Students in Wharton’s MBA Program for Executives start out together for a full week of classes on the Philadelphia campus. This one-week Orientation is an opportunity to get an overview of what to expect in the next two years, meet students from both coasts, and dive into coursework.
The two cohorts will later spend a class week together on the West Coast, and then have additional opportunities to mix with second-year electives, Global Modular Courses, and the required one-week Global Business Week trip. We asked two students, one from each coast, to tell us more about Orientation Week. Here’s what they had to say about the experience:
Subhav (Bob) Mital
I started my career as an engineer, but later transitioned into product management. I saw gaps in my business knowledge and wanted to get an MBA. I came to Wharton to gain a better understanding of other areas in business.
My Highlight of the Week
The highlight was meeting other students during classes, meals, and going out at night to local restaurants. The bike building activity with our learning teams was a lot of fun. It was also great to meet students from the other coast because you see how big our cohort really is. With students on both coasts, we can double our network.
Everyone kept saying that the program is intense, and I would be very busy. But you don’t really get it until you actually start to go through it. At Orientation, you see that everyone is in the same boat and there is a lot of support. That’s when I geared myself up to better understand the time demands and tackle the situation.
One night, after a full day of classes, I went down to the hotel lobby at 1 a.m. and saw several classmates enthusiastically discussing a class. They were still engaged in school! The energy here is amazing. I also was surprised by the diversity. I’ve never worked with doctors, lawyers, or Navy seals. Students come from so many different backgrounds and we’re all working toward a common goal.
That week showed me how the faculty and my classmates would challenge me to get the best results. I knew I was in the right place. I also saw how the relationships I build in this program can grow over two years and last forever.
I came to Wharton because of its inclusive community. At top programs, smart students are a given. What really separated this program from others is the collaborative and supportive environment. The other reason I came here is to level the playing field. I knew the Wharton brand and education would not only open doors, but also enable me to connect with diverse and brilliant people.
My Highlight of the Week
I loved getting to know my classmates and their unique stories. We had dedicated time carved out to get to know our learning team. We talked about our journeys and what motivated us to come to Wharton. Students were very open and it was powerful to see that this program isn’t just about getting a degree. Everyone is here for the experience and to challenge their status, whether for their family, career or their community. It was the highlight of the week to see how we are all in this together.
We are all high achievers and you’d expect everyone to be Type A and competitive, but everyone is so welcoming and open. We all truly wanted to get to know each other and make connections.
After a week of back-to-back classes and social events such as a baseball game and karaoke night, I left campus exhausted but also with a strong conviction that the next two years will be life-changing. I couldn’t wait to get to know the faculty and classmates and go through the program together. It won’t always be easy, but I knew that I was at the right place.
Our social chair organized some outings throughout the week like going to a baseball game and karaoke night. We also had great group dinners and a bike building activity with our learning teams. The week was very busy, but we had a lot of fun.
Advice for New Students
Do the pre-reading and try to stay ahead. You’ll get the most out of the week if you come prepared. Also, come with an open mind and heart. You’ll meet a lot of amazing people. It’s an exciting week!
To read more student perspectives on Orientation, click here.
— Meghan Laska
Posted: September 25, 2019