Dear newly admitted Class of 2016,
Congratulations on getting into Wharton. I’m sure you have heard that a hundred times by now and you swell with pride (as you should) when people hear the news and are impressed. We couldn’t be more excited to have you on campus and to get to know you now that the veil of the admissions process is no longer hanging over your heads.
This weekend and in the coming months, you will start to meet your future classmates. If your experience is anything like mine, then spending time meeting so many charming and compelling people will be exceedingly humbling and leave you bewildered as to whether you should try to start some companies or raise a million dollars for charity. Fortunately, part of the process is coming to grips with the fact that we all in some way belong here and that, more importantly, we all have a chance to make our mark during the next two years.
So jump in headfirst. Introduce yourself to people, invite people to events, join the Facebook group and engage with each other. Understand that the strength of the school is in the people you meet and the connections and friendships that you form. No amount of information sessions and admissions panels can really convey the reality of being a Wharton student—you have to be here and walk the halls and speak with the people and observe the vibrancy. Then, at some point, maybe during this weekend, maybe during pre-term, maybe during your second year, you will find yourself looking around and wondering how you could have imagined your life anywhere else.
A major differentiator for me was the extent to which events at Wharton are student run. In most MBA programs, students take on leadership roles, but at Wharton the student community is truly given complete responsibility, embodied in The Wharton Graduate Association which manages all 100+ clubs and conferences on campus as an independent 501c3 non-profit. We work to connect the student body with the faculty and administration and to empower students to create the clubs and conferences that make Wharton such a special place. It’s part of the reason we have such dynamic programming, from Philly Fight Night to Battle of the Bands to the (in)famous White Party.
The Class of 2014 has pioneered changes that remade the Wharton student experience. We were the first to experience the new curriculum. We were the first to participate in the new Cluster system. We were the first to use Coursematch. The school has been relentlessly innovative and your class will benefit from a streamlined experience. We are counting on you to continue the work we started and we couldn’t be more confident in you and your ability.
Throughout the admissions and decision process, you will hear countless recitations of statistics, rankings, and promises. The truth is all of the schools you get into can give you a wonderful experience and prepare you for the majority of jobs. So make the decision based on the place you feel the most at home. If that’s Wharton we would love to have you; if it’s not, we love you anyway, it will just be long-distance.
On behalf of the student body, congratulations and welcome to Wharton.