We develop and tailor programming that strives to address the diverse needs of our student population, at all levels.

Wharton’s EMBA Career Management team has some big news ― it is now called Executive Career Coaching or ECC. Why the change? Dr. Dawn Graham, director of ECC in Philadelphia, explains that the new name more accurately describes the group’s mission and how it delivers EMBA career support.

We recently sat down with Dawn and Steve Hernandez, director of ECC at Wharton San Francisco, to learn more about the name change and other career-related news (and tips) on both coasts.

What is the mission of the ECC?

Dawn: Our mission is to help EMBA students define and plan their careers based on their needs and goals. We do that through coaching support, workshops, and other resources that assist students not only in finding their next role, but also developing strategies to effectively manage their career throughout a lifetime.

What is your approach to working with EMBA students?

Steve: It’s very dynamic. We adjust to a diverse cross-section of student needs. Some seek linear career growth through promotions, some seek radical career transitions, some seek a new function within their company, some seek leadership development, and some non-sponsored students seek a new job outside of their organization. We develop and tailor programming that strives to address the diverse needs of our student population, at all levels.

Dawn: A major service we provide is coaching, which is reflected in our name change. We ask students to come to a coaching meeting with a career goal so that we can brainstorm and strategize around that goal and discuss available resources, including the Wharton alumni network. Ultimately, we help students develop and execute a game plan through coaching.

What services are provided to EMBA students in Philadelphia and San Francisco?

Steve: The EMBA programs in Philadelphia and San Francisco do not vary per campus or coast. Both provide one-on-one coaching, live or virtual; two years of programming activities that include workshops, four full-day programming sessions per year; job search teams; major networking events; and small group one-day and extended programs.

What are some tips for how to best engage with ECC?


  • Take personal ownership of your career progression. Leverage the career team to help you identify your long-term goals and develop a strategic plan to get there.
  • It’s not just about getting a new job. It’s about being intentional about where your next job will take you.
  • Be proactive. Take advantage of career programs, your career and executive coaches, your classmates, and the Wharton network. Use these resources to help you determine the best career path that is suited to your skills, values, and life goals. Accept advice, but don’t allow others to dictate your journey.


  • Try to clear your schedule to attend our major events like Professional Development Days and Career Conversations. These are good networking opportunities and can be very useful for your career.
  • Know your goal for coming to this program so you can hit the ground running with ECC when you get here.
  • Keep your career plan in mind throughout the program because the two years go by fast. Take advantage of every opportunity to network with classmates and alumni as well as students in the classes ahead of and behind you and on the other coast.

What ECC programs are in the works?

Dawn: In Philadelphia, we recently held Professional Development Day for first-year students. Out of 120 students, 89 participated. The day was focused on career planning and how to use ECC resources to create a career plan and engage with our services.

This included an alumni panel on changing careers, industry-specific alumni panels, and workshops on LinkedIn, personal branding, and networking. Our next big event is Career Conversations, which is very popular among students. This event brings over 70 alumni to campus to meet with students based on areas of career interest.

Steve: In San Francisco, we hosted Professional Development Day in August, which 90 of our 106 first-year students attended. Similar to the East Coast event, we delivered presentations on career planning, strategy, and networking. We also hosted panels on topics, including career transitions and specific industries.

Now, we’re planning a three-school networking/recruiting event with our partner schools: Haas and Stanford, along with some of the Bay Area’s top companies. It’s executive MBA student and employer networking all at once. Our Career Conversations event will be held in the spring.

Posted: October 24, 2017

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