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Wharton

Wharton

FINAL DECISION
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Debrief posted on  Mar 01 2019 [#permalink] Wharton, Full Time MBA
On Campus Interviewed on: Feb 27 2019 Final Decision: Waitlisted with Interview

"The dreaded TBD! For those coming in blind, Wharton uses a team-based discussion (TBD) to evaluate you. They give you a prompt with your interview invite (something pretty generic that anyone could do, with no right answer) then you go into interview day with 5 other people, present your idea, then the 6 of you discuss and have to come up with a proposal/presentation. You have 5 minutes to present. You have a total of 35 minutes for the TBD. Two (in my case) 2nd yr students will be watching the entire time. After, you have a 10 minute one-on-one interview debrief with one of the students. I was pretty deep into the interview-hole by this point (I had three MBA interviews in the pocket already and am expecting this to be my last one), and of course, this one is the "weirdest" one. The first thing I notice is that Wharton really packed a lot of people to interviews on the day that I went. I think my day was the last or one-of-the-last for Round 2. Everyone says to get there early so you can create a rapport with your potential group members, but on my day there were so many people there that how would you even know who could possibly be in your group? I still recommend getting there early so you're not stressing out about being late and I always think it's good to meet your potential classmates. About 15 minutes before your TBD, you gather in the AdCom office and they call out your groups. The two students assigned to you will read the prompt, explain the rules, and then observe. The TBD itself was... dare I say... pretty fun actually! Our prompt this year (believe it was the same prompt as last year) was to come up with a proposal for a three-day retreat to be taken with your cohort during pre-term. I won't give away anything wild, but the 6 of us actually had a lot of ideas that overlapped. People did things differently in my group as well - I came in with a sheet of paper, one of my teammates had a notebook where he had written down his ideas, others had seemingly memorized their pitches. I think our group was fairly unique in that we actually took a little bit of each person's ideas to create a new pitch. I've heard of other groups where one person's idea is picked and he/she has to present it. I don't think it "matters" as in it would be a deal-breaker, but (and I'm a bit biased!) I liked the way we did ours :) Some hints for the TBD... It can definitely be easy to run out of time - time management is super important here. You have 35 minutes total, 1 minute per person to pitch, and 5 minutes at the end to present. This leaves you 24 minutes to discuss. However, people will go over their minute presentation and your team will need at least a minute or two to get its ducks-in-order, etc. The two observers will not be saying anything at all, so it's really up to you to make sure you're ok on time, etc. I was pretty lucky in that our team seemed to really work well together and no one was taking over the conversation/shrinking away/etc, but make sure you're not one of those people! The big thing: do not be a jerk. Don't interrupt people, don't talk over people, don't insult anyone else's ideas. Work with your team how you would like your team to work with you. Also relax and have a good time! The 10 minute one-on-one after was more challenging, IMO, after coming off of the TBD. It was pretty similar to a normal interview, but my interviewer (who was one of the observers of my group) was pretty stone-faced. Luck of the draw or directed by the school? Who knows. I did find some topics on which to connect with, so I felt good about that. Questions: - Why MBA and why Wharton specifically? - What are you looking to do post MBA? - Any questions for me? This interview left a lot of time for questions for the interviewer - I would note that you should have at least 3, preferably 5. I had 4 and felt like I could have used one more. C'est la vie! Make sure you prepare for the Why Wharton question! I think so many interviewees prepare for the TBD that they kind of skim the one-on-one. This, I'm sure, is very important as well! The rest of the day was a bit of a blur. I went during midterms so there were no class visits, though I went to class visits the last time I visited. We had a lecture + lunch as well as a tour of the campus. All in all, I enjoyed my day at Wharton and got a good feel for the school. My favorite part of the experience was getting to know my potential future classmates."

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Debrief posted on  Feb 19 2019 [#permalink] Wharton, Full Time MBA
On Campus Interviewed on: Feb 17 2019 Final Decision: Interviewed

"I was pretty nervous going into the interview despite researching the heck out of it and preparing as best as I could. BUT- the moment the actual interview starts, it's really quite straightforward. So, my advice is - just breathe. Also, be open to ideas and don't try to take over the whole conversation. If you've ever had any level of experience working in a team in a professional environment, this will be straightforward for you. We were taken into a small meeting room with one table (where interviewees sat) and some chairs along the back wall (where interviewers sat), and the interviewers just read from a script and told us the time was ours to manage and from there it was all up to us. Our team worked well together and everyone assumed their roles naturally. It was, dare I say, kind of fun. The interviewers watched and took notes the whole time, and I enjoyed the TBD, and as a team we felt we did well. Afterwards, the interviewers called us out for 1-on-1s. They had a timer set for 10 minutes and that was as long as the 1-on-1 was. All said and done, I enjoyed the TBD. I also especially liked that the day allowed for a lot of interaction with current and prospective students. This is Wharton, after all-- everyone I spoke to had a great story and truly amazing outlook."

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Skype Interviewed on: Jan 03 2019 Final Decision: Interviewed

"I’ll share my experience with the phone chats and interview. The phone chat as everyone mentioned is very informal and it sounded like this is to be seen as an opportunity for you to figure out how the program can help you in achieving your goals. At least in my case there weren’t any interview questions per se. It was mostly them trying to understand my career and my current role and where I want to go with an MBA. In fact I actually had 2 phone chats since I had some doubts about the program after my first chat a few months ago and they were very accommodating of my second chat request. I had my interview with Barbara Craft in San Francisco and again it seemed to be very informal and conversational. No curveballs. It was not like a Q&A session, but more free-flowing and she touched on my current role, responsibilities, examples of leadership outside of work and walked me through my career and we discussed my aspirations. I’m a Fellows candidate so she also asked me about my company’s financial support situation specifically. Barbara mentioned that at least 50% financial support must be provided for Fellows candidates. My interview lasted almost an hour. Overall, I’d say that if you prepare for the standard questions of why MBA, why Wharton, your goals, extra curricular etc you should be fine. They’re definitely very open about the admissions process for Exec MBA, so also prepare some good questions that are specific for your case."

sankar769 from United States GMAT 710;
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Skype Interviewed on: Dec 06 2018 Final Decision: Admitted

"Phone "chat": Very informal. This is an opportunity for you to understand whether the EMBA is right for you. I recommend you come armed with a couple [relative] softball questions that you can't find answers to online. For example, I asked about years of work experience and job titles. In my case, I have eight years of experience (right on the borderline between a Fellows and Traditional applicant) and my job title does not include "manager" but I have management responsibilities in my role. I mentioned it earlier in the thread, but it was recommended to me that the resume I submit as part of the request to schedule a phone chat should be a final version that I expect to submit along with my application. The committee doesn't like to see major overhauls between the phone chat and application. I made a single change: the addition of a bullet describing my accomplishments in a recently announced major acquisition. On-campus interview: More formal; however, less formal than the FT MBA interview process. There's a clear interest in greater transparency in EMBA admissions than in the FT MBA admissions process. I was asked all about my resume and then given an opportunity to ask questions. I was asked a lot about projects in which I demonstrated leadership or assumed management responsibilities. I was asked what kind of manager I am. I was also asked an interesting, unexpected question on ambition and at want point in my career progression will I feel like I've "made it." The "Why MBA?", "Why Wharton?", and "Why now?" all crept in there one way or another. In fact, I think "Why Wharton?" was something I circled back on when Diane asked the last question, which was "is there anything you wanted to discuss that we haven't touched on yet?" So I was given a fair opportunity to make sure I sold myself the way I wanted to. Overall, it was much more conversational than the FT MBA process. (full disclosure: I went the FT MBA application route a few years ago and among the schools to which I applied was Wharton)"

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Debrief posted on  Feb 04 2019 [#permalink] Wharton, Full Time MBA
On Campus Interviewed on: Feb 21 2018 Final Decision: Interviewed

"Had my TBD last week. My advice is simple: Relax. This interview is likely not going to make or break your admission decision. I spoke to more than one current student who said they thought they didn't do well in the TBD and obviously still got admitted. You don't need to dominate the conversation or talk a lot, just be friendly and helpful to the group rather than try to "show off". Just my opinion from talking to current students and committee members: It's not Pass/fail. It's just another snapshot to add to your overall application. If you're a "borderline" candidate to begin with, perhaps an amazing performance might tip the scales in your favor, but this isn't true for everyone. Your GPA/GMAT/WE/Recs, etc matter more than the interview, I think it's something they use to get a better snapshot of who you are, and verify that you're not a jerk, can't speak under pressure, etc. 80%+ of people I imagine are going to have a perfectly fine TBD and their admit/deny decision is going to hinge more on the rest of their app than the TBD. Just my thoughts. Good luck everyone!"

jboog from United States
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Debrief posted on  Jan 30 2018 [#permalink] Wharton
On Campus Interviewed on: Feb 16 2016 Final Decision: Denied with Interview

"I was a R1 applicant to Wharton and as I come from an overly represented group I was not expecting an invite from Wharton. I do think that using the optional essay worked. I don't think I would have received the interview invite without it (based on my profile parameters, obviously!). I delayed my interview registration by 1 day that was a mistake (hindsight) as I wanted to go for the last available time slot in Philly. I had already planned on doing an on campus interview as I did not have a chance to visit the campus before the interview. Went with 19th Nov (Afternoon, the last spot left at Philly!). It was a decision worth the travel and hectic schedule (as I had 1 interview on 18th morning and a school visit scheduled for 20th Nov). Couple of points to keep in mind once you get the interview invite. 1. Make sure to pick up a day comfortable for you and not rush into booking the interview spot as TBD is a different way of interview. Give yourself some time to gather your thoughts for the TBD as each year the prompt will be different. 2. Keep the day before the TBD/PI yourself calm and not doing anything stressful. I would learn this important thing later when I did not make it to Wharton or the one for which I had interviewed the day before!). The campus visit was really good and I opted to go for 2 classes (wanted to maximize my visit!). After attending the classes , we were made to wait in the waiting area just outside the TBD conference rooms and were called in a random order in groups of 6. Once we all sat in the conference rooms alongwith 2 moderators (2nd year admission fellows), we were told again told about the TBD prompt. Once the time was open for a discussion, we all presented our 1 minute speech and then started to jot down points with the last 5 minutes to gather out thoughts and to present them to the moderators. All the participants were very receptive to others' ideas and everyone tried to work towards presenting a coherent chain of thoughts leading to a successful organization of a 1 day event. Tips for TBD (do note that the rules/tips mentioned are for TBDs till 2015 application cycle. Wharton might change the regulations): 1. Refer to my post http://gmatclub.com/forum/calling-all-wharton-applicants-2016-intake-class-of-200055-600.html#p1642703 for links on good TBD practice. 2. If you dont want to pay for TBD practice, reach out to fellow interview invitees on GMATCLUB and set up a mock TBD on your own. 3. Make sure to spend a day or two in thinking about ways in which you can bring in your profile (personality/WE/education/extra curriculars etc) in the scheme of the things. 4. Do have a really good/confident 1 minute pitch at the beginning. 5. Be very receptive of what others have to say. Try to assimilate most (if not all) the ideas presented. This will only show that you are a great listener. 6. You can show initiative or action oriented nature by volunteering (not fighting) for keeping the time for the group or for taking the notes or for assigning the final presentation roles at the end of the TBD. 7. Make sure that the group is on time at any given moment. This is important as a group that does not respect time constraints in TBD will not have a single person selected from. 8. Remember that your fellow TBD members are your friends and NOT enemies. Work together as a team and it might even be that all of you make it through. 9. Be confident about what you say and how you say it. Dont use a condescending or a rude tone. Once we were done with the TBD, we were called in 1 by 1 by the 2 TBD moderators and had our PI (personal interview) for 15 minutes. As TBD is already for 35 minutes, the PI is kept really short by Wharton (I personally think it is way too short to present any meaningful information), the interviewer did not seem interested to be engaged in the conversation (it was at 5 PM at that time, just before the MBA Pub on Thursday!). I was asked the following in my PI 1. Walk me through your resume 2. Why this/ why that (from my resume) 3. 2-3 questions on my extra curriculars, why this activity, what did you learn 4. 1-2 Professional questions 5. Why Wharton Although I did not make it after the interview, I still felt good about my TBD/PI (these two are 2 of the many variables in play)."

ENGRTOMBA2018 from India GMAT 750; Aerospace and Defense
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