Find all School-related info fast with the new School-Specific MBA Forum

It is currently 19 Apr 2014, 21:54


GMAT Club Daily Prep

Thank you for using the timer - this advanced tool can estimate your performance and suggest more practice questions. We have subscribed you to Daily Prep Questions via email.

for You

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Your Progress

every week, we’ll send you an estimated GMAT score based on your performance


we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Not interested in getting valuable practice questions and articles delivered to your email? No problem, unsubscribe here.

Events & Promotions

Events & Promotions in June
Open Detailed Calendar

School update - a year later

  Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  
Author Message
21 KUDOS received
Senior Manager
Senior Manager
User avatar
Joined: 13 Jun 2007
Posts: 410
Schools: Wharton, Booth, Stern
Followers: 11

Kudos [?]: 78 [21] , given: 0

GMAT Tests User
School update - a year later [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2009, 10:14
This post received
Wow, I realize I haven't been on this forum for AGES. Working till 2am 2 or 3 times a week doesn't help I guess.

I would just like to provide a quick update on my thoughts on my school now that a full year has gone. Would be great if other people did that too. I'm going to base myself on a previous post that compared Chicago to Wharton (, good debate with Kwam), because I think it covered a lot of the things you should take into account.


I'm fairly disappointed with the core program. I see how the core program makes sense in some ways: it's great for people with no financial experience for example, it puts everybody on the same level, etc. However, for those people with a financial background, it's not great. There should definitively be more flexibility around the program - waiving is simply not enough. I don't know what a good solution would be, but something must change. I think Columbia (correct me if I'm wrong) has recently introduced some sort of semi-flexible core program, maybe we should have a look at that.

Also, quality of the core classes is very variable, depending at 99% on the teacher. I've had some great teachers - Donaldson, Edmans, Stine, O'Sullivan - but I've had a lot of mediocre ones too (I'll mention no names). The problem here is that the allocation is purely based on luck: if you get good core class teachers, great. You get shitty ones, tough (for reminder's sake, different professors give the same class, because of the size of the program). It all evens out normally, but this shouldn't be the case. There is too little teacher accountability in terms of quality of teaching.

The balance of the classes is sometimes not ideal: for example we have had 3 classes of operations management, where 1 or 2 would have been more than enough.

However, that being said, I heard that the classes in second year are very good (some are apparently exceptional - Diamond and Friedman come to mind). I've not managed to get into all the classes I wanted to get into unfortunately, but ultimately that my fault (spent too much money on Siegel's class, not worth it at all). I'm really looking forward to some of them (and trust me when I say that academics is not my priority), there is some very high quality stuff out there. At the end of the day, I'd just say that you have to grind through the core to get access to the real quality stuff.

A very positive element of the academic program is the learning team concept (teams of 5 or 6 people working together for the group projects): I'm really close with all my team now. I love my team and learned a lot from them (really). Some other people had bad experiences, and although at the time it might seem frustrating, it's a great way to learn how to deal with tense situations - I know it sounds cheesy but it's true.

Finally, in terms of hours spent on studying, what they say is true: it really depends on you. If you are aiming for academic excellence, be prepared to work hard. If you have no financial / mathematical background (liberal arts kind of guy - nicknamed "poet" by the class usually), be prepared to work even harder (I weigh my words here). If however you're decent in mathy stuff and just want to get through school, it's pretty much painless. There is a bit of work involved, but it's really not that dramatically intensive. You'll have loads of time to do stuff that you want to do.

In conclusion, the academic level is still very high in comparison with other schools, even though there are somethings that need improvement.

Final point: no classes on Friday = PRICELESS. Nuff said.


Cohort vs cherry-picking, the eternal debate. You would think that I would be super in favour of cherry-picking after what I wrote on the core program. Well I'm not. I love the idea of cherry-picking, but I still think that some form of core program has a lot of merits. I'm not going to repeat them here though (have a look at the Chicago vs Wharton post). For Wharton specifically, I would sugggest to maybe waive some "high-risk" classes (ie classes where the chance of having a crap teacher is high) and stick with the others. And even in this case I'm not really massively in favour if waiving a lot of stuff.

Brand name

This was the element that made me favour Wharton over Chicago. I still believe that Wharton has a big edge in terms of brand. However the school may not rest and must work hard to keep that brand up. I think that the school is up for the task though.


At the end of the day - and this is going to sound shocking - geography doesn't really matter. I traveled all over the US with the soccer and rugby teams, and I could have done that from anywhere. The only big advantage of Philly is the proximity with NY (and AC :-) ). However, what DOES matter is the city vs recluse place debate. I spend most of my time with my Wharton friends, and I mostly go to parties organised by the school, so you could ask me: "Well it doesn't matter where you are then does it?". Well, it does. If I want to do something else, I can. If I want to get away from the Wharton crowd (and trust me, that will happen to you too), I can. If you're in Ithaca, you can't.

Philly is actually a much better place than people think. I actually miss some aspects of the city (and I'm saying that while living in London). But it's not a great city like NY or London, where options are simply limitless. You always end up going to the same places. However for 2 years of your life, as an MBA student, Philly offers more than enough. Plus Philly Center City is a very safe place. I have never felt threatened or scared at any point - although it is true that I'm a 6'5 guy, and not the size 0 type, which obviously helps. The worst that could happen is having your house broken into - that happens A LOT if you don't have a doorman (as in I know at least 3 or 4 people that have had that). Restaurant options are pretty good too - decent choice of average priced restaurants. The only massive down aspect is the wine: if you like wine, don't live in Pennsylvania, it's not only very hard to find good wines because of the law, but it's also very expensive.

International students

The school is super international which is great, plus for me US people are international too :-) There is however a bias to the Asian continent, but that probably happens in all the US schools (to be fair it is a VERY populated continent :-) ).


Sports are brilliant at Wharton. I have met most - if not all - of my close friends from school though sports. The rugby and soccer teams are great and tour regularly to plenty of tournaments through the country, which as you can imagine leads to some pretty... interesting moments. The quality of the organisation is usually excellent (well I'm the co-president of the soccer club so I'm not going to say we're bad :-) ). It is definitively a great opportunity to make friends fo life.


Wharton's Huntsman Hall is gorgeous and pretty new, but we have to share it with the undergrads (there's a story behind this but I wont go into details) and it's clearly too small for 2 big programs like ours. It's tough to book study rooms and it's tough to find spots in the study lounges, especially in the busy periods. However, there are plenty of other places where you can go and study on campus (and even meet those fit girls from law), but it's annoying that you can't do it in your own building. As for sport, mentioned in the Chicago vs Wharton post, indoor sport infrastructure is brilliant, outdoor infrastructure is incredibly poor. Although there is a massive project going on to build outdoor infrastructure close to the river for 2015 or something like that (it has apparently even won prizes), the current lack of outdoor infrastructure is simply shocking.

Student groups

The level of implication of the students is not a legend, it's phenomenal. There are loads of students that get implicated and get stuff done, whether it's trips (Japan trek, legendary), sports, professional activities, you name it. As a skeptical European, I had my doubts when people told me that, but I can guarantee you that it's very true. Usually the quality of organisation is pretty high too. On a personal level I am the co-president of the poker club and the soccer club - gonna be a lot of work btw.

Wharton Leadership Ventures

The leadership ventures are great possibilities to visit places where you will probably never go to again: Antarctica, Kili, Cotopaxi, etc. That is something that I definitively took into account when I decided for which school I was going to go to. The only issue is the price: they are very expensive and overpriced. But at the end of the day it's an unique opportunity to get to do unusual stuff with people from your school, which is great.

Nightlife / partying

Ah, the parties... When I was debating between Wharton and Chicago, I remember asking a second year how the parties were, because I was scared that it might be a bit quiet. I had this image of the MBA student being a studious person, working hard to get good grades / a good job. How pathetically wrong I was. There are an incredible amount of parties all the time. Every club organises parties. There is pub (140 dollars for free pizzas and beer every Thursday). There is second year drinks (every Wednesday). There are massive parties every Thursday night. There are home parties (a lot of them actually). There are "Let's go to Vegas and go crazy" parties. You name it. I've got a pretty resistant body to those type of "events", but I can tell you that I couldn't do them all. If you like partying, you will love the school. And just to get things clear: there is no "pressure" to booze till you drop (it's not frowned upon either btw, not that I know of anyway, unless you annoy people obviously). Just show and chill.

I'm not sure other top schools party as much as we do to be honest - although I could be massively wrong obviously. I heard for example that Chicago is a more "studious" kind of place.

Career opportunities

In these tough times, it pays to be at Wharton. The major banks have only recruited from the top schools, including Wharton. The brand and the alumni network can really get you very far, and that's great. For that the school has been brilliant. The only thing is that Wharton remains a US centric school; there are less alumni in Europe than in the US for example (kind of obvious but worth remembering). However there are still loads of opportunities to interact with alumni all over the world.

I also wanted to say a couple of words about the career services dpt, but to be honest my view would not be very reflective since I used them so little. What I can tell you though is that when it comes down to recruiting outside the US, expect to be helped a lot less. Not that it matters a lot though. Maybe another student can take the relay and talk more about the career services dpt.

In conclusion, I really love my school, love the experience (probably one of the best in my life), despite some negative aspects of it. I would recommend to anyone to come over at Wharton. I have made friends for life, I have begun stuff I would have never done otherwise (poker, rugby, golf, cigars, whiskey to name a few), I'm really enjoying myself. However, be prepared to spend A LOT of money :-)

Hope this helps. As usual, if you have any questions, feels free to ask. Hope I covered everything; if not let me know.

What would be terrific is that other students talk about their experience after 1 / 2 years, what they thought before going to school and what changed / did not change in their perception. I'd love to hear from other people!

PS: sorry for the poor writing, I have a massive hangover.

Wharton admits, join the rugby team!! It'll be by far the best experience of your MBA life

Kaplan GMAT Prep Discount CodesKnewton GMAT Discount CodesVeritas Prep GMAT Discount Codes
Joined: 15 Aug 2003
Posts: 3470
Followers: 57

Kudos [?]: 649 [0], given: 781

Re: School update - a year later [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2009, 10:18
This was very generous of you audio. thank you very much!!
1 KUDOS received
Senior Manager
Senior Manager
User avatar
Joined: 13 Jun 2007
Posts: 410
Schools: Wharton, Booth, Stern
Followers: 11

Kudos [?]: 78 [1] , given: 0

GMAT Tests User
Re: School update - a year later [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2009, 10:23
This post received
Praetorian wrote:
This was very generous of you audio. thank you very much!!

Thanks Praet. Just trying to give something back, since this forum was an invaluable source for me when I was applying (probably wouldn't have got in Wharton without it)

Wharton admits, join the rugby team!! It'll be by far the best experience of your MBA life

Senior Manager
Senior Manager
Joined: 01 Mar 2009
Posts: 372
Location: PDX
Followers: 5

Kudos [?]: 62 [0], given: 24

GMAT Tests User
Re: School update - a year later [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2009, 11:18
:) .. now I'm tempted to retake my GMAT and apply to Wharton :) cos I 'think' I'll fit with the rest of the credentials.

Kudos Audio

In the land of the night, the chariot of the sun is drawn by the grateful dead

User avatar
Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 1443
Schools: Chicago Booth '11
Followers: 7

Kudos [?]: 141 [0], given: 12

GMAT Tests User
Re: School update - a year later [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2009, 09:16
sounded like a pro-chicago post to me :) ha jk thanks for the insightful post and congrats on your first year audio! Hope to hear more from your experiences in the future.
User avatar
Joined: 17 Nov 2007
Posts: 3599
Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Other
Schools: Chicago (Booth) - Class of 2011
GMAT 1: 750 Q50 V40
Followers: 326

Kudos [?]: 1574 [0], given: 354

GMAT ToolKit User GMAT Tests User Premium Member
Re: School update - a year later [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2009, 11:18
Expert's post
Great post, Audio!

NEW! GMAT ToolKit 2 (iOS) / GMAT ToolKit (Android) - The must have GMAT prep app | PrepGame

Current Student
User avatar
Joined: 04 Jan 2005
Posts: 283
Location: Milan
Schools: Wharton, LBS, UChicago, Kellogg MMM (Donald Jacobs Scholarship), Stanford, HBS
Followers: 6

Kudos [?]: 133 [0], given: 3

GMAT Tests User
Re: School update - a year later [#permalink] New post 22 Jul 2009, 04:22
An European rendition of Wharton is priceless for me.

Way to go Audio!
1 KUDOS received
User avatar
Joined: 24 May 2007
Posts: 95
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Schools: Stanford R1(W/o Int), HBS R1(W/o Int), Kellogg R1(Ding), Haas R2(W/o Int), Wharton R2(W/o Int), Darden(W/o Int)
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 11 [1] , given: 5

Re: School update - a year later [#permalink] New post 22 Jul 2009, 14:13
This post received
Thanks for taking time after a busy year to post such a long post. I am applying to Wharton for 2010 and this covers most of the things I had questions about and coming from a student really helps.
Thanks again

GMAT 750 (Q50/V41 AWA 5.0)
Stanford Harvard Kellogg Wharton Darden and Haas
For pictures from Haas Kellogg or Stanford check out ... ityVisits#

Joined: 26 Oct 2008
Posts: 27
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 4 [0], given: 2

Re: School update - a year later [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2009, 08:53
Way to go man, Wharton is one of my target schools and these kinds of debriefs are simply invaluable!
User avatar
Status: Badgerine!
Joined: 04 Oct 2008
Posts: 894
Location: United States (CA)
Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Strategy
Schools: Michigan (Ross) - Class of 2013
GMAT 1: 770 Q50 V44
GPA: 3.3
WE: Project Management (Aerospace and Defense)
Followers: 59

Kudos [?]: 261 [0], given: 86

GMAT Tests User Reviews Badge
Re: School update - a year later [#permalink] New post 26 Jul 2009, 19:59
Great info. I'm sure this will be very helpful for a lot of GMATClub members.

Retired Moderator
User avatar
Joined: 18 Jul 2008
Posts: 997
Followers: 8

Kudos [?]: 55 [0], given: 5

GMAT Tests User
Re: School update - a year later [#permalink] New post 28 Jul 2009, 06:56
Great Info! Continue to have a great time and fill us in :-)
User avatar
Joined: 26 Mar 2008
Posts: 652
Schools: Duke 2012
Followers: 12

Kudos [?]: 113 [0], given: 16

GMAT Tests User
Re: School update - a year later [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2009, 11:54
Kudos - great post - it's great to see a very honest perspective.

"Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity." - Frank Leahy

User avatar
Joined: 30 Dec 2008
Posts: 55
Location: Washington DC
Schools: Kellogs, Darden, Stern, Tepper
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 4 [0], given: 15

Re: School update - a year later [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2009, 18:18
I am greatly impressed with your post!, these are somethings that encourages someone like me who is struggling to get great scores in GMAT practice tests!

thanks for your wonderful post!....please do share with us if you think anything will be helpful to us!


Give and Take Kudos! if you are benefitted from a post!

Joined: 05 Jul 2009
Posts: 186
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 12 [0], given: 5

Re: School update - a year later [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2009, 18:55
Thanks for the wonderful post. Very nice and candid writing indeed.
Re: School update - a year later   [#permalink] 04 Aug 2009, 18:55
    Similar topics Author Replies Last post
New posts Updating school with additional info aceman626 2 07 Jan 2008, 05:59
Popular new posts 1 Experts publish their posts in the topic Feedback: Update School Clusters asimov 10 03 Dec 2009, 10:15
New posts Experts publish their posts in the topic Levenstein asserts that even years later Yorkshire Terriers gmatbull 8 13 Sep 2010, 12:19
New posts Sending updates to schools microair 1 21 Jan 2011, 15:42
New posts 1 Taking GMAT this year and applying to b-school 4 years later catalysis 4 14 Jun 2013, 17:56
Display posts from previous: Sort by

School update - a year later

  Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  


GMAT Club MBA Forum Home| About| Privacy Policy| Terms and Conditions| GMAT Club Rules| Contact| Sitemap

Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group and phpBB SEO

Kindly note that the GMAT® test is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admission Council®, and this site has neither been reviewed nor endorsed by GMAC®.