Last one on this trip – Wharton.
I somehow booked the hotel with best view and most expensive internet ever. Wharton’s class visit was the most jam packed event out of all b-schools. From coffee with current students to class visit to lunch and campus tour to second class visit and then an information session.Getting to Wharton was fairly easy. I stayed in Centre city and Wharton’s surrounding area is called U-city (roughly 10 min drive & $10-15 taxi). Campus is a centre walk called locust walk where buildings on either side are different departments or schools. Admissions office is in a building called Vance Hall. I got there bit early and signed up for my first class – Business Analytics by Sergei Savin. Current students showed up and talked about their experience so far. Wharton has second biggest MBA class so it has lot of diversity in terms of demographics, industry, ethnicity of students. Students answered few questions and took us to our first class.
Sergei is a really funny professor, one you can easily get used to. He emphasized that Wharton does one thing better than anyone else is connecting data/numbers with people. Being a BI analyst i understand how important it is to have Technical skill set but also a business mindset to answer the questions more effectively and help make informed business decisions. Wharton is quant focused and it shows. For lunch and campus tour, current first year student was assigned to our group (myself and 4 other students). He had just gotten back from japan last night, but lack of sleep or jet lag didn’t affect his enthusiasm about the campus tour which is a positive sign. Keep in mind my sleep was all over the place and i only had 3 hour difference, he was coming from other side of the globe. So i had more appreciation for his effort. After the campus tour we were sent to our second class, this time i chose Venture capital and the finance of innovation. Boy o boy, my sleep deprived brain couldn’t handle all the numbers thrown at him. Valuation by DCF is an interesting topic and i learned a LOT. I think if i had read some introduction about it, or read the chapter assigned it would’ve been a different story but still i was able to hang in there and get most out of it.
Wharton class visit was exceptionally pleasant experience. I had strong affinity towards Wharton and i feel like its justified. I still have few more schools on my radar that i want to check out but this 2 week trip has come to an end.