Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Class 36 Graduation

Given the importance and grandeur of the event, I didn't want to dilute it with any other title. Last Sunday I had the pleasure of rushing up to Herbst Theater after a weekend in school to watch all my friends from class 36 graduate officially from the program. Out of the initial cohort, 84 made it all the way to the end. My heartfelt congratulations to these brave souls for having weathered the storms and seen each other through to the end. An even bigger pat on the back to all their supportive families for having tolerated their impossible schedules for two years to make this day come true.

This day would not have been possible but for the incredible amount of work put in by the Wharton SF leadership and staff. We might be a small outfit out here in the Bay area for now, but watch us grow! It was an evening mixed with happiness and some regret - that I have another year to go as my erstwhile classmates are on their way out. But there's a right time for everything, and so it shall be.

It was also wonderful to see Prof. MacDuffie and Prof. Ziv Katalan at the event. Its a testament to both the size of cohorts and the individual attention we get from our faculty, as well as to the incredible memories and passion for teaching from these professors, that they still remember our names and backgrounds. There were several other faculty on the dias as well who I did not get to meet in person at the dinner, so all-in-all it was a special evening indeed!

My classmate, Howard Willson, or Howie (or Doc) as we call him, spoke eloquently to the class about their journey so far, so I can but be a cheap imitiation. What I find amazing about this class is the following. Even in the midst of busy careers and a demanding MBA schedule, there were 15 babies born to this cohort and 4 weddings. At least half a dozen companies started during these two years, while several others changed jobs or are in the process of doing so, some making moves to other countries. The Career Management Services at SF is growing slowly but surely in the able hands of Steve Hernandez and quite a few of my classmates were able to benefit from interactions with him and the CMS team. Having watched class 36 from the sidelines in year 2, what was incredible to me was that several  of these folks ended up accomplishing what they used to state as their goals from the MBA program at the start of the program.

After the graduation ceremony at Herbst Theater, the class went across the street to City Hall where we all had dinner with friends, families and faculty. In most of the faces, you could see relief, happiness and some remorse that the program was over and they all go their separate ways, for now.

Given that the program is in the SiliconValley, I wanted to end on a note about entrepreneurship. Both class 36 and 37 have an amazing number of students interested in starting companies, or ones that already have started companies. The administration is consciously helping steep the students in this culture as well, through programs such as the Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs, workshops, Venture Initiation Program, and a host of electives in the second year focused around entrepreneurship. What is also interesting that many of these startups came out of a combination of personal pain-points in the life of the founder(s) and some insight they gained out of the program itself, or a co-founder that they found through Wharton. You can either talk about entrepreneurship, which people like me do pretty well, or actually go do something about it, like these classmates of mine have shown. In the words of Emily Dickinson:

“Finite to fail, but infinite to venture.
For the one ship that struts the shore
Many’s the gallant, overwhelmed creature
Nodding in navies nevermore.”

Hope to see that spirit running high in all the cohorts to come!


  1. As their work amount has been raised up very quickly and for this reason they have to start their work son.So that they can delivery that in the mean time.So i really appreciate their spirit here.

    Led Monitor

  2. Thanking you,
    Your blog is very informative for us. And this is very genuine information about Courses in Management. Want to know more about Executive MBA.

  3. NICE BLOG!!! Education is the process of bringing desirable change into the behavior of human beings. It can also be defined as the “Process of imparting or acquiring knowledge or habits through instruction or study”. Thanks for sharing a nice information.
    top Fashion Design colleges in Kolkata

  4. Top Executive MBA programs are very desirable for busy executives and business professionals who are pursuing the heights of their professional careers and have coveted to augment their managing expertise by earning an MBA degree.

  5. Good sharing, the Edinburgh Business School MBA is delivered at Heriot-Watt University Malaysia campus at Putrajaya on a part-time basis. Lessons are carried out at the weekends to suit busy professionals who work during the weekdays. The essence of this weekend programme is whatever the participant learns at the weekend can be implemented at work come Monday, at work. This enables working students to put their newly developed skills and knowledge into practice within mere hours. For detail visit: