Welcome to the Wharton Class of 2012!

I’m writing this post just hours after attending the Convocation event for the incoming MBA Class of 2012.

Besides listening to the speeches by my colleagues, I spent the time examining the 800 new faces who will take over Huntsman Hall for the next two years. While they all look like strangers to me right now, I know that many of them will become familiar faces over the months to come.

Some will become star students in my classes, others will struggle to pass. Some will find joy in working with the Wharton Interactive Media Initiative (the research center that I co-direct), while others will stay on the more traditional paths of investment banking or consulting. Some will become local celebrities through their extracurricular activities, while others will do their best to blend into the crowd.

Although this is the 24th class of MBAs to enter Wharton since I joined the faculty, this guessing game is just as exciting as it’s ever been. In fact, it’s more exciting than ever—there are so many interesting things happening around the School, it’s hard to know what life will be like when these folks graduate. There’s the new MBA core curriculum that will be announced later this year, a recovering economy and a talented group of new senior administrators who will lead the School in new strategic directions. When you add the enthusiastic new students into the mix, there is boundless potential for what might happen over the next two years.

When we reconvene at Commencement in two years and look back, everything will seem so orderly and logical. All of these uncertainties will be resolved and it will seem (in retrospect) that this class was destined to follow a particular path.

But as I sit here in August 2010, it’s all still a big mystery. That’s one of the many things that make the professor’s life so interesting, and I look forward to the all the adventures that lie ahead for the Class of 2012.

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