Wharton Introduces New Component to MBA Application

The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School recently announced a few updates for the 2012-2013 academic year that will impact and benefit potential students interested in joining the Wharton community.

The school plans to roll out a new evaluation model, the team-based discussion, for the upcoming application cycle. No other business school has anything like it; as vice dean Karl T Ulrich explains in a statement, the team-based discussion gives candidates the chance to work together with a handful of their fellow applicants to solve real-world business scenarios as a team. The exercise will demonstrate how they approach and analyze specific situations and interact with other people–critical components to Wharton’s team-focused learning style.

In an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek‘s Alison Damast, Ulrich says the school wanted to see how applicants reacted in an unscripted environment, since “Because of blogs and the applicant community and discussion forums, people have developed a really good sense of what the admissions process looks like, down to what kinds of questions are asked and how they manage the interview.”

This new component was piloted with both current Wharton students as well as with prospective students during the 2012 Round 3 interview process, Ulrich says, adding that “this type of assessment also serves as a tool to take prospective students ”˜off the page’ and allows us to see firsthand the ways in which they can contribute to our community of diverse learners and leaders.”

The vice dean also reveals that Wharton School is piloting a Semester in San Francisco, which will give a select group of second-year students the opportunity to spend the fall term at the Wharton San Francisco campus.

With this new 360-degree MBA application component, a San Francisco study option, and the debut of Wharton School’s new curriculum this fall, to say that the school is looking to shake things up in order to improve business education would be an understatement.

What do you think of Wharton’s new team-based discussion component? If you’re planning on applying to Wharton this season, we’d love to hear comments and reactions to the announcement. Drop us a line below.

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