Wharton’s MBA Director on New Team-Based Discussion

upenn wharton schoolAs the MBA admissions team at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School wraps up interviews this week for all round one candidates, Director Ankur Kumar recently took a moment to update the admissions blog with her colleagues’ reactions to the newly introduced team-based discussion component.

This new evaluation model 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 demonstrates how they approach and analyze specific situations and interact with other people, two critical components of Wharton’s team-focused learning style.

Despite any initial trepidation over the change, Kumar says the experiment has been even more successful than the school had imagined. Applicants report that they enjoyed the opportunity to experience team work at Wharton firsthand, as well as the chance to connect with potential future classmates, says the MBA director.

From an admissions perspective, the director found it interesting to see candidates in “3-D” as she glimpsed how they act in their everyday professional lives. Teams and individuals displayed thoughtfulness and rigor in their problem-solving approaches, and Kumar remarks that no two teams were alike in the conclusion they drew, or the process by which they came to a conclusion.

Noting that several candidates exchanged contact information or headed out to celebratory drinks or dinner following the interview, Kumar adds,  “The most heartwarming part for us was to see how much you invested in and supported one other; waiting for everyone in your group to be done, high fiving each other, laughing together, this is the true hallmark of Wharton’s culture of collaboration and something we look forward to your bringing to the program.”

Round One decisions will be released on December 20th, and Kumar explains that the admissions team plans to use these next few weeks to review applications in their entirety after factoring in the additional insights gleaned from the team-based discussion and one-on-one interviews.

Applicants who are interested in experiencing Wharton in person should note that the Campus Visit Program officially ends on Thursday, December 6th, for the fall semester and will start back up again on January 28, 2013.

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