Tuesday, September 21, 2010


That, in short, describes how last week felt for most of us, riding down the rollercoaster of Term 2 in Philly. Classes from 9 am to 6 pm, official events until 9.30 pm, unofficial events until late into the night ... rinse and repeat for three straight days. Follow that up with a day long trip to Gettysburg as part of our leadership class. And the sheer exhaustion of sleepless nights, four classes filled with new information, and the sheer wealth of talent in front of you in terms of the class from the other coast that you wish you had enough time to interact with at a slower pace - it takes a few days to recover from this journey and the recovery has just begun for me.

Mothership was all that one was expecting it to be, and more! As an Indian, I was proud to see Dhirubhai Ambani's name outside the big auditorium in Huntsman - Indian names in these buildings are a rarity and its always cool to see them. I loved the campus and the architecture of so many buildings out there. I'm told that Usain Bolt ran at the stadium at Penn as part of Penn relays - how cool is that! School had started for fulltimers and undergrads, so campus was choc-a-bloc with students and parents. Some of us wondered which category we would get slotted into, since we fit neither well. You will probably get to see some pictures in the coming days when one of my co-bloggers finds time to upload some.

This term promises to be an exciting one! Leadership from Useem, Stat from Waterman, Macroecon from Abel and Managerial Accounting from Ittner, to be followed up by OPIM with Ziv - so much to learn from the best minds that offer it to us in three-hour capsules to gulp down and digest. Its amazing how dedicated, well-informed, inspiring and passionate each of these people are, and I cannot wait to see what the rest of the term has in store. I never thought I'd learn so much about leadership with the civil war as a backdrop, and the trip to Gettysburg with Prof. Useem and my classmates achieved just that. We also had an amazing guide - Bill Bowling from the National Parks Service. If anyone plans to visit Gettysburg I would recommend him in a heartbeat - there seems to be nothing civil war related that he does not have a detailed answer for, including days, dates, months and years when things happened! Look him up online for some other blog posts that talk about him.

Hope essays are going well for the folks that plan to apply for next year. Some of the folks that contacted me are working on other essays right now and were going to get to their Wharton essays later. I would recommend to atleast have an outline of what you intend to write for your Wharton essays ready and to call admissions folks and schedule an interview when you're ready to talk to them. Also reach out to as many current and former students of the program as well. Talking to more people helps refine your thinking and realize what you want from the program. It definitely helped me think through my essays and reasons for joining Wharton.

That's it for now folks! Its crunch time for new applicants now, so keep your focus and hang on tight - this is going to be one hell of a ride!


  1. To reach me you can write to ranand at gmail dot com. -Anand

  2. If you had a choice will you choose WEMBA West or WEMBA East?

  3. I was going to say "East or West, Wharton's the best" :). Seriously though, that's a tough call to make. If you are the kind of person for whom being on a college campus makes a difference, then East is awesome. Its an amazing environment to be on a big campus and learn there. Having said that, my experience with the West program has been really good as well. You get to know everyone that is associated with running the program out here since its a much smaller campus here. I feel you also bond more as a group here because of that, though my East classmates might want to chime in on that. The faculty that teach some class in Year 1 are different, but both coasts so far have been happy with the faculty that taught them. Class size is larger on the East (closer to 120 as opposed to 90 or so out here). You have the option of spending a term at the other coast if you wish to and there is room, so during your interviews thats something you want to ask about, if you wish to be maximally indifferent. -Anand

  4. And of course, how much time you want to spend on the plane...

  5. WEMBA East or Wharton Full-Time?
    What are +ves and -ves?

  6. The classroom experience is different. Classroom discussions in EMBA are pretty awesome and you learn a lot from your classmates themselves. I can't speak to the fulltime program, but given the stage of career that EMBA folks are at, that will reflect in the quality of conversations and learning.

    If I had the time, I would still do the fulltime. The experience is a lot more relaxed compared to the EMBA. You get to do internships, explore career change options and do a lot of other things at your own time. EMBA is busy. Really busy. But most of you will get to apply what you learn in class the very next day at work. So its a lot more hands on in that sense. You can bring problems from work into class and learn from classmates and faculty about how to solve them.

    And of course there are the opportunity cost calculations ...

    - Anand