No Such Thing as Post-Graduation Blues

Photo credit: Phil Flynn

Photo credit: Phil Flynn

Graduation weekend at Wharton features the big Friday night dance for MBAs, family time with one’s own parents as well as those of dear friends, and the timeless Commencement itself—in other words,  plenty of opportunities for celebration, reflection  and tears. Yet Wharton students do not slow down when they are on campus, so why should they slow down as soon as they leave? Instead of wallowing in the memories now behind them, members of the Class of 2013 are plowing right ahead into their futures.

Jarrid Tingle, W’13, earned the Dean’s Award for Excellence—an “almost unreal” recognition to get at Commencement, he said. He spent the final weekend of his Penn career meeting for the first time the parents of friends he’s grown to know over his four years.

“It was a really great way to end the college career,” he told us by phone days later.

But is Tingle lingering over that career? No, he will be moving to his new home in Clinton (a.k.a., Midtown West Manhattan) on June 15 to start at his new job at Barclays on June 24. In the meantime, he’s busy learning to be “an adult,” he explained to us—mainly, taking cooking lessons from his mother and grandmother.

Kathleen Fleming, WG’13, also spent her last weekend at Wharton meeting the families of her cohort mates—or as she put it, “You got to see who belonged to whom.” Then came the experience of marching into the Palestra with her cohort on Sunday, May 12.

“We all walked into this together. We get to all walk out together,” she said.

She will be at home in Long Island for a week before heading off to Tanzania to work with the Wharton Global Health Volunteer Program for three weeks. During the trip, the Wharton team will be working with a local professional organization that consults private health care providers in Tanzania. They will be focusing on microfinance and a business plan for a hospital’s oncology unit. With her will be many classmates with whom Fleming did a field application project during her MBA program.

“We’re reunited the Dream Team,” she said.

Photo credit: Shira Yudkoff

Photo credit: Shira Yudkoff

By July 22, she will be at her new job with Bain.

Gwendolyn McDay, WG’13, enjoyed the Saturday of Commencement weekend touring Philadelphia with her family, seeing the “sights and sounds of Philly we never actually saw ourselves because we were having so much of a good time here on campus.”

Technically, she only walked with her cohort on May 12; McDay will be officially graduating in August. She put it off to participate in Wharton’s International Exchange Program with the Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration in Thailand. She had initially aimed to do the exchange with COPPEAD in Brazil (she’ll be starting in September at her job with the Brazilian chemical company Braskem), but the timing didn’t work out. So, she will have to learn Portuguese in Bangkok—along with taking a couple of other modules. She may also want to learn a few local languages; after Sasin, McDay plans to meet up with Wharton friends to travel through Southeast Asia.

As for our representative from the MBA for Executives program, Laird Adamson, WG’13, has never really taken a break from the “real world.” His trips to campus every other week were his “counterbalance” to his work and life in New York City. So what did Adamson do after he spent commencement weekend with his family in Philadelphia? On Monday, he went into work, like every Monday in recent memory, as head of international for Bravado, the music merchandising arm of Universal Music Group.

Adamson’s plans for the coming months were to emerge from the “bubble” that was his life as an executive MBA student, reconnecting with old friends and settling back into an existence with a little more free time.

“It’s a little like coming out from underwater,” Adamson told us.

Editor’s note: Read more about these four and other recent graduates in our upcoming summer 2013 magazine edition—due out in late July.

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