wharton Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 13 Jul 2009, 12:04
Going to give it another shot this year. Count me in for RD 1.
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Re: Calling all Wharton Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 13 Jul 2009, 13:40
coadman wrote:
Going to give it another shot this year. Count me in for RD 1.

Are you re-applying? I was dinged in R2, and wondering if I should retry. I requested a feedback session but nobody from adcom got back to me. :(
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Re: Calling all Wharton Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 14 Jul 2009, 03:26
i am planning to apply this year for R2
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Re: Calling all Wharton Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 15 Jul 2009, 21:48
Roll call page updated.
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Re: Calling all Wharton Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 20 Jul 2009, 04:03
I'm in for R1.

I paid Wharton a visit a few years ago and loved it. Atmosphere was casual, friendly. (except for the interviewing applicants at the time - they seemed scared :) ) The people were really sharp. Look forward to applying.
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Re: Calling all Wharton Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 22 Jul 2009, 10:19
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My Wharton Visit

Intro

I had the chance to visit Wharton this past April, the 3rd of 6 campus visits that I made during the spring. I registered for my visit ahead of time online, but it's worth noting that the registration was only for the general visit and did not allow for the selection of classes to visit or for other activities. I stayed with a friend who lives west of Philly (and also works in Center City) and I took the train in with him to the 30th Street Station. From there it was about a 10-minute walk to campus and a few more minutes to get to Huntsman Hall.

-- Quick Side Note: At this point, walking onto campus, I began to feel extremely anxious/nervous. Though I had already visited two schools prior to this visit, well, this was WHARTON. I had built Wharton up in my head as my dream school, my number one pick, the ideal program for me, etc., and it hit me: "Sh*t ... what if this place sucks?". The thought that I might hate the program made me fret a bit, but I calmed myself down, appreciated the beauty of the campus, and headed towards Huntsman. (Read on to learn if it did in fact not suck) --


Arrival

I arrived about 10 minutes 'til 9am, perfect since I had wanted to make it to an early class visit. Unfortunately, I entered the "wrong" side of the building, and spent a few minutes wondering how to get to a room on the 4th floor when the elevator only went up to #3. This was helpful in that I got to see a lot of the small group meeting rooms and some other areas of the building, but also discouraging since I thought my inability to make it to the 4th floor meant I was failing some sort of Wharton admissions test. Anyway, once I found a different set of elevators on the other side of the building, I made it to the admissions office a few minutes after 9am.

After being greeted by a receptionist in the office, I was then greeted by a current student who was in the lounge area. I signed in and he handed me a schedule of available classes to visit that day. Since it was too late for a 9am class, I asked about some of the available 10:30am classes, and then we just talked for a while. (I put "just talked" in bold because, as you'll read, that was an unexpected but invaluable part of my visit) A few other visitors trickled in, we introduced ourselves, etc., and talked with the several current students that were now in the lounge. These current students/hosts who inhabited the admissions lounge area were volunteers who were there just to talk with us and answer any questions that we had about anything dealing with the program, clubs/activities, life in Philly, current job outlook, etc.
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Re: Calling all Wharton Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 22 Jul 2009, 10:20
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Class Visit

Several of us prospects went with one of the student hosts to Marketing Management Strategy with Professor Bell. Before class started, as I sat down and observed, the students appeared extremely friendly, joking with each other and talking about various non-class-related topics. The students were also wearing (for the most part) jeans and t-shirts; this was not the class of suit-wearing finance drones that I had for whatever reason expected*. Their casual and engaging personalities transitioned extremely well right into the class itself; it was very impressive to me.

This class session centered on strategy for products in declining markets, and was one of my favorite class visits among all that I have had. The way that the students interacted with each other and with the professor made me want to jump right in on the discussions. I really got the sense that the students were interested in the material and that their relationship with Professor Bell** was solid, and I’ll definitely try for this class if I end up at Wharton. He even threw in some :shock: calc formulas in at the end when discussing some of the related models, which I appreciated.

At the end of class, the professor allowed some students to show a short video clip advertisement for the Summer Public Interest Fund (SPIF), which is a student-financed fund that allows students to pursue public sector and nonprofit internships and still receive a summer salary. The video was student-made, funny, and actually a bit vulgar (link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAcTXzbi1hA). I joked with one of the student hosts and asked if that level of vulgarity was normal, to which he replied, smiling, “Absolutely.”

*I somewhat expected to encounter only these crazy type-A finance people who wore suits just for fun. Instead, the students came from a huge variety of backgrounds, and I had some great conversations with a few that had interests similar to mine.

**Professor Bell covered a lot of material in the class, but it was impressive to me how he tied certain concepts directly to recent research conducted by fellow Wharton professors. Obviously he is biased, but then again Wharton does have the “most cited business school faculty”.
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Re: Calling all Wharton Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 22 Jul 2009, 10:21
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Lunch with Students and the Non-Tour

For lunch, some student hosts took us out to these “Food Trucks” on campus, just outside the building. I guess this is a Philly thing, but I thought they were a great way to hit up lunch with everyone. There were several of these trucks (envision ice cream trucks) that offered a variety of cuisines: Mexican, Asian, Greek, Pakistani … the list goes on and on. I grabbed a soda and a chicken sandwich (yes, boring) and headed back in the building with everyone.

We were dropped off in one of the classrooms where some more student hosts met with us and talked with us for close to an hour. The topics varied wildly and it was a great opportunity to ask questions and to listen to the experiences of the students, both first and second years. I was amazed by not only the number of clubs* with which the students were involved, but also by their cavalier attitude to the associated time commitments. They kept themselves busy and they enjoyed it; impressive to say the least.

After lunch, some prospects went to another class visit, but the rest (myself included) went back to the lounge to wait for a host to take us on a campus tour. Unfortunately, we ended up waiting for nothing, since the assigned host had something come up, and they couldn’t find a replacement to take us out**. However, this was an absolute blessing in disguise. The few of us that were stuck waiting for the no-show got the chance to, yet again, sit and talk with current students. For close to 90 minutes we just talked and talked about the school and everything. I can’t emphasize enough how helpful this was throughout the day. I loved that Wharton kept the admissions lounge stocked with current students.

*It seemed like every guy I talked to was in the Rugby Club. There are a bunch of guys on the team and you don’t have to have prior experience to join. They all raved about it … something I’ll definitely consider.

**The visit program as a whole did come off as a bit unpolished, and although it worked out great for me, this is definitely an area where they could improve. Still, I’m not going to downgrade a school just because the visit program didn’t follow a formal and precise format.
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Re: Calling all Wharton Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 22 Jul 2009, 10:22
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Info Session

At 3pm all the prospects (~8 of us at this point) gathered for an info session. This info session was nothing like those of any of the other schools that I visited. There was no PowerPoint presentation, no handouts (though they were available in the lounge), just talking. I’m not sure if this is their normal way of doing things, but I liked it; why waste time going over facts and figures that everyone there should have already read on their website? Instead, the AdCom member talked about her Wharton perspective (as a former student) and then started taking questions. Most of the questions at this point were specific to the admissions process, with a few about career stats, etc. (Of note was the fellow prospect who brought a parent with them to the info session. I thought this was somewhat odd at first, until the parent kept asking question after question while their kid remained silent … then I thought it was really odd …)

Halfway through the info session, the AdCom member was replaced by two current students. They discussed their backgrounds, clubs they were involved in, and their interests. When the conversation shifted towards their job prospects and the general state of job offers at Wharton, one particular comment from one of the students stands out in my mind. The student said something to the effect of:
“What we’re seeing is that a lot of the top employers of the past have lowered their numbers, so whereas they in the past might have hired 30 interns, this year they could only hire 15. What’s important to note, is that they are still coming to Wharton. In many cases, these companies not only reduced their total number of job offers to all schools, but also their total number of schools to which they visit; some companies may only visit 2 or 3 schools in this type of economy. We’re lucky enough to be considered one of those top schools.”*
In general, I got the sense that the students at Wharton weren’t really hurting as much as I had thought, but rather many of them had to rethink their desired industries to better align with the current economy.

*An impressive oddity that I noticed throughout the day was that not one student talked about any business school besides Wharton. Even when asked what other schools they had considered or how their friends at other schools were compared to them, no one mentioned a single other school. At some of my other visits, students straight-up said “I considered schools B, C, and D, but I picked school A because those other schools aren’t as good”. The message from Wharton students was simply “I chose Wharton because it was the best fit for me, and that may not be true for everyone.” Very cool.
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Re: Calling all Wharton Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 22 Jul 2009, 10:23
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MBA Pub

I visited Wharton on a Thursday for a reason: MBA Pub. I had absolutely no idea what to expect, but almost every student host throughout the day had asked all of us if we were going; clearly this was an important part of their week. We (the prospects) received free passes (I think there is a yearly or semester fee to join) and were escorted to the “pub”, which turned out to be sort of a converted campus building. There was a sea of assorted beers, and free pizza that arrived in waves every now and then (swarmed upon my pub-goers and gone in less than 30 seconds).

At Pub, there were quite a few students there, all chatting it up and unwinding from another week of classes. We of course stood out in our business casual attire, and many students saw us and came over to offer a greeting, say a good word about the school, or even stay a while and answer our questions (not that we had many at this point, but still, it was nice). I got the feeling that everyone I talked to loved the school, though maybe they were somewhat influenced by the cold beer in their hands.

Last edited by mba12tech on 22 Jul 2009, 10:29, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Calling all Wharton Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 22 Jul 2009, 10:23
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Closing

As I left the Pub and walked through campus on the way to the train station, I reflected on the day at Wharton (8+ hours at that point) and on my worry from the start of the day: “What if this place sucks?” Well, at that point and to this day, I can say with absolute certainty that, for me, no, Wharton does not suck. More eloquently stated, I was and am extremely impressed with everything that Wharton has to offer, and the experience that day went beyond even my sky-high expectations. On paper, Wharton is what it is, a top-notch MBA program. In person, the students there showed me that it is indeed a top-notch MBA program for me.

I hope you all found my write-up helpful. I know I didn’t elaborate much on specifics pertaining to admissions hints, etc. The reality was that the students didn’t go beyond the typical “they look at the entire app holistically” or “make your essays shine” advice that you’ll hear from every school. If one thing did stand out, the “loudest” advice given was to “be yourself”, but again, that’s what everyone says.

If you guys have any questions about the visit process or anything specific to my visit, I’m happy to answer what I can. Still, I absolutely recommend seeing the campus for yourself, and even venturing into Philly if you’ve never been.

Edit: Well ... I didn't get in ... and it sucks ... but I still stand by everything I said above and I wish the rest of you good luck.

Last edited by mba12tech on 24 Feb 2010, 07:38, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Calling all Wharton Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 22 Jul 2009, 10:58
Thanks for sharing! +1


Are those pictures in the video from Kenya? So Wharton isn't half as boring as I thought it would be. hehe

And food trucks for top bschool? Ha, and I thought where I come from is ghetto!
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Re: Calling all Wharton Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 22 Jul 2009, 13:08
It sounds like they haven't changed a bit since the visit I had in 2006. Philly was charming - my visit was in the fall, right in the middle of interviews and classes and the campus had some kind of an organization fair showcasing the clubs available to Undergrads and Graduate students.

At that time we were assigned 4 current students to share their experience with the program. I remember one had a Finance background and was an avid Golfer, while another one had a small business and had created a Taxi cab credit card charging machine before starting his MBA. The students were very down to earth, casual and friendly and yet they had a lot to show for, even before joining in.

One of the students took us around the campus to a nice Gyro place nearby. She showed us the housing area and told us she gave up her car before coming to Philadelphia - the city has excellent public transportation so she found having a car, unnecessary. When the group got back into the main building the students had a nice long conversation with us in a large classroom and were open to answering all of the questions asked.

I also got a chance to attend a Negotiations class. The class was using the case method and was running through an analysis of a previous negotiation. The class appeared very diverse. There were also excellent comments by the students with financial analysis of the different positions they had taken during the negotiations. I think participation was an important part of the grade. The professor (can't remember his name of the top of my head) told several amusing and very memorable stories from his past international negotiations.

My final impressions from the experience were that Wharton's students are smart, confident and dressed casually. On the way out I passed by the university bookstore and grabbed a couple of books from the MBA curriculum list. The negotiations book they were using was a tiny compilation of wisdom written by a Wharton professor. The book is called "Bargaining for advantage" and is excellent.
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Re: Calling all Wharton Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 29 Jul 2009, 22:43
Roll call updated.
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Re: Calling all Wharton Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2009, 14:10
In for R1 :-D
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Re: Calling all Wharton Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 06 Aug 2009, 12:32
"The application for the Fall 2010 will become available on August 7, 2009."
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Re: Calling all Wharton Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 06 Aug 2009, 15:43
Any idea about the questions that is being asked to the recommenders for the Wharton fall 2010 applicaiton?
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Re: Calling all Wharton Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 06 Aug 2009, 19:57
Well, it shouldn't be that different from last year's questions....anyways, tomorrow the app will be available...
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Re: Calling all Wharton Fall 2010 Candidates [#permalink] New post 07 Aug 2009, 05:43
anyone has the link to the posting of past Wharton admits? I remember it was an attachment posted some where but I can't find it now.. Thanks
Re: Calling all Wharton Fall 2010 Candidates   [#permalink] 07 Aug 2009, 05:43
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