MBA Admissions: Wharton and Financial Services

By - Jul 30, 14:38 PM Comments [0]

WhartonA quick glance at Wharton: Wharton currently ranks in third place as one of the best business schools, according to US News & World Report (March 2012). For finance, Wharton was ranked as number one.

Incoming Wharton Students and Financial Services

The class of 2013 has an average of four years of work experience and a median GMAT score of 720.

16% of class of 2013 students entered Wharton with industry experience in private equity/venture capital; 14% had experience in investment banking; and 5% had previous industry experience in some other financial services.

29% have undergraduate degrees in business.

Wharton Academics Related to Financial Services

Wharton has a new, updated curriculum as of 2012 that features a core curriculum with 3.5 credits in fixed courses taken with your cohort and 5.5 credits in flexible courses. The core focuses on analytical skills such as accounting, finance, marketing, management, operations, statistics, and microeconomics, as well as on "soft skills" like ethics, communication, and leadership skills. Students then specialize in an area of study by choosing courses that satisfy major and elective requirements. Students can major in one or two concentrations.

Students interesting in this sector would major in Finance. Finance is Wharton's most popular major and may be chosen in conjunction with another major (usually Marketing, Operations and Information Management, or Strategic Management).

There are two required courses counted towards the Finance major:

  • Corporate Finance (FNCE 601)
  • Macroeconomics and the Global Economic Environment (FNCE 602)

In addition, the major requires four credit units of upper division finance courses. (For details on major requirements, please see MBA Resource 2012-13 p. 30.):

  • Accelerated Corporate Finance (FNCE612)
  • Financial Derivatives (FNCE717)
  • International Financial Markets (FNCE719)
  • Investment Management (FNCE720)
  • Real Estate Investment Analysis Financing (FNCE721)
  • Commercial Bank Management (FNCE723)
  • Urban Real Estate Economics (FNCE724)
  • Fixed Income Securities (FNCE725)
  • Advanced Corporate Finance (FNCE726)
  • Corporate Valuation (FNCE728)
  • Urban Fiscal Policy (FNCE730)
  • International Corporate Finance (FNCE731)
  • International Banking (FNCE732)
  • Capital Markets (FNCE738)
  • Behavioral Finance (FNCE739)
  • International/Multinational Corporate Finance (FNCE748)
  • Venture Capital and the Finance of Innovation (FNCE750)
  • The Finance of Buyouts and Acquisitions (FNCE751)
  • Financial Engineering (FNCE892)
  • Global Monetary and Financial Institutions: Theory and Practice (FNCE893)
  • Managing Fixed Income Portfolios (FNCE894)
  • Private Equity (FNCE895)
  • Finance in Europe (FNCE896)
  • Finance in the Middle East and North Africa (FNCE897)

(See course descriptions here.)

Students seeking careers in financial services would work closely with the following research centers:

During winter and spring breaks, students may participate in one of Wharton's Global Modular Courses (GMC), courses that expose students to the "challenges and opportunities in regions undergoing rapid change." Some past modular courses of interest to finance students include Finance in Europe (in London) and Building Future Markets (in Cape Town).

Another international opportunity for finance students that complement Wharton's mission of "Knowledge into Action" is the Global Career Treks. Organized by students and MBA Career Services, these treks provide students with group interviews with prominent companies in various sectors, including those in venture capital/private equity.

Finance-Related Clubs and Extracurricular Activities at Wharton

  • Finance ClubThis club works closely with the career management department and with recruits, and runs events for students interested in the following areas of finance: capital markets, international finance, investment banking, non-banking corporate finance, and private client services.
  • Private Equity & Venture Capital ClubThis club runs events and activities that focus on career development, skill development, and networking for students interested in venture capital, growth capital and buyouts.
  • Investment Management ClubThe mission of this club is to provide members with "education, mentoring and career advice while building a larger and more tight-knit community of investment managers."
  • Sales & Trading ClubThis club focuses on providing its members with recruiting opportunities for summer internships and full-time jobs in the sales and trading industries, including structured finance positions.


Other groups and conferences that may interest finance students include the Wharton Social Venture Fund, the Finance Conference, the Investment Management Conference, and the Community Consultants.

Finance Hiring Stats and Top Finance Companies Hiring at UPenn Wharton

In 2011, 38.54% of Wharton graduates accepted full-time job offers in the financial services industry. Broken down according to subspecialty, the percentages are as follows:


Diversified Financial Services 4.94%
Hedge Funds/Other Investments 3.34%
Investment Banking/Brokerage 16.56%
Investment Management 6.05%
Private Equity/Buyouts/Other 7.01%
Venture Capital 0.64%


For internships for the class of 2012, 47.68% of students landed interns in the financial services industry, with details as follows:

Diversified Financial Services 2.78%
Hedge Funds/Other Investments 7.02%
Investment Banking/Brokerage 18.54%
Investment Management 6.62%
Private Equity/Buyouts/Other 9.8%
Venture Capital 2.78%


Top hirers include:

  • American Express Company
  • Banco Itau BBA S.A.
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch
  • Barclays Bank, PLC
  • Baring Private Equity Asia Limited
  • Capital One Services, Inc.
  • China International Capital Corporation Limited (CICC)
  • Citibank
  • Citigroup
  • Credit Suisse
  • Deutsche Bank
  • Fidelity Investments
  • Goldman Sachs & Company
  • H.I.G. Capital
  • J.P. Morgan
  • Merchants' Gate Capital, LP
  • Moody's Investors Service
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Nomura Holding America, Inc.
  • Pacific Investment Management Company, LLC
  • QVT Financial, LP
  • RBC Capital Markets
  • Standard Chartered Bank
  • UBS Financial Services, Inc.
  • Wells Fargo Securities

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