Student Diaries

Our Diarists

Welcome to the Wharton MBA Student Diaries. As Student Life Fellows, we invest our time into developing personal relationships with the incoming class as they settle into life in Philadelphia. Our goal for this blog is to provide you, potential Wharton MBAs, with a deeper understanding of what makes Wharton, Wharton – through academics, admissions, careers, clubs, conferences, leadership opportunities, and of course, every day student life. We hope that you’ll take some time to read below, get to know a bit about us, and learn more about our uniquely collaborative environment here at Wharton. Enjoy!

Being a Veteran at Wharton

On the first day of pre-term in August before our first semester began our cluster (~220 students, there are four clusters in each class) was instructed to congregate by pre-MBA industry. Having spent two years in finance after the Marine Corps, I consciously moved towards the finance group. This wayRead More

, , ,

#WhartonDoesPC: Wharton’s awesome takeover of Park City, Utah

Wondering what Wharton students do to escape the cold February weather in Philadelphia? They go skiing in Park City, Utah, of course! With record high temperatures in the 50’s, Park City hosted over 1000 Whartonites for a sunny ski weekend the first week of February. As Co-Presidents of the WhartonRead More

, , , , ,

Everyone gets a job, FRP is just the start!

Thinking back to this time last year, I remember I was studying hard for interviews and feeling extremely nervous about the week to come. Every day I would go from feeling totally prepared for interviews to being sure I would never get a job. So if you are feeling anythingRead More

, , ,

P3: Purpose, Passion, and Principles at Wharton

“There is no foolproof system that always leads to success.” – Prof. G. Richard Shell (Springboard: Launching Your Personal Search for Success) This is the statement to which my classmates and I constantly find ourselves returning, as part of P3 (“Purpose, Passion, Principles”), a unique program that encourages Wharton MBAs toRead More

, ,

Education outside the Classroom: A Closer Look at the Wharton Beer & Brewmasters’ Guild

If you were anything like me, you arrived at Wharton and were a bit overwhelmed with the number of clubs — career, cultural, athletic, community, and social — there were to choose from; now, after checking a few obvious ones off the list like my career-focused club, Ski Club, MBARead More


Venturing Out of the Classroom – Wharton Leadership Ventures

Summiting mountains, traversing glaciers, sailing boats, hiking across remote wilderness – while this might have described an ideal (if not really relaxing) outdoors vacation, they weren’t activities I anticipated as being part of my business school education. Luckily for me, almost all of them have been, all due to myRead More

, ,

Wharton FinTech

By Daniel McAuley and Steve Weiner Daniel McAuley and Steve Weiner are first-year MBA students at The Wharton School and Co-Founders of Wharton FinTech. Prior to Wharton, Daniel was a Financial Engineer and Director at Verus Analytics, and Steve spent six years in the US Navy’s Submarine Force and workedRead More

Hogfest: Weekend Full of Rugby

This past fall I got the opportunity to plan one of the biggest social events in the fall, Hogfest. This annual rugby tournament takes place in the fall and brings together MBA rugby teams from all of the globe. The men’s and women’s team spend all of first quarter practicingRead More

Stretch Yo Self

When I decided to go to Wharton, I remember wanting stretch experiences. But I never expected that to mean performing stand-up comedy to a sold-out room of over 250 peers… Business school gave me the opportunity to push myself both inside and outside the classroom. Because of Wharton’s non-grade disclosure, IRead More


The Process – Navigating Career Opportunities

As a non-traditional business school student with a biomedical engineering background, I wanted to use my time in business school to build business experience and explore other career interests. Prior to school I worked in Clinical Studies at a medical device company and had little knowledge of the business world.Read More

Career Spotlight: Consulting

“Why do people say ‘outside the box’ when the term ‘outside the box’ is inside the box?” – Marty Kaan Three and a half years ago, I left the Marine Corps to pursue a passion of mine from undergrad, finance. I became a trader at an investment bank and itRead More

YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS IT: The Whitney M. Young Conference

My first introduction to the amazing and welcoming community at Wharton was in 2011 at the Whitney M. Young conference. At that point, I had no interest in pursuing my MBA and had simply been invited to accompany a good friend, who was a student at the time and wantedRead More

Wharton Women: Working to Eliminate the Gender Gap

It would be a lie for me to say that I had never once questioned my ability to succeed in business, particularly in the fast-driven and competitive field of management consulting. In my three years consulting prior to business school, I hit a few road bumps, pulled a few tooRead More


Welcome to Life as a Wharton MBA

“Congratulations and Welcome to Wharton!” This was the refrain heard over and over as the senior administration greeted the Class of 2016 at the opening Welcome Ceremony of Pre-Term 2014 held in the Annenberg Performing Arts on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania. Following addresses from the Vice Dean,Read More

Law School and B-School Debates

At Penn Law, I have really enjoyed the Socratic method of learning. With this method, Professors encourage students to question their beliefs about the facts of a case, as well as what the law ought to be. This method facilitates debate amongst students. It doesn’t come as a surprise thatRead More

Internship Search: Changing Your Mind

When I came to Wharton, I had one mission: Get a marketing internship at a top Beauty company. I wrote about it in my admission essays. I networked with 2nd years that had just returned from the type of firms I wanted to join. I analyzed print ad after printRead More

, , ,

Wharton Leadership Ventures: Five Myths Debunked

I spent Spring break on the Patagonia Leadership Venture and it is without a doubt one of the best things I have done at Wharton. The Wharton Leadership Venture Program is designed to help MBA students develop better leadership skills by placing participants in challenging situations outside of the classroom. ThereRead More

My Experience with the Team Based Discussion

I have to admit that I was not that intimidated by the addition of the Team Based Discussion to the interview process. As an athlete my entire life and as a management consultant prior to attending Wharton, collaborating in a team environment is when I feel most in my element. What didRead More

Going home for Winter Break

For many of my classmates, Winter Break was the opportunity to do something that they ordinarily would not have done on their own – whether it was trekking through Antarctica, exploring the hidden wonders of foreign country that only a local could show them, or meeting executives and dignitaries inRead More

Wharton Winter Break in India

After wrapping up my first semester courses and visiting my parents in Florida for the Christmas holiday, I boarded an Emirates Airbus A380 en route to Mumbai for the 2-week Wharton Global Immersion Program (GIP) in India. The GIP trips combine an on-the-ground education in the economic, cultural and geopoliticalRead More

, , ,

Time to Get Ourselves a Job

Congrats to everyone who was accepted first-round to Wharton! You are going to love it here! As you all start making plans to quit your jobs, prepare for school, and plan summer vacations with your free time, all of us here at Wharton are looking to do the exact opposite.Read More

, , ,

Second Year Fall Semester

Okay, I know winter break has come and gone. Wharton students have already returned from their world travels. But meanwhile, I am still processing this past fall. My last fall at Wharton wasn’t as free as I thought it would be. Yes business school is supposed to be busy, butRead More

How First Years Spend Winter Break

Finals are over! One semester is done! It’s winter break! Wait, not so fast…. There are a few lucky first year students who scored their internship offers last summer, this fall, or came in sponsored by their employer. However, for the majority of the first year class, summer is aRead More

One Semester (Almost) Down at Wharton

Nearly a year ago today, I received a phone call while eating breakfast from Ankur Kumar, who was then the Director of MBA Admissions for The Wharton School. To say that the past 12 months have been a whirlwind would be an understatement. Yet, through all of the experiences thatRead More

Winter in Philadelphia

The cold has officially arrived.  It hasn’t actually snowed yet, but it still feels like the dead of winter.  I’m from Philadelphia, so I should be used to this weather by now.  But every year I find myself unprepared for the drastic weather change.  I’ve noticed a lot of studentsRead More

, ,

Meeting a (dark) Power Ranger!

One of the guest lecturers in our marketing class was the lovely Jennifer Yen. Jennifer is the founder of Purlisse cosmetics, but before she became an entrepreneur, she was the dark empress on the Power Rangers! (No joke, look it up!) As an actress, Jennifer had to wear tons ofRead More

, , ,

Morning Routine

This may sound ridiculous, but one of my biggest concerns when coming to Wharton was… “so… how do I get to campus?” For the 98.174% (unconfirmed) of the MBA population living in Center City, you are looking at a 1-2 mile trek to Huntsman Hall. You may be thinking –Read More

, ,

Social Impact Recruiting

Recruiting is generally divided into two buckets: mature (companies come to campus and have a clear recruiting timetable) and enterprise (do-it-yourself). Social impact definitely falls into the latter category and at first, it can seem daunting because: Companies do not come to campus – you have to find them ThereRead More

, , ,

Work hard, play hard

Wharton is such a “work hard, play hard” culture…or maybe I should say a “play hard, work hard” culture… This past Thursday was Halloween and of course Wharton threw a huge costume party at one of the Philly night clubs.  I went as a purple crayon with a group ofRead More

, ,

The Recruiting Season Begins

I feel like I just quit my job but the search for a new one is already under way.  Everyone told me that the recruiting season would come up fast, but I guess I didn’t really believe them.  In this post, I want to give you a more detailed lookRead More

, ,

Post-exam reflections

We just finished our first round of exams, and I can’t think of a better time for self-reflection. One of the best parts of Wharton’s large student body is that it is easy to find someone whose approach to exams matches yours; people here run the gamut from super stressedRead More

What is the team-based discussion all about anyway…

Congratulations on submitting your Round 1 application! Wharton will be the best two years of your life! Now, let’s get you past that curve-ball team-based interview…. My two main points about the team-based interview are these: 1) it is an excellent way for Wharton to evaluate you as a person.Read More

The Spirit that is Wharton

You will read a lot about the events, ventures, treks, and courses that make Wharton a truly amazing place to be. I will devote this post to what I feel is Wharton’s biggest asset – the students. All through pre-term, I continued to be amazed at the different perspectives, theRead More

, ,

What’s Wrong With Wharton? …Nothing at all!

The Wall Street Journal recently released an article titled, “What’s Wrong With Wharton?”  It basically says that Wharton has lost its luster because applications have been down over the last couple of years.  Students see Wharton as a finance school, but since there aren’t as many finance jobs out there,Read More

, ,

All Things Social Impact

I’ll be honest, I am pretty green when it comes to social impact – I have a traditional finance background and other than a couple of volunteering stints, I have not had much experience on the ground. That’s why I came to Wharton. So if you are interested in socialRead More

, , ,

Lessons from Pre-Term/Quarter 1

Wow. It seems like just yesterday that my husband and I packed up our small one bedroom apartment in Chicago, drove a Uhaul across the treacherous Pennsylvania turnpike (seriously, who puts a stop sign at an on-ramp?!?), and unpacked into our even-smaller one bedroom apartment in Center City. The pastRead More



Pre-Term is Wharton’s MBA orientation, although it’s a bit longer than other programs’ as it lasts for 3 weeks. The first week is the true orientation. The entire MBA class of ~850 students is divided into 4 Clusters of ~215 students, which meet in the same homeroom during the weekRead More

Seven weeks in and we haven’t stopped

A year ago, I was scrambling to read and reread my applications before pressing “submit.” Truth be told, there was not one application (with a set round deadline) that I didn’t submit before the actual day that it was due. Two months later, I was interviewing. Three months later, IRead More

, , , ,

My Summer at Venmo

I almost decided to not return to Wharton for my 2nd year. I made all of the appropriate phone calls, found out how to cancel my loans, and even scoped out apartments in NYC. Why? Not because I don’t love Wharton, but because I loved my summer internship at Venmo! IRead More

, , , ,

From Waitlist to Wharton

I applied to Wharton during second round and got the dreaded “waitlist” email in March.  Ugh, more waiting. I just wanted to know what my future held.  Round 3 came and went and I was still on the waitlist.  By the time summer arrived, I had basically given up hope. Read More

, ,

Procrastinators Anonymous

Why do something today when you can put it off for tomorrow? Let’s be honest, working hard may pay off eventually, but laziness pays off now! An expert procrastinator myself, I can recognize procrastination when I see it. And I have seen a lot of it during pre-term. In fact,Read More

, ,

My Summer Travel & Internship

I can’t believe I have just one year left. It’s a scary thought, that I’m running out of time to take classes like Customer Behavior and Healthcare Services — elective classes that led me to Wharton in the first place. Before I dig in on the details of this year,Read More

, , ,

Cold, Tired and Hungry: A Tribute to Wharton Leadership Ventures

I have a confession: I’m a Leadership Venture junkie. It all started with Cotopaxi in January 2012, during my first year at Wharton. Towards the end of that school year, as I became a freshly minted Venture Fellow, I sat in a Huntsman classroom listening to outgoing VFs rattle offRead More

, , , ,

1st Year

1st year done. I can’t believe it. It moves faster than you expect, I find myself frantically planning out my last couple weeks, grabbing coffees every day with as many of my classmates as I can. This summer I’ll be at Facebook in NYC, working as a “Creative Social MediaRead More

, , , , , , , ,

Grad school: A Good Time To Do What You’re Bad At

Critical to getting the best return on your grad school investment is making a concerted effort to identify and remediate your biggest weaknesses. And if you can leverage one of your strengths in the process – even better. For me, one of my most obvious weaknesses coming into Penn wasRead More


New Year (and new classes)

The fall semester finished with a bang. I did really well in my classes and performed best in stats and operations (definitely my two favorites). I’ve sent in one internship application (to IDEO) and will be sending out another six this week to other innovation firms and to innovation groupsRead More

, , ,

Turducken, Turducken, and more Turducken, please

This semester Wharton introduced me to world-renowned professors, engaging classmates, and oodles of leadership opportunities. However, I’m most smitten with my latest Wharton discovery: Turducken! Turducken is Kim Wong’s genius invention. It’s a turkey stuffed with duck stuffed with chicken. Talk about synergy. The three pieces of meat add upRead More


Recruiting Madness

Formal recruiting is finally over! All of the horror stories that you have heard are true. You will start your day with an 8 AM coffee chat with McBain, go to class, go to a lunch coffee chat with Pomegranate, have back to back calls for 3 hours, head toRead More


Love For Pub

Pub is a beloved Wharton tradition. Each Thursday, the entire student body convenes around 4:30 pm to devour pizza and guzzle motivational beverages. It’s my favorite part of the week. I see people I might not see otherwise, stuff my face with free food, and celebrate the onset of aRead More


Wharton Healthcare Rocks

One of the best parts of Wharton so far has been the sheer breadth of experience and network of my fellow healthcare classmates, and how much they teach me whether in class, over meals, or over party jaunts to Atlantic City (thanks, Wharton three-day weekends!). In our healthcare class thisRead More


And it begins…

AHHHHH, I’m at Wharton!!!! I want to scream out loud with joy. I’m thrilled, excited, and a bit nervous to be here. We’ve just reached the one-week mark in Pre-Term and I’ve already shifted into high gear. My adrenaline is pumping, my mind is racing, and my sleep is lacking.Read More


Around the World in World in 18 Days: (Unemployed) Wharton Globe Trotters

‘How was your Winter break?’ The second semester’s answer to ‘What is your name?’ headlines most conversations I’ve had with friends in the two short weeks since our returns from the remotest corners of earth. ‘Antarctica was pretty cool. The landscape was desolate, and I didn’t see darkness for 8Read More

, , ,

Welcome to DIP: Or, Winter Break Is Already a Distant Memory

A lot has happened since I last wrote, faithful readers. First semester finished with a bang, i.e., an exam period with five exams and one final paper in a seven-day span (yikes!). Then came winter break, during which my fellow classmates and I scattered to far corners of the world,Read More

, , , , ,

How can we improve this page?