2005 Wharton MBA Admissions Chat with Rose Martinelli, Sara Simons


2005 Wharton MBA Admissions Chat with Rose Martinelli, Sara Simons

Please feel free to let us know if you would like to be informed of future chats by sending e-mail to chat@accepted.com. We would also be interested in knowing if you would prefer a different format or different topics.

Chat Transcript:

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 10:11:37 AM)
First I want to welcome you all to Accepted.com's Wharton admissions chat.

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:11:59 AM)
Thank you for inviting Sara and myself to join in the conversation today.

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 10:12:08 AM)
I want to introduce Rose Martinelli, Director of Admissions, and Sara Simons, Senior Associate Director of Wharton's Career Management Center. I also want to welcome Paul Bodine and Cindy Tokumitsu, Accepted.com editors.

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 10:12:09 AM)
Thanks to everyone for joining.

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 10:12:20 AM)
Today, we are going to use a moderated chat format.

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 10:12:28 AM)
In a moderated chat, all your questions go to the moderator (me). I will choose the questions that have the broadest application and those questions will appear in the main window for our Wharton guests to reply to. You will only see your question in the main window if it is chosen.

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 10:12:36 AM)
Please post you questions, and I will choose as many as possible from the ones you post and one of our guests will respond. You can also post follow up questions.

SaraSimonsWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:12:50 AM)
Thank you for inviting me to join you.

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 10:12:55 AM)
Our pleasure.

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 10:13:10 AM)
I'm going to start with the first question, but I encourage our guests to please post theirs, too.

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 10:13:32 AM)
Rose, what's new at Wharton?

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 10:13:55 AM)
Sara, I know it's early, but how are the "early indicators" for recruiting this year?

SaraSimonsWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:14:13 AM)
We are looking forward to a wonderful recruiting year. All of the firms that we have had long relationships with are back in force, and there are indications that their need for talent has increased.

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:14:22 AM)
There is a lot new at Wharton this year, including a large and talented class.

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 10:14:47 AM)
That's great, but I assume Wharton has a new large, talented class every year. :-)

vikram (Sep 15, 2004 10:14:58 AM)
I was just wondering what is the typical Wharton student, if one can generalize her to some extent?

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:15:10 AM)
I would have to admit you are correct there.

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:15:16 AM)
Vikram, we look for students who have strong academic and professional qualifications, who also are self aware -- know where they've been and where they are going, and can articulate why. We also want students who are developing on multiple levels -- professional, personal and community oriented.

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 10:15:46 AM)
Sara, are there more interview appointments and requests, for instance?

britchick (Sep 15, 2004 10:15:55 AM)
What would you say Wharton has to offer to students looking to work in the non-profit sector post MBA?

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:16:18 AM)
Britchick, the public sector is a growing interest at Wharton. What most students need is a good grounding in business skill sets, having had an understanding of the public policy side of the equation. These students bring depth to the class and broaden other students perspectives about the triple bottom line approach to all business discussions.

SaraSimonsWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:16:51 AM)
Linda, we see an increase in the number of interviews on campus, although it's too early to say if there will be a rise in job postings. There are already a number of postings up, as well.

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 10:17:25 AM)
That's great to hear. I also read that last year was significantly better than the previous year.

kais (Sep 15, 2004 10:17:51 AM)
Mrs. Martinelli, I have a consulting background and am interested in international business within emerging markets (Middle East, South East Asia, Eastern Europe). Does Wharton encourage this track, and how does it support such initiatives (which track better fits with Wharton culture: multinational or entrepreneurship)?

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:18:03 AM)
Kais, Wharton is a big place with enormous resources. We have 18 majors with sub disciplines growing in areas such as emerging markets. What is important is for you to collect the classes and experiences you need to get prepared to do the things you want professionally.

SaraSimonsWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:18:10 AM)
Linda, last year the numbers of companies recruiting on campus increased by 17% and the number of job postings increased by 25%.

SaraSimonsWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:18:28 AM)
Kais, our office has also been engaged in a lot of outreach to countries in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 10:18:36 AM)
That is definitely a marked improvement.

wharton07 (Sep 15, 2004 10:19:02 AM)
Rose and Sara, can you talk about Wharton's differentiating factors vs. other top schools i.e. HBS, Stanford, Columbia etc.?

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:19:19 AM)
Well, first off I would have to say size is a differentiating factor. Both good and bad. We have more resources, research centers, speaker series, career treks, leadership opportunities, plus an undergraduate program, MBA for executives, Executive Education and a PhD program. Second, Wharton uses a great variety of methods in the classroom. We focus on the individual and their learning needs. Third, this community thrives on engagement. We call it co-production, where all the stakeholders play an important role in the development of the school.

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 10:19:29 AM)
Please post your questions.

SaraSimonsWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:20:13 AM)
I would add that our goal is to strategically build relationships with companies that will benefit our students, and to that end our office is aligned to various sectors and clubs.

Jona (Sep 15, 2004 10:20:22 AM)
I'm interested in the Asian markets. Does Wharton have networks with other schools or companies in Asian countries or alumni in those places?

SaraSimonsWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:20:36 AM)
Jona, we have a number of networks with companies in Asia. This summer our Director Peter Degnan as well as Jennifer McElrath visited over 30 companies in Asia. There is also a lot of contact made with companies through the Trek program as well as the Global Immersion Program.

ingenuity (Sep 15, 2004 10:20:55 AM)
How do you view people with fragmented work experience/ extended sabbatical due to personal reasons?

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:22:19 AM)
Ingenuity -- It all boils down to how you explain your experiences to date and how they have helped to shape where you are today and where you hope to go in the future. Wharton doesn't assign a value to experience without the student's explanation. If you can paint a clear picture, you will be a viable candidate for us.

sfsv (Sep 15, 2004 10:22:19 AM)
Are there any special considerations for re-applicants? As far as recommendations go, recommendations from previous supervisors will be unchanged since the last time around; is that a problem?

pavani (Sep 15, 2004 10:22:52 AM)
Mrs. Martinelli-I come from a healthcare consulting background. What sorts of opportunities can Wharton offer to someone interested in healthcare?

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:23:44 AM)
SFSV - re-applicants have a great opportunity in the process. I'm sure you learned a great deal from the experience. Be more concise and help us to understand the hows and whys of your choices. As for recommenders, having someone different write is not important, but updating and adding new depth and examples would be helpful.

SaraSimonsWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:23:51 AM)
Pavani, Rose can speak about the opportunities at Wharton for Heathcare, and from a career management point of view, it is the third largest employer of our graduates.

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 10:24:23 AM)
I'm curious, could you indicate where you are logging on from if you are outside the US?

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:24:26 AM)
Pavani - Wharton has a healthcare management program, so the opportunities are enormous.

Mainieri (Sep 15, 2004 10:24:46 AM)
What' s the GMAT weight in the application process?

Jona (Sep 15, 2004 10:25:54 AM)
Hi, Linda, I'm from Mexico.

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:26:04 AM)
Mainieri - The GMAT is just one part of the application package. For Wharton, it only indicates how a student might perform in the first year of the program. We couple the information from the GMAT with your undergraduate performance and involvement. For me, the academic portion of the application is a threshold point -- the real content of the application stems from a demonstrated ability to handle the academic rigor of the program.

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 10:26:15 AM)
I think we have two people from France, and Britchick is from UK. Any others?

Mainieri (Sep 15, 2004 10:26:30 AM)
I' m from Brazil.

hmoyal (Sep 15, 2004 10:26:44 AM)
Good afternoon, Mrs. Martinelli and Mrs. Simons. Since I am trying to gain some insight about the Wharton screening process, I heard a lot about quotas. And it seems that there are quotas based on a lot of criteria: age, nationality, work experience, or even sexual preference. As a French applicant, it sounds weird to me. Thus, could you confirm whether this assertion is true? Thank you.

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:27:06 AM)
Hmoyal -- Good gosh -- no! Selection is based on each individual and what their accomplishments have been to date. Selection is not connected to gender, age or citizenship.

kais (Sep 15, 2004 10:27:17 AM)
I visited the INSEAD campus in Singapore, and met a couple of Wharton students who go for an exchange program there. Does this mean that INSEAD is better positioned for the Asian market?

SaraSimonsWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:27:35 AM)
Kais, not at all. The ties that Wharton has in Asia are broad and deep. Our annual Asian Alumni Forum held this year in Shanghai had over 700 alumni who attended. We have treks to Asia as well as the Global Immersion Program. And many of the companies that come to interview are coming for their Asian offices.

kais (Sep 15, 2004 10:27:38 AM)
Linda, I am from France, but I am also Tunisian and I grew up in the Middle East. This is to give a better picture.

Batko (Sep 15, 2004 10:28:09 AM)
Good afternoon, Rose and Sara, how do you assess the plausibility of one's plans after Wharton? By the way, I am from Bulgaria.

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:29:10 AM)
Each of the programs has different strengths. INSEAD is much smaller than Wharton. Wharton's presence throughout Asia is quite strong. You can look to our clubs for more information about that strength.

hmoyal (Sep 15, 2004 10:29:55 AM)
Thank you for your answer.

vikram (Sep 15, 2004 10:30:15 AM)
How does Wharton view a desire to change both industry and function after the MBA?

SaraSimonsWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:30:28 AM)
Vikram, that is one of the main reasons students come here: to explore the options that are available to them. And the companies are looking for talent with a varied background in many questions.

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:30:49 AM)
Batko - We assess your plans as connected to what you are doing now. Linking your future to your past experiences helps us to understand your thought processes. We know, however, that your plans at the time of application are likely to change once you have been exposed to new opportunities and skill sets.

wharton07 (Sep 15, 2004 10:30:57 AM)
Can you talk about leadership development at Wharton and the opportunities for doing so both in and outside the classroom?

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:31:35 AM)
Wharton07 -- Leadership development at Wharton involves much more than a classroom experience. From the first year through team experience, leadership ventures and experience in club and student conferences, students gain the opportunity to explore their own style and motivate/inspire others. Leading peers is especially difficult, and at Wharton you get lots of opportunities to learn how.

cai (Sep 15, 2004 10:31:43 AM)
I see a lot of emphasis on finance at Wharton. Also, this is reflected in the type of careers most graduates choose, as well as the companies that recruit at Wharton. What happens if I do not want to do finance after graduation? Thank you.

SaraSimonsWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:31:58 AM)
Cai, while many of our students choose a career in finance (in it's broadest sense), most of the students do not.

ingenuity (Sep 15, 2004 10:33:10 AM)
Thanks for answering my earlier question. How do you view people in their mid/late 30's. Is EMBA a better fit, and if so, does it enable us to change careers, and can one apply if one has been on an extended sabbatical?

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:33:27 AM)
Ingenuity -- It all depends on you and your needs.

hmoyal (Sep 15, 2004 10:33:59 AM)
I am interested in entrepreneurship. As a result, I wonder what the main strengths of Wharton's program in this area are. Moreover, do you have any statistics about how many graduates decide to set up their own venture after graduation?

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:34:30 AM)
Our range of experience this year is 0-19 years, so we have many students at various points in their career. Remember also that the MBA is much more than getting a job; it's exploring your own personal development. I would be happy to advise you if you need more information.

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 10:34:45 AM)
Sara, can international students obtain internships in the US, or are they limited to working abroad during that critical summer between the first and second year?

SaraSimonsWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:34:58 AM)
Hmoyal, 2% of our students started their own business last year.

pavani (Sep 15, 2004 10:35:09 AM)
It seems that the general rule of thumb is to have two full years of full-time work experience to be a competitive candidate for strong business programs. Does Wharton's admissions committee more or less stick to this two year rule?

SaraSimonsWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:35:25 AM)
Linda, international students can obtain internships in the US. In fact, the difference between the number of US students getting jobs in the US and non US students getting jobs in the US is minimal.

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:35:30 AM)
Hmoyal - Sara can speak to the statistics -- but Wharton has a very deep program in entrepreneurial studies -- from a major to two major research centers, to biz plan competitions, to the opportunity to consult for newly started companies.

Paul_Bodine (Sep 15, 2004 10:35:44 AM)
Getting recommenders to write separate letters of rec for each school can sometimes be difficult. How does Wharton feel about "all-in-one" recommendation letters that answer all the questions on Wharton's form, but also some questions you didn't ask (from other schools' forms)?

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:36:10 AM)
Pavani - the quantity of work experience is far les important than the quality. We will admit people with 0 or more as long as they can answer in a compelling way -- why now?

Guest (Sep 15, 2004 10:36:27 AM)
I wanted to ask about the 80-80 rule. I have a good GMAT score, but not so good verbal. I have, however, shown ample aptitude in written and communication skills. I have 6 papers published and have given many presentations at international conferences. Please comment?

vikram (Sep 15, 2004 10:36:50 AM)
Sara, what inherent disadvantages do software programmers carry with them when they apply for the Wharton MBA? What advantages?

SaraSimonsWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:37:05 AM)
Vikram, one needs to think of the skills that you developed as a programmer and how you led within your career. There are no inherent advantages or disadvantages.

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:37:10 AM)
Paul - We completely understand the difficulty of getting lots of recommendations -- we're fine with the all in one letter as long as it addresses most of the questions we ask, along with filling out the grid at the beginning of the rec.

kais (Sep 15, 2004 10:37:23 AM)
Mrs. Martinelli, how would you describe Wharton and its alumni interest in the Middle East? This is where I actually envision my short term professional goals. I also know about a seminar organized by Wharton in Dubai in March 2004, but could not attend it, unfortunately.

hmoyal (Sep 15, 2004 10:37:43 AM)
Sounds good. Apart from the brochures available on your website, how can I get some more information about entrepreneurship at Wharton?

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:38:38 AM)
Kais - this is a big effort for the school. I will be traveling again to Dubai, Cairo and Beirut next month. There are terrific students and enormous business opportunities developing in the Middle East. Plus, we have a large alumni base. It will continue to be a priority for the school.

vikram (Sep 15, 2004 10:38:46 AM)
Hi, Sara, thanks for your previous answer. I was wondering: how is Wharton's interface with the technology industry? What kind of recruiters come? Like a well-reputed healthcare program, does Wharton also have a good reputation in the technology industry?

kais (Sep 15, 2004 10:39:22 AM)
Is Wharton friendly with non US graduates? Can you provide any statistics?

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:39:32 AM)
Hmoyal -- I would get involved in our Student2student bulletin board. By interacting with students, visiting classes or attending conferences, you'll get a better sense of the strength of the program.

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 10:39:57 AM)
The student2student board and Wharton's new adcom blog are wonderful sources of information.

vinimac (Sep 15, 2004 10:40:08 AM)
Hi, everybody, I am from Cyprus.

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 10:40:15 AM)
Please post your questions.

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:40:27 AM)
Kais - I'm not sure what you mean -- but about 42% of the entering class are non US citizens.

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 10:40:46 AM)
If you are looking at an application and the numbers and basic profile is in the ballpark for a Wharton student, what distinguishes an application that is accepted from one that is rejected?

SaraSimonsWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:40:51 AM)
Vikram - We have a team who is aligned with the technology sector in its widest sense. Major software/hardware companies, and telecom companies come. Many other companies will post positions. More and more tech companies are recruiting since the bubble burst.

vinimac (Sep 15, 2004 10:41:45 AM)
I want to know how important the presence of strong community service experience, or the lack of it, is in the decision for offering admission at Wharton.

kais (Sep 15, 2004 10:42:15 AM)
Mrs. Martinelli - I meant students who never had any education in the US before attending business school.

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:42:19 AM)
Linda - It all comes down to the student's ability to articulate the hows and whys of their choices. It's like a business plan -- you're willing to invest money if you understand the business principles and see the passion of the people launching the business. Likewise, we're looking for people who can tell us about themselves both personally and professionally.

CindyTokumitsu (Sep 15, 2004 10:42:46 AM)
Concerning recommendations, for a second rec, is it acceptable to use an older peer/mentor who is not a superior organizationally, but who knows the applicant well (non-supervisor)?

cai (Sep 15, 2004 10:42:50 AM)
In looking at the career report 2003, 40% of students decided to pursue a job in financial services, and the top hirers are all investment banks or strategy consulting firms. So what about career placement help for those not interested in finance?

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:43:09 AM)
Vinimac - we're looking for people who are involved in the world around them -- could be family, church, whatever. Leaders are folks who are involved in the world around them, so I am looking for evidence of that desire.

vikram (Sep 15, 2004 10:43:23 AM)
Following up on vinimac's question, how would Wharton view a conscious decision to indulge in community service so as to enhance her admission chances... like what if the experience began only mid this year...?

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:43:42 AM)
Kais -- yes, we admit students from educational institutions from around the world.

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:44:36 AM)
Vikram -- we look at the history of each applicant. We can see when there is padding for the application, or short-term lack of participation because of work demands.

swoop (Sep 15, 2004 10:44:49 AM)
In the first round, does Wharton hold hub interviews in San Francisco? Also, I was wondering when is the best time to submit our resume. At the time of application or before the interview?

SaraSimonsWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:45:00 AM)
Cai, the process is driven by the students and the choices they make. We continually strive to develop relationships with a broad array of industries so that they will consider Wharton when they want talent. We also encourage students to explore the various industries that are out there by hosting programs, organizing treks, etc etc.

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:45:00 AM)
Cindy, your recommendations should be professionally oriented in nature from people who know you well. If a third rec is provided, it could be from someone such as a mentor or someone whom you work with in terms of a community oriented project.

wharton07 (Sep 15, 2004 10:46:02 AM)
Rose and Sara, any perspective on r1 vs. r2? We all know that r3 is a no-no, but between r1 and r2, what are the differences, if any?

SaraSimonsWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:46:29 AM)
I have no perspective on that.

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:46:33 AM)
Swoop - yes, Wharton will hold hub interviews in Round 1. Wharton currently does not require the resume as part of the application, but requests that you bring a copy should you be invited to interview.

xman (Sep 15, 2004 10:46:53 AM)
I was wondering how big of a role the GMAT score plays in the admissions process. If a candidate has a GMAT score in the mid 600's but has a very analytical/quantitative background, will a GMAT score which does not fall into the Wharton middle 80 percentile range reduce his/her admission chances?

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 10:47:47 AM)
Sara, how are international students doing in the job market?

SaraSimonsWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:47:53 AM)
Linda, they are doing very well. Government policies towards issuing visas have become more stringent and everyone is dealing with that. That being said, international students are finding opportunities within the US at the same percentage as US students. And US students are equally successful abroad.

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:48:22 AM)
Wharton07 - Everyone tries to game the system -- but here's my advice: Apply when you are ready with the best application you can put together. In round 1, we typically receive fewer applications, so we have more time to evaluate and the candidate has a greater chance for admission (if you just look at admit rates). Round 2 we get more applications and begin crafting a class. Your chances are still good, but the admit rate falls just a bit.

ingenuity (Sep 15, 2004 10:48:44 AM)
Thanks very much, Rose, for answering my questions and the offer to help advise further. I appreciate it. I will research both options and reach out to you at your information reception. Are there any red flags/ absolute no's you see in Wharton aspirants?

vinimac (Sep 15, 2004 10:49:18 AM)
Thanks, Rose! I would also like to know whether Wharton has a strong entrepreneurship program. Are there support systems for promoting entrepreneurship at Wharton?

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:49:48 AM)
Xman - The GMAT is just one factor. Having some quantitative background is important, and one place we look to measure your ability is through the GMAT (but also in your transcript). We accept students with a large range of scores. One thing I would say, is that you should make sure that you feel your score represents your ability; otherwise, I would recommend that you retake the test.

Batko (Sep 15, 2004 10:49:57 AM)
Can you tell us whether and how you separate the different pools of applicants, i.e. USA, Europe, Asia, emerging markets, etc.?

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 10:50:16 AM)
Sara, that's good news and better than I anticipated.

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:50:51 AM)
Ingenuity - the only red flag for me is an applicant's inability to follow instructions. An error here and there happen, but I'm surprised by how many people fail to read and follow instructions. Attention to detail is key in business.

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:51:02 AM)
Vinimac, we answered a bit about our entrepreneurship program earlier. It is our second largest major and Wharton has huge amounts of resources focused on that area.

dgov (Sep 15, 2004 10:51:43 AM)
Since Wharton talks about non-traditional students like people from the public sector and so forth, is an engineer working for the government considered non-traditional, or is he grouped among the engineers?

pavani (Sep 15, 2004 10:52:12 AM)
It seems as though individuals who are pursuing a MBA generally have a strong academic background in business (with concentrations such as economics, marketing, etc.). How does the admissions committee look at  individuals who come from a different academic background (i.e. a science background)?

CindyTokumitsu (Sep 15, 2004 10:53:04 AM)
Do you see many applications from career changers? Do you have any specific advice for people who are changing or redirecting their careers through the MBA process?

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:53:09 AM)
Batko - Experience linked to path is what counts. The location where you live is not distinguishing by itself. We do not base any of our decisions on citizenship or location.

swoop (Sep 15, 2004 10:53:22 AM)
What opportunities exist for the insurance and risk mgmt major? What type of people (background) apply for this?

SaraSimonsWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:53:24 AM)
vinimac, Wharton does have a strong entrepreneurship program and an entrepreneurial spirit within the school. There is the Entrepreneurship Center, as well as the Wharton Small Business Development Center. From a student point of view, there is also an Entrepreneur Club.

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:53:49 AM)
dgov - it's more important about how you classify yourself than what Wharton thinks. Where you come from is also less important than where you are going.

hmoyal (Sep 15, 2004 10:54:53 AM)
I need to go :/ Thanks, Rose and Sara, for all the information! Thanks, Linda, for organizing this session!

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:55:14 AM)
Cindy - most of our applicants are career changers. My advice would be to understand what you have done to date and how it relates to what you want to do. How do you know you will be happy in your newly chosen career path without exposure and some experience? Your ability to draw the lines from your past experience to your future career will be important to those reading your application.

ingenuity (Sep 15, 2004 10:55:23 AM)
How big a role do recommendations play in the application?

dgov (Sep 15, 2004 10:55:32 AM)
Thanks, Rose.

SaraSimonsWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:55:36 AM)
Swoop, there are many opportunities in the insurance industry. The industry itself is very large, and thus has a number of opportunities. There are also opportunities within the banks for students in insurance and/or risk mgmt. There is no particular background because there is no particular track.

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:56:01 AM)
Swoop - all types of students apply to this program, but typically it is those who have had some quant background, since it will be data heavy.

CindyTokumitsu (Sep 15, 2004 10:56:21 AM)
Thank you, Rose.

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 10:56:49 AM)
Sara, do you have any suggestions for applicants that will enhance their job search and that they can or should do before arriving at Wharton?

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:57:03 AM)
Ingenuity - recommendations play an important role because at the time of application, it is the only third party view of you as an employee/person. That's why depth in the recs is so important to us.

howareu (Sep 15, 2004 10:57:33 AM)
Hi, Rose. As for students who are not native English speakers, do you tend to weigh his/her English scores a bit less than the math score? I mean, if I only get a 70% in English but over 90% in math, is it considered an acceptable score?

xman (Sep 15, 2004 10:58:20 AM)
Rose - I have a lot of community service from high school. Do you feel that's worth mentioning? I have heard different viewpoints on this issue of bringing up high school activities.

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:58:39 AM)
Howaru - For our non-native speakers, we look to both the TOEFL and the GMAT verbal score (as well as the interview, if invited) for information about a student's ability to read, write and speak well. Study abroad is tough if one's language abilities are a bit below what they could be.

dgov (Sep 15, 2004 10:58:49 AM)
Approximately what percentage of students look for jobs on their own (networking prior contacts, etc.) at Wharton?

SaraSimonsWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:58:49 AM)
To echo what Rose has said, I would encourage students to think about what their values, competencies and interests are, and how they might use them to plan a career. Self assessment is very important because it will help you target once faced with the array available here.

pavani (Sep 15, 2004 10:58:50 AM)
I must head out as well. Thank you all so much for the great advice. Have a great day!

SaraSimonsWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:58:57 AM)
dgov, about 17% source their jobs from personal networking. It is something we encourage because it is recognizing that one is part of a community. However, that number is a lot lower than the overall average of jobs that are sourced through networking, which is 70%.

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 10:59:21 AM)
Xman - demonstrating a history of involvement is important, so mentioning it is fine, but you should draw your stories from more current history.

wharton07 (Sep 15, 2004 10:59:39 AM)
Rose, how do you view multiple GMAT attempts? My first attempt was a 680.. second 680.. I am not sure if I should do it again or focus on other parts of my application.

SaraSimonsWharton (Sep 15, 2004 11:00:19 AM)
dgov

wharton07 (Sep 15, 2004 11:00:33 AM)
We hear so much about self assessment.. Any tips on how to do an effective self assessment?

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 11:00:35 AM)
Wharton07 - Wharton focuses on the highest score. If you prepared yourself well each time and your score didn't change, than I would focus on the other components of your application.

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 11:01:09 AM)
Wharton07, think about what you like and dislike in what you are currently doing and have done in the past. What did you find satisfying? Boring?

dgov (Sep 15, 2004 11:01:33 AM)
Do you need a TOEFL if you have a master's degree from a US university?

void_infinity (Sep 15, 2004 11:01:45 AM)
Sara, can you please comment about the involvement of Wharton students in the social sector? How many enter the social sector after obtaining an MBA?

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 11:01:47 AM)
Wharton07 - Yes, I have a lot of information about doing a self assessment. First, go back and take an inventory of your path to date, professionally/academically, personally, and in terms of community involvement. What were the important events in your life and what did you learn from them?

vinimac (Sep 15, 2004 11:02:15 AM)
Thanks again and apologies for the repetition (I got disconnected early on). Regarding the admission process, how important is the reputation of the undergraduate institution at which the applicant completed his undergrad degree? Does it help if a candidate from a relatively lower ranked undergraduate program has progressed to positions normally synonymous with graduates of higher ranked programs?

SaraSimonsWharton (Sep 15, 2004 11:02:26 AM)
There are a number of books on self assessment. The classic is "What Color is your Parachute".

SaraSimonsWharton (Sep 15, 2004 11:02:41 AM)
void, less than one percent has gone into the not for profit world. That being said, if you look at our alumni, you will see that a much higher percentage of them are involved with the community and in the public sector.

pablo (Sep 15, 2004 11:03:00 AM)
Sorry if this question has been asked before, as I just joined the chat room. This is regarding the Wharton Global Consulting Practicum. I've observed to my surprise that the program is relatively small in size. Given the emphasis Wharton has on leadership, practice and international perspective, I would suppose that the program is something that most students at Wharton would like to take advantage of. Is the program small because most students are NOT interested in it or because it has a very strict selection process?

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 11:04:21 AM)
Vinimac - many students don't have the opportunity to go to a highly ranked institution. What is important is how well that student took advantage of the resources available to him/her, how they performed and contributed to that institution. So, the reputation of the institution has little bearing.

kais (Sep 15, 2004 11:04:52 AM)
Do you encourage admitted students to take additional courses in finance and economics before attending the class?

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 11:05:31 AM)
Pablo - GCP has a very strict selection process since these are real projects for real organizations with team members from other institutions. There is a competitive selection process to participate in the program.

Paul_Bodine (Sep 15, 2004 11:06:24 AM)
Is Wharton open to receiving more than the required number of letters of recommendation? How does Wharton view brief "letters of support" from Wharton alumni (i.e., in addition to the required letters of rec)?

vinimac (Sep 15, 2004 11:06:31 AM)
Thank you, Rose, for your insights. The Wharton application looks a lot less intimidating now :-)

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 11:06:42 AM)
Kais - I recommend that students who have not had pre-calc or stats prior to the MBA (or not for a long time) take review courses. It is not necessary to take additional courses unless, of course, the student wishes to waive core courses that first year.

jwbluefly (Sep 15, 2004 11:07:43 AM)
Hi, Rose, does Wharton have any preferences for or bias against former Penn undergrads applying to the MBA program?

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 11:07:46 AM)
Paul - The focus of the recommendations should be from professional supervisors. We require two, but leave the judgment as to providing others up to you. It matters not whether recs are from alumni, but if they want to add a letter, they can send it directly to the school, rather than be part of the application submission.

Guest (Sep 15, 2004 11:08:19 AM)
Thanks, Linda, Rose, and Sara for taking the time to help us all.

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 11:08:50 AM)
Jwbluefly - not at all. Penn is the largest undergraduate program represented in the Wharton MBA program by far. We know Penn well, and love the type of students who go to Penn.

howareu (Sep 15, 2004 11:09:13 AM)
I have a few "F"s in undergraduate classes due to a family emergency that required me to leave the country and prevented me from finishing the courses, but once I was back at school, I took double the regular class loads and finished school a year ahead of other classmates. However, my average GPA is low because of all the Fs. Will this be a big problem?

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 11:10:14 AM)
Rose and Sara have graciously agreed to extend the chat another fifteen minutes. Please continue to post your questions.

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 11:10:24 AM)
Howareu - explaining what happened and demonstrating that you did well ultimately will be important. You will definitely need to write an additional essay explaining the situation.

Batko (Sep 15, 2004 11:10:45 AM)
How do you deal with recommendations from supervisors who burn their subordinates (applicants) in the recommendation just because they are unwilling to accept that a subordinate of theirs might outgrow them professionally?

kais (Sep 15, 2004 11:11:03 AM)
How would you describe the student body, their activities, their relationships and the overall spirit?

xman (Sep 15, 2004 11:11:05 AM)
Thank you, Rose, for answering my questions. This was very helpful.

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 11:11:19 AM)
Batko - let's hope that's not the case, but use your own judgment if you feel that a person may not write in support of your application.

vinimac (Sep 15, 2004 11:11:31 AM)
Rose/Sara: The fourth optional essay asks only to explain any extenuating circumstances. Can this essay be used to provide additional insights into my background, rather than explain 'extenuating circumstances' ?

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 11:12:18 AM)
Kais - this is an extraordinary community that is actively involved in the governance of the school and oriented to help each other learn and grow. Because we're large, it is also an intensely busy community. Lots of fun and lots of work.

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 11:12:55 AM)
Rose, what is the most common application error?

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 11:12:55 AM)
The fourth essay should only be used for extenuating circumstances unless there is something critical that you need to add that does not fit somewhere else.

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 11:13:09 AM)
Sara, what is most common job search mistake?

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 11:13:43 AM)
The most common error would be not following instructions and not answering the essay questions fully.

vikram (Sep 15, 2004 11:14:00 AM)
Coming back to recommendations, if my supervisor changed only a couple of months ago and I wish to take his recommendation rather than one from my current one (since he has known me only for the last 2 months), do I need to mention this somewhere (in the optional essay, etc.)?

SaraSimonsWharton (Sep 15, 2004 11:14:15 AM)
Linda, probably the most common job search mistake is to cast too wide a net, using the scattergun approach. A more focused approach leads to better results.

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 11:14:39 AM)
Vikram - it is always helpful to explain your recommendations if you feel that the admissions committee may not understand. You should do this in the optional essay.

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 11:14:49 AM)
Which pretty much goes back to knowing your goals and doing an earlier self-assessment.

SaraSimonsWharton (Sep 15, 2004 11:14:54 AM)
Linda, I'm afraid I have another appointment scheduled for 2:00, and the student is here.

void_infinity (Sep 15, 2004 11:14:59 AM)
Rose, what exactly are you looking for in the essay "Describe a personal characteristic or something in your background that will help the Admissions Committee to know you better"? Is it okay to describe a few achievements?

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 11:15:17 AM)
Sara, thank you very much for your participation and assistance.

vikram (Sep 15, 2004 11:15:26 AM)
Thanks so much, Sara, for your responses and your time.

SaraSimonsWharton (Sep 15, 2004 11:15:36 AM)
Thank you all for coming, and I'm sorry I have to run. Best of luck.

vinimac (Sep 15, 2004 11:15:37 AM)
Thanks, Rose, Sara, and everybody else.

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 11:15:48 AM)
Void infinity - we're looking for you to help us know you better. What do you think would be important for the admissions committee to know that will help us reach a better outcome for you? It could be anything.

vikram (Sep 15, 2004 11:15:57 AM)
Thanks, Rose. You've been of great help.

howareu (Sep 15, 2004 11:16:00 AM)
Is it a flow of order how the admission officers read the essay? I mean, do they always start with 1 then 2, 3? In my case, I would like the committee to read the extra (explanitory) essay first. Is it possible to request that? Thanks a lot for all the help.

kais (Sep 15, 2004 11:16:32 AM)
Sara, thank you for your involvement in this chat session and for your insightful answers. It really helped me to better assess the program.

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 11:16:52 AM)
Rose has said she can stay for a few more minutes, so if you have a last question, please submit it.

jwbluefly (Sep 15, 2004 11:17:11 AM)
Hi again, how strictly should we adhere to the essay word limits? I've heard that + or - 10% is usually ok, would you agree?

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 11:17:31 AM)
Howareu - we tend to read the application from cover to cover -- beginning to end. I don't think there is anyway to communicate your order preference to us.

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 11:18:03 AM)
jwbluefly - yes the +-10% is a good rule of thumb.

pablo (Sep 15, 2004 11:18:12 AM)
I know Wharton does not publish student grades, while other top schools do. What is your viewpoint about this issue? Do you think that publishing student grades generate a far too competitive atmosphere that goes against cooperation? Or do you think that publishing student grades is a strong incentive for self-supervision that outweighs any harm to cooperation?

vinimac (Sep 15, 2004 11:18:58 AM)
How does Wharton interview candidates like me who are in relatively uncommon locations like Cyprus?

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 11:19:31 AM)
Pablo - great question and one we wrestle with every day. The students (not faculty) have a policy of grade non-disclosure which keeps companies from asking students about their grades. We do post our honors lists, etc. Collaboration is important; so is a commitment to academic excellence.

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 11:20:12 AM)
Vinimac -- we have alumni all over the world. If a student who is invited to interview is unable to travel to campus or nearby to where an alumni interviewer is located, we will as a last resort arrange a telephone interview.

kais (Sep 15, 2004 11:20:35 AM)
Mrs. Martinelli, if you had one piece of advice for an international applicant while pursuing the program and his objectives post MBA, what would it be?

vinimac (Sep 15, 2004 11:20:48 AM)
Great! Thanks again. You are wonderful..

void_infinity (Sep 15, 2004 11:20:50 AM)
Rose, thanks a lot..

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 11:21:58 AM)
If you would like to be notified of future MBA admissions events at Accepted.com, please visit http://www.accepted.com/services/generalinquiry.aspx .

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 11:22:03 AM)
Kais - my advice would be to immerse yourself in the culture and life of the school. The language challenges may push students to band together into cultural groups a bit more than is necessary. Most of the learning comes from your classmates and the strength of the community.

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 11:22:12 AM)
Thank you again all for participating today. Special thanks to Rose and Sara for joining us.

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 11:22:21 AM)
For more information about Wharton admissions, please visit the web site or Wharton adcom's new blog . Highly informative and helpful!

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 11:22:27 AM)
We look forward to seeing you at future chats. Here is a list of currently scheduled chats:

RoseMartinelliWharton (Sep 15, 2004 11:22:29 AM)
Linda - thank you for the invitation. Good luck everyone!

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 11:22:36 AM)
MIT September 20 10:00 AM Pacific Time/1:00 PM Eastern Time/6:00 PM GMT. UCLA September 28 6:00 PM PT/9:00 PM ET / 2:00 AM GMT Haas October 11 10:00 AM Pacific Time/1:00 PM Eastern Time/6:00 PM GMT.

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 11:22:45 AM)
Please check http://www.accepted.com/chat/schedule.htm#mba for details.

ingenuity (Sep 15, 2004 11:23:06 AM)
Many thanks, Rose.

PBodine (Sep 15, 2004 11:23:11 AM)
Thank you, Wharton!

CindyTokumitsu (Sep 15, 2004 11:23:24 AM)
Good luck to all the applicants. Thank you, everyone from Wharton!

kais (Sep 15, 2004 11:23:30 AM)
Thank you, Mrs. Martinelli. I look forward to seeing you in an event in the Middle East or Paris to further talk about the program.

howareu (Sep 15, 2004 11:23:38 AM)
See you all there!!

Jona (Sep 15, 2004 11:23:44 AM)
Thanks, everyone, and good luck!!!

vinimac (Sep 15, 2004 11:23:50 AM)
Linda, Accepted.com says the MIT chat is on 23rd.. Has it been rescheduled for the 20th ?

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 11:24:16 AM)
I have it for the 23rd. Where did you see it on the 20th?

vinimac (Sep 15, 2004 11:25:08 AM)
In a previous message of yours where you sent the list of chat events. Never mind.. Thanks so much for arranging this session.

sd (Sep 15, 2004 11:25:21 AM)
Linda, do you publish the history of chats?

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 11:25:23 AM)
My mistake. Thanks for pointing it out, but it is on 9/23.

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 11:25:40 AM)
We will publish the chats, but it may take a few days. My admin asst. just had a baby.

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 11:25:52 AM)
I mean we publish the transcript.

admitjunkie (Sep 15, 2004 11:26:15 AM)
It's too bad the earlier questions aren't available for people who arrive late.

kais (Sep 15, 2004 11:26:21 AM)
Thanks, Linda, for your efforts to let us discover in depth the MBA programs.

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 11:26:27 AM)
They will be posted, it will just take a few days.

admitjunkie (Sep 15, 2004 11:26:31 AM)
I didn't want to ask anything for fear that it was already asked.

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 11:26:37 AM)
I want to compliment you all. You asked great questions.

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 11:26:48 AM)
admitjunkie, you could have because the chat was moderated.

vinimac (Sep 15, 2004 11:27:08 AM)
Let's meet up on the 23rd, everybody. It was great being here.

kais (Sep 15, 2004 11:27:10 AM)
Good luck to everybody with their applications!

Linda Abraham (Sep 15, 2004 11:27:16 AM)
Good luck!

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