Showcasing the Team Dynamic

On February 11th we will be sending out invitations for Round 2 Team-Based Discussions. In the past, I’ve highlighted the logistical aspects of the TBD and we’ve shared a student’s personal experience. I know that many of you still have questions about how to best prepare for the TBD and what to bring to the table when you show up for one – I’d like to take a moment and demystify some of this for you.

The goal of the TBD is to give all prospective students the opportunity to show us who they are and demonstrate key skills such as communication, leadership, peer-to-peer interaction, decision-making, etc. Going into this next level of the admissions process, many of you are already pretty prepared – you’ve worked in teams for years. Make sure you tap into these experiences and skills – this will set you on the right track.

Everyone’s TBD experience will be different. That is the nature of the exercise. Each interview group will be unique in its dynamic and content.  We want to see how you integrate and engage with your peers – part of what we’re looking for is how you quickly adapt to the particular group dynamic at play.

Your approach to the TBD will be a balance between being prepared and adapting to the situation. Use your instincts and knowledge of what works best in a team-based setting to navigate the exercise.  Consider the following elements:

Flexibility: Team dynamics are constantly changing. The challenges a team faces can vary from moment to moment. Don’t come in with pre-conceived notions about how you’ll contribute.

The overall process:  How can you provide value to ensure that best possible outcome for your team? Does your team need more brainstorming? Do they need more clarity around the proposed ideas?

Your skills and strengths:  What are different approaches/tactics that you have used in past team settings and how can they help move the team forward? Is a strength of yours providing structure for the group – or do you prefer to generate new ideas?

The absence of a “right way”: Be yourself. There is no specific role that is expected of you; get a feel for the group dynamic and let the rest fall into place.

The TBD is an opportunity for you to express yourself both as an individual and a member of a functioning team. Remember to balance these two roles during this exercise and make the most of it!  This is your time to show us that you are a fit for Wharton as an individual, and also a Wharton community and team member.

Interviews will take place starting in late February. Similar to Round 1, we will be holding TBDs on campus, in Philadelphia, as well as in Dubai, London, Mumbai, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, and Tokyo. All invited candidates are encouraged to interview on-campus or in the off-campus location that is most convenient for you.

I hope that this information helps to provide further insight into the TBD. As always, reach out to the office directly if any questions should arise. Thanks, again, for your interest in the program and I hope to meet many of you in person during the coming weeks.

Maryellen Reilly
Deputy Vice Dean, MBA Admissions, Financial Aid and Career Management