To the rockstars and fellow classmates of the Class of 2019,
There’s one phrase that you’ll hear ad nauseam upon arriving at school which, admittedly, I took for granted upon stepping foot on campus: “Welcome to Wharton.”
However, the beauty of Wharton lies not in a simple initial greeting once arriving to Philadelphia. It’s in the feeling when walking into Huntsman on the first day of class, or the rush in meeting fellow classmates during Preterm, and in so much more. Throughout the year, there were hundreds of small moments that could only be described by that singular phrase.
Walking into Follies and uncontrollably laughing for two hours. Hearing Justin Tuck’s footsteps on the flag football field (and immediately dropping a pass because of them). Learning about a professor’s amazing research and work outside of the classroom. Bombing an answer in Corporate Finance and still getting an applause. Listening to a fellow classmate give a speech in front of 200 other people and openly sobbing because of it. Interacting with Dean Howie and seeing the administration’s dedication to students first hand. On a more personal note, having hundreds of my classmates show up to sing karaoke and give back to celebrate my tenth year of being cancer free.
“Welcome to Wharton.” Nothing else describes it.
So – to that extent – here are three takeaways that I would suggest to any incoming student:
- Be audacious. Wharton is an incredible place that allows you to take on the world – literally. If you want to run three clubs – you can. If you want to hit every continent on earth in two years – go for it. If you want to get a perfect 4.0 – there’s nothing stopping you (minus the amount of caffeine required to accomplish this feat).
- Be vulnerable. When you get past the “where are you from, where did you work” shtick, you are surrounded by incredible people who will support anything you want to open up about. I’ve opened up more at school than ever before, with complete strangers, and have been all the more embraced. People love applauding and cheering at this school, and sometimes you just need to give them a reason to do so. Take some risks, throw in as many stretch experiences as possible, and you’ll get rewarded at every turn.
- Be true to you. You know why you came to school – you wrote about it in every application and have been asked about it every week since people heard you were Wharton bound. While it may be easy to put some of those thoughts aside upon getting here, know what drives you and know your passions. Those passions and drives are what define all of us and are what makes the school incredible. Let those shine and all of your classmates will be thankful. Me included.
Cheers to the next two years,
Chase Jones WG’18
President, Wharton Graduate Association