Student Life is Reborn in Center City

It’s 6:45pm on a Wednesday and the place is already buzzing. A student waits nervously outside a conference room rehearsing lines for an audition. In the main room, Rihanna plays overhead as students eat, mix and mingle, catching up with friends old and new. Elsewhere, student teams work on group projects and executive coaches meet with students to help them better understand their leadership style. It’s just another day at Wharton’s new 2401 Walnut Street Student Life space.

View of campus from 2401 Walnut Street
View of campus from 2401 Walnut Street

The 2401 Walnut space, along with a new Pub at the Armory, are just two of the latest innovations in Wharton’s Student Life lineup. With their addition, Wharton now boasts some of the best student life space of any business school in the country.

Both locations were the brainchild of Dr. Kembrel Jones, Deputy Vice Dean for Student Life. Five years ago he envisioned a student life space that would be exclusive to grad students – a place that students could make their own and build a strong MBA community.
“We wanted to bring student life to the students,” Kembrel said.

The two new student life spots are conveniently located in center city Philadelphia where most students live – making them ideal for a drop by on the way home from class in West Philadelphia.

He notes that the location of the new pub – just a couple of blocks from 2401 Walnut – has changed who’s coming. “The number of students at Pub is increasing. We also now have more second years in attendance and more partners.”

Inside the Armory - home to the Wharton MBA Pub
Inside the Armory – home to the Wharton MBA Pub

His vision five years ago also included the hiring of four Associate Directors of Student Life. This vision was realized two years ago. Along with a team of Student Life Fellows, the Associate Director’s mission is to build community and maximize the experience of the first and second year MBA classes. They advise students on all aspects of student life at their offices, also in the 2401 space.

Here’s what you need to know about each of the new digs at Wharton:

2401 Walnut Student Life Space
The new MBA Student Life space, located at 2401 Walnut Street in Philadelphia, boasts stunning panoramic views of Philadelphia and 19,613 square feet of space to meet, study, and socialize. The floor features a large multi-purpose meeting room, state-of-the-art conference rooms, and more than 20 group study rooms. Conveniently located close to center city, where most MBA students live, it is a welcoming hub used for everything from case study practice to interviews, executive coaching, cluster suppers, and dance practice. During the summer, it’s home to Wharton’s many entrepreneurs who use the space as an incubator for start-ups.

MBA Pub at the Armory
Amidst the residential and commercial structures of center city Philadelphia, the Armory is hard to miss. This fortress-like castle is steeped in history. It was built in 1901 and houses the oldest cavalry unit in continuous service in the United States. In fact, this troop acted as George Washington’s personal bodyguard in the Revolutionary War. Today the Armory serves a completely different sort of troop: MBA students. Each week, beer trucks, caterers, a DJ – and even a stage if necessary – roll through the enormous doors of the Armory – to prepare for that time-honored tradition, Wharton Pub. It’s here that students meet and relax after a tough week of classes. When you enter the building, you’ll notice a cavernous space, complete with high ceilings. Since it opened a few months ago, the pub has already hosted a dance competition, a Rainbow Pub (pub where the administrators and faculty dress up in drag to support the LGBT community), and a Date Auction. Many more events are in the works for the spring.

To learn more about what’s taking place on the student life front, please join the Student Life team and MBA Admissions for a Student Life at Wharton Webinar on Tuesday, February 4, 2014. To learn more and register for the event, please click here.