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 did keep me up at night about the group interview was standing out amongst my peers who are all very intelligent and quite accomplished! How do I strike that balance of showing that I am a team player while also making a good impression on the Admissions Committee? However, when I entered Vance Hall before my interview, my nerves were soon put at ease. I couldn’t help but to be blown away by the immense energy in the waiting room. There were several groups of six in the area and rather than everyone keeping to themselves, practicing their already perfected pitch just one last time, all of the candidates were so eager to get to know the other applicants in the room. At that time, we didn’t know which five applicants were going to accompany us in our individual group discussions – but that didn’t matter. There was lots of laughter and smiling faces in the room as we all knew the moment would soon come when we would be collaborating with someone we just bonded with in the waiting area.
I had two familiar faces in my Team Based Discussion and went to MBA Pub with three more candidates after our interviews were complete for the day. It was such a relief to have already met some of my group members before the actual interview and even more refreshing to grab a drink with a larger group right after our individual interviews were over! For me, the group interview was an opportunity to start bonding with my classmates much earlier on in the application process. In the past, the first time you would meet your classmates was either at Welcome Weekend or during Pre-Term. However, since the group interview was such a collaborative experience, I exchanged contact information with those I interviewed with on that day and kept in touch through the final decision day. Instead of meeting everyone for the first time at Welcome Weekend, it was nice to recongnize a few familiar faces going into the much anticipated, fun-filled Welcome Weekend and the first day of Pre-Term!
Interviews of all formats can be quite stressful, but what was special about Wharton’s Team Based Discussion was the opportunity to start forming lasting friendships six months before the semester started. Some of the candidates that I interviewed with and connected with were also accepted and are still my friends today! That wouldn’t have been possible without the Team Based Discussion.
Eugena Brown, WG15