“Alumni” – a word that seems so far off, a classification hard to visualize while attending class and walking to and from campus each week. I felt this way during the two and a half years that I worked full time as Wharton MBA Student Life Coordinator while studying for my master’s degree at Penn’s Graduate School of Education. Graduation and alumni status felt removed from me; an invisible finish line that awaited my future self. Well, with the benefit of hindsight, I am happy to share why you should embrace the term “alumni” and discover the opportunities available to first and second-year students to connect you with the distinguished community of Wharton graduates.
POP City Captains, Alumni Fellows and Cohort Marshals are all student leadership positions that work closely with Wharton External Affairs and with my new position in Alumni Relations as Associate Director for Student and Young Alumni Programs. Not only do I get to continue working with MBA students, but I also work closely with young alumni to create meaningful engagement opportunities such as MBA Reunion Weekend. I was fortunate to be able to grow within the Wharton community, and I look forward to helping current students and recent graduates do the same.
My goals include increasing awareness about student offerings through Wharton External Affairs, and providing you with a seamless transition from student to alumni status. Did you know that External Affairs is an entire department dedicated to the Wharton community? External Affairs focuses on engagement, philanthropy, and delivering lifelong learning opportunities to help you throughout your personal and professional life. Certainly not a small task, but an important one.
If you are a first-year student interested in a fun leadership opportunity, consider applying to serve as a POP City Captain.
The Pub Outside of Penn (POP) City Captains are a group of first-year students committed to extending the social tradition of MBA Pub to other cities during summer internships. City POP Captains collaborate and engage with Wharton regional clubs, alumni, classmates, and new students by coordinating events in their assigned cities. Last year alone, there were 53 City Pub Captains planning 27 events across 12 cities that connected more than 500 people. Keep an eye out for an email with application information in the coming weeks.
Second years: Do not miss the opportunity to receive a free Wharton fleece blanket and enjoy tasty refreshments. All you have to do is complete your Alumni Orientation Session, April 18-19 in the MBA Café.
Alumni Orientation will empower you to stay informed and involved as Wharton alumni. Register through the graduation checklist for a personalized information session and in just 15 minutes you will learn about resources exclusive to Wharton alumni. Register via this link: http://whr.tn/WG17AO
These opportunities just scratch the surface of what is offered through Wharton External Affairs, but there is more to come. By creating and providing new student and young alumni programming, I get to demonstrate — early and often — the power of Wharton’s alumni community and how you can make an impact now. Until then, you can find me on the third floor of Vance Hall or at the upcoming Alumni Orientation in April.