Wharton Team-Based Discussions: Mumbai

IMG_2432As one of the new members of the Wharton MBA Admissions and Financial Aid Office I am both elated and passionate to be on the team that is working in partnership with so many talented people to continue to keep Wharton renowned and strong.

In my short tenure I have been welcomed by a community of passionate Wharton brand ambassadors. From Faculty, staff, students, alumni, and even applicants I could not have asked for a warmer welcome and desire to do all that is possible to be involved in the MBA Admissions process. It has provided me with so much confidence, support, and guidance to ensure that I guide our applicants’ to the best individual to serve them.

A week ago I departed for Mumbai, India to represent Wharton and facilitate our TBD (Team Based Discussions) for Round 2. This was my first visit to India and first major trip for Wharton and it didn’t even occur to me until I was literally ON THE PLANE heading to London and then on to Mumbai that I was going to India. Wow! How can this get any better?

Immediately upon arrival I was greeted by so much warmth, enthusiasm, and heartfelt care by India. My hotel has meticulously kept close tabs on me to ensure my visit was pleasant the entire time. I’m sure it will please my mother to know I’m in good hands. I had about a 36 hours to explore Mumbai (also known as Bombay) prior to the start of the TBD.

I was able to visit key sites such as Elephonta Island, Taj mahal hotel, gateway of India, and the Mani Bhavan (a focal point and residence of Ghandi and his many political activities). Wow! Enlightening and spiritual beyond anything I’ve ever experienced!  How can it get any better?

Come Monday of this week began my TBDs with the applicants.  It did get better! Each of these students traveled from all over India and some came as far as Singapore, Australia, and Mozambique to interview for Wharton. Talk about commitment! To meet students that have accomplished so much personally and professionally, already exude and act on Wharton’s statement of “knowledge for action” was humbling. IMG_2442

I could continue to go on for lines, hours, or even days about my entire experience but what I’ll conclude this travelogue with is just one word. That word is optimism.

I believe that these future students of Wharton will have such a profound positive impact on our world.  It is gratifying to know that the future is unwritten and that so many talented students desire to utilize the Wharton resources and community to embody the mission, vision, and spirit of Wharton for a better future.  These students will not ride waves, they are already making waves!

One applicant mentioned to me a student blog this week from Wharton (which I will read on my flight home to Philadelphia tonight) that Wharton is a community of superheroes.  I cannot agree more that this community of superheroes has an innate desire to serve, act, engage, empower, and fulfill the expectations of the future.

I am wholeheartedly optimistic of our future because of Wharton, our alums, current and future students that I am energized and empowered to do all that I can with the MBA admissions team to recruit and matriculate the world’s best to Wharton.

—William Houder, Admissions Committee