Friends, Futures—and Fun in Southeast Asia
- by John Pettengil
OK, I know winter break has come and gone. Wharton students have already returned from their world travels. But meanwhile, I am still processing this past fall.
My last fall at Wharton wasn’t as free as I thought it would be. Yes, business school is supposed to be busy, but I thought I’d have time for those long chats about the future with friends I don’t see quite often enough. Finalizing plans for your future through introspection, apparently, doesn’t just happen. But it is vital.
Despite busy schedules, I did manage to sneak some chats in with friends. I try to have two or three lunches every week with a different friend, a different student who reminds me why I am so lucky to be here.
I met with Steven, who is in the middle of his PE job search but still found time to help coach me through some difficult interview prep.
I also met with David, who was in the process of deciding between a job at Apple or a job at Delta Airlines (he chose Delta).
I met with Lauren, who is mapping out her new life in Jersey now that she’s accepted a position at a pharma company.
There are tons more, each with a plan.
My mission has stayed pretty consistent: product management and strategy either at an agency or internally. My search for health care companies that are good fits has been tough going, and that’s been the largest change for me. I’ve shifted away from traditional health care companies and am looking more closely at startups in Silicon Alley. It’s exciting as I get closer to deciding on a company to join, closer to my next step after Wharton.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my career, but that doesn’t mean I’ve been too busy to travel. For winter break, 26 students and I headed to Southeast Asia. We met up with other groups of students (40+ students having a great time in Siem Reap, Cambodia), explored temples and the islands off Thailand and Cambodia. It was really spectacular and a great way of strengthening friendships and making some new ones.
I can’t believe second year is almost over. Time to hit the ground running so my second semester is as productive and meaningful as possible!
Editor’s note: This post first appeared on the Wharton MBA Program’s Student Diarist blog on Jan. 15, 2014.