Tag Archives: Wharton School
January 13, 2014
This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com 2013 may well become known as the year of the massive open online course, commonly abbreviated MOOC, as more and more prestigious business …
This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com
2013 may well become known as the year of the massive open online course, commonly abbreviated MOOC, as more and more prestigious business schools began offering their courses for free to anyone in the world with an Internet connection.
Stanford Graduate School of Business, University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, Michigan’s Ross School of Business and Spain’s IE Business School are just a few of the top MBA programs bringing their courses to the people, and it seems more are joining the party every month.
Most elite schools use the Palo Alto-based education company Coursera to host their MOOC content. While universities don’t offer official credit for their MOOCs, some offer participants a certificate – either free or for a fee – confirming completion of the course and a demonstrated understanding of the material.
In the fall, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Harvard Business School and HEC Paris announced they will offer numerous MOOCs as a way to enhance the academic experience and allow teaching to go beyond the confines of the classroom. HEC Paris is the first business school in France to launch a MOOC and will offer two courses, European law and corporate finance, in early spring 2014.
When announcing the news, HEC Dean Bernard Ramanantsoa said, “This partnership with Coursera offers HEC an opportunity to open up our courses to people who might not usually have access to higher education, whether for practical or economic considerations. Sharing our faculty’s expertise with the general public at no cost is a truly exciting and meaningful challenge.”
Meanwhile, with the Wharton MBA Foundation Series, faculty teach four core classes in financial accounting, operations management, marketing and corporate finance, allowing students all over the world to learn the same material a first-year Wharton MBA student would.
“This is the first time that a business school has bundled a collection of MOOCs together in this fashion,” Don Huesman, managing director of the innovation group at Wharton, told Bloomberg Businessweek in September. “We’re taking our core required classes in the MBA program, with the same instructors, to provide those same core concepts.”
Harvard Business School is playing it close to the vest with its initial foray into online education, perhaps because it must consider how to impart its knowledge to the masses without tarnishing the school’s venerable brand.
Brian C. Kenny, chief marketing and communications officer for HBS, told The Chronicle of Higher Education that the school needs to figure out how to translate its signature pedagogical technique, the case method, to an online educational experience.
“Whether or not the case method can work online,” said Kenny, “is a question that we haven’t answered yet.”
For its part, Darden has upcoming courses in foundations of business strategy, smart growth for private businesses, design thinking for business innovation and new models of business in society. Darden’s Dean Bob Bruner remarked in an interview that the school is proud to be one of the most active schools in online learning.
“Everyone says ‘you’re a business school, why are you giving it away for free,’” Bruner said, but he explains that “MOOCs are consistent with our mission and we’re learning a great deal about digital instruction with practice.”
These online courses may also be one of the best marketing tools the schools have at their fingertips. As Bruner noted, MOOCs are “helping a part of the world to learn about Darden, a population that was pretty much oblivious to the existence of the school beforehand.”
For MBA applicants wondering whether to enroll in a MOOC at one of their target schools, I say go for it. There’s no harm in getting an early taste of the course work to come, and the experience might actually help inform your decision to apply or allow you to reference something concrete about the curriculum in your essays.
The courses typically require a high level of motivation to complete, and doing so shows a commitment to self-improvement the admissions committee would find laudable.
Just don’t make the mistake of thinking that completing a set of MOOCs from Wharton will put you in the same league as a student on campus. The conversations that occur in class and out, and the networking opportunities business school provides, remain the most valuable aspects of the MBA experience.
No one is exactly sure yet how free online courses factor into the world of students, nonstudents and applicants. Does it merely offer a taste of the school, or will it one day replace live classes? Right now, this kind of online learning is still in its infancy, but it is a very real part of the education world and good to experiment with rather than ignore.
October 18, 2013
Whether you’re in the midst of the school selection process or have already applied, it may be helpful to have some background on those who are at the helm of some of the top-ranked MBA programs. Today, we’ll highlight Thomas S. Robertson, who has held the position of dean at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School since August 2007. In April 2013, he announced his plans to step down in June 2014, when his term ends.
A seasoned business school administrator and a member of the Wharton faculty from 1971 to 1994, he has long been a champion of international and interdisciplinary education. Since returning to Wharton as dean, his focus has been to expand Penn’s global footprint while advancing Wharton as a force for social and economic good. Robertson’s primary areas of focus while dean have been innovation, global initiatives, and social impact.
From 1994 to 1998, he was Sainsbury Professor, Chair of Marketing, and Deputy Dean of the London Business School in charge of the school’s portfolio of degree and non-degree programs. Robertson was Dean of Emory’s Goizueta Business School from 1998 to 2004, and is widely credited with positioning the school as an international leader in business education.
October 9, 2013
In her first post to the admissions blog following Ankur Kumar‘s departure last week, Wharton School‘s deputy vice dean for MBA admissions, Maryellen Lamb, provided a thorough walk-through of the team-based discussion component and shared …
In her first post to the admissions blog following Ankur Kumar‘s departure last week, Wharton School‘s deputy vice dean for MBA admissions, Maryellen Lamb, provided a thorough walk-through of the team-based discussion component and shared news of an uptick in R1 applications this season.
So, what’s this team-based exercise? Invited candidates will have the chance to work together with a handful of their fellow applicants to solve real-world business scenarios as a team. According to the school, this exercise demonstrates how they approach and analyze specific situations and interact with other people, two critical components of Wharton’s team-focused learning style.
Despite applicants’ natural trepidation, Lamb says there are 837 first-years on campus who survived the experience and actually enjoyed it. Here, she shares the nitty gritty of this new interview format:
- As with our one-on-one interview, Team-Based Discussion will be by invitation only. Participation is required to complete the admissions process.
- Each Team-Based Discussion will be comprised of 5-6 applicants. Teams will be a function of who signs up – there is no ‘crafting’ done on our end. The discussion will have a prompt and a purpose – that is, there is a tangible outcome you will be working towards.
- Applicants selected to interview will receive the Team-Based Discussion prompt prior to their interview. We recommend that you spend about an hour in advance preparing for the discussion.
- Candidates will continue to have an opportunity for a short individual conversation with an Admissions team member, which will follow the Team-Based Discussion exercise.
- The majority of Team-Based Discussion interviews will continue to be held on-campus and conducted by our Admissions Fellows, a select group of second-year students. We encourage you to take advantage of our visit program when you come to campus to experience life at Wharton firsthand.
- During each evaluation round we will continue to host Team-Based Discussions in select cities around the world. These sessions will be conducted by Admissions officers.
- On- and off-campus Team-Based Discussions will be conducted in the same way and considered equally. There is no ‘advantage’ in choosing either option.
“…Interviewees came away from the day impressed by the type of students that they could be in class with and gained a group of contacts going through a similar experience,” Lamb says. “The early camaraderie was an unintended effect, but one we enjoyed witnessing throughout the process.”
Stacy Blackman Consulting has introduced live group practice sessions this year to help applicants with this fun but challenging new interview format. Find out more about our interview prep options with moderators who have admissions experience at both Wharton and Michigan Ross School of Business, which has also introduced an optional, though strongly encouraged, group exercise component.
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October 3, 2013
After nearly five years in MBA admissions at the Wharton School, director Ankur Kumar has decided to leave her post, effective tomorrow. In an entry posted on the admissions blog, Kumar gives notice of her …
After nearly five years in MBA admissions at the Wharton School, director Ankur Kumar has decided to leave her post, effective tomorrow. In an entry posted on the admissions blog, Kumar gives notice of her departure to applicants and explains that the timing of her leave—which comes just days after the round one deadline October 1st—is because she didn’t want to leave in the middle of this year’s application cycle.
In July, Bloomberg Businessweek reported on the sharp drop in applications to Wharton last year, down 6 percent while other top ten schools reported increases, making many wonder about the timing of her decision to move on to other, non-specified, ventures.
Kumar denies the connection, telling Businessweek Wednesday that this decision is unrelated and “absolutely not” the reason she’s leaving. Rather, she indicates the new team-based admissions interview likely scared off many applicants. Deputy Vice Dean Maryellen Lamb will replace Kumar, at least temporarily, the school said in a memo distributed by Dean Tom Robertson and Vice Dean Howie Kaufold.
The spotlight first hit Wharton in the Wall Street Journal‘s September 27th story, “What’s Wrong with Wharton?“ Melissa Korn‘s piece attributes much of the school’s current troubles to its sluggish reaction during the financial crisis. Long known as a top feeder to Wall Street, Wharton’s finance-focused students struggled when it came time to find work in investment banks and brokerage firms post-MBA.
Meanwhile, “Top institutions—and the Philadelphia-based school is still in that class—responded to the downturn by restructuring their courses and seeking students from less-traditional business backgrounds,” Korn explains.
Despite all the seemingly bad press, the outlook for Wharton is still solid, notes editor John Byrne of Poets& Quants. The school continues to increase female enrollment at a higher percentage than either Harvard or Stanford, and surpassed all previous job placement records this year, with 97.8% of the class landing an offer three months after graduation.
There’s a lot of interesting information, and sometimes contradictory opinions, reported in each of these stories linked above. We encourage applicants to explore the issue further if Wharton is on your short-list of schools.
September 30, 2013
This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com People typically pursue an MBA because they are looking to improve their career opportunities and increase their future income. What some applicants don’t …
This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com
People typically pursue an MBA because they are looking to improve their career opportunities and increase their future income. What some applicants don’t consider is that you can achieve both of those objectives even if you don’t make it into the business programs at Harvard, Wharton or Stanford.
While rankings are a valuable piece of the puzzle when you’re narrowing down your school list, don’t get hung up on the top few programs. It’s more important to be pragmatic and align your expectations with the MBA programs that match your particular profile, particularly if your GMAT score isn’t through the roof or your career trajectory has stalled out.
MBA programs update their career or recruiting reports annually and post them online, so a good strategy is to think about the company or industry you want to work in, and find out whether they recruit at your target schools.
[Research b-schools that match your learning style and personality.]
For example, top MBA employers including McKinsey & Co., Goldman Sachs, Boston Consulting Group, Bain & Co. and Deloitte Consulting recruit heavily at the most elite schools. But they also recruit other schools, such as at UCLA Anderson School of Management, Emory’s Goizueta Business School and Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business. These graduate business schools all placed in the Top 25 of the 2014 U.S. News Best Graduate Schools rankings.
While most schools don’t disclose the number of hires per company, MBA applicants can extrapolate that you might not need to get into a top school in order to land at the company of your dreams.
A few years ago, our client Priya had her sights set on attending one of the top three ranked schools in the U.S. However, as her consultant worked with her on her applications, it became apparent that her chances of admission were less than ideal.
Priya had taken a few swings at the GMAT, but test-taking was a significant weakness for her and her scores topped out at 640. She had a few years of work experience, but promotion freezes had left her stuck at her initial position without advancement.
[Find out how to fix a low GMAT score.]
Priya was starting to wonder if she should apply to business school at all. Before letting her quit, Priya’s consultant asked why she wanted to apply to those top three schools.
Priya wanted to work in corporate finance at a specific Fortune 500 firm after graduating, and had chosen the top schools where that company heavily recruited. With her career goal in mind, Priya and her consultant decided to change strategies.
Since an MBA was the key to achieving her career goals, Priya cast a wider net to include schools ranked in the top 50. She also retooled her application to emphasize her specific, concrete career plan, which helped shift focus away from her weaknesses.
Priya found a great fit in the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. Though not as competitive for admission as the very top schools, it ranks No. 20 in the U.S. News rankings and in the top twenty of several other lists, and offers a concentration in corporate finance that Priya found appealing.
She maximized her academic and networking opportunities while on campus and found a job with her chosen finance firm after graduating using the skills and contacts she gained, rather than relying solely on recruiting. Priya is now moving up the ranks and is encouraged by the fact that her firm’s CEO obtained his MBA from a school that rarely even appears on a business school ranking list.
[Get MBA admissions tips for applicants with a finance background.]
Location is often overlooked by candidates choosing a b-school, but is extremely important. Recruiters give priority to candidates who have already lived or worked in the same region where the position is located, and graduates tend to gain employment near the geographic location of their MBA program.
While an MBA from Harvard opens doors anywhere, if you’re interested in working in the energy sector, you might have a better shot going where the energy industry thrives. Examples in the oil and gas industry include the University of Texas—Austin McCombs School of Business or Rice University’s Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business.
Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business offers an MBA concentration in energy & environment, as well as a new concentration in energy finance.
The point is, if you’re not going into finance or consulting, you have greater flexibility in finding a niche program that’s the right fit for you.
While a degree from an elite business school is a goal and dream for many, several factors – such as test scores, undergraduate academic performance and tuition costs – influence whether it’s a viable option. If you believe the degree is critical to your career goals, consider expanding your school options while still getting a great return on investment.
September 20, 2013
The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania has announced the creation of “Business Radio Powered by the Wharton School,” an exclusive, 24/7 channel on Sirius XM Radio featuring easily accessible information on a wide …
The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania has announced the creation of “Business Radio Powered by the Wharton School,” an exclusive, 24/7 channel on Sirius XM Radio featuring easily accessible information on a wide range of business topics.
From hiring and motivating staff to creating a business plan to raising capital and financing businesses, the channel will be delivered directly by the world’s top business experts and leading minds in business education at The Wharton School.
With an expected launch in early 2014, Business Radio will air via satellite on SiriusXM channel 111, and through the SiriusXM Internet Radio App on smartphones and other connected devices, as well as online at siriusxm.com. The channel will feature world-renowned and distinguished professors and alumni as regular weekly hosts, plus executives, entrepreneurs, innovators and other experts as special hosts and guests.
“In a world where it’s never been easier to start your own business, and where even the titans of industry are challenged by newcomers every day, people have a thirst for expert information on the fundamentals of running a business successfully. Business Radio Powered by The Wharton School will deliver indispensable information and guidance to a range of listeners, whether they are first-time job candidates, managers, entrepreneurs or even CEOs,” says Scott Greenstein, President and Chief Content Officer, SiriusXM.
Thomas S. Robertson, dean of The Wharton School, calls the partnership a unique avenue to disseminate creative cutting-edge programming using the full breadth of Wharton’s faculty research and knowledge in the global community. “This initiative aligns well with Wharton’s reputation for innovation and will allow us to reach a broad range of mainstream listeners interested in business topics,” Robertson adds.
“Business Radio Powered by The Wharton School” programming currently in development is expected to include:
- Market Update with Jeremy Siegel — a weekly, in-depth analysis of the dynamics of the stock market hosted by Wharton’s Russell E. Palmer Professor of Finance.
- Launch Pad – new ventures go live on Business Radio and listeners weigh in. Hosted by Karl T. Ulrich, Vice Dean of Innovation; CIBC Professor of Entrepreneurship and e-Commerce; Professor of Mechanical Engineering.
- When Things Go Wrong — listeners share customer service experiences gone awry and Business Radio gets to the bottom of the situation. Hosted by Christian Terwiesch, Andrew M. Heller Professor, and Marshall L. Fisher, UPS Professor, both of the department of Operations and Information Management.
- Sports Business — listeners are invited behind-the-scenes to explore the business issues underlying the multibilliondollar sports industry. Hosted by Kenneth L. Shropshire, David W. Hauck Professor of Legal Studies and Business Ethics; Director, Wharton Sports Business Initiative.
- The Business of Retailing — understanding and managing retailing, the economy’s largest sector. Hosted by Barbara E. Kahn, Patty and Jay H. Baker Professor; Director, Jay H. Baker Retailing Center; Professor of Marketing.
“Our listeners will get direct access to some of the brightest minds in business today. The range of topics will be expansive but the discussion and conversation will surely be useful every day in our listeners’ own working lives,” Greenstein says.