Like many of her fellow Wharton alumni, Gloria Rabinowitz, WG’78, recently found herself at a career crossroads. DuPont, the Wilmington, Delaware-based company at which she had worked in several executive capacities, was shutting down the Internet-oriented unit she was heading. While Rabinowitz had other positions she could have pursued within the company, noting that she “never expected not to work for DuPont for the rest of my career,” she decided to explore other opportunities.While her own job search was quick – she is now director of strategic analysis at AmeriGas in suburban Philadelphia – the lessons learned about the need for lifelong career management were longer lasting. It fueled her interest in helping fellow members of the Wharton Club of Philadelphia with similar challenges. A longtime member of the club, she approached its leadership about wanting to share her new-found knowledge and help create alumni career programs. Her timing was perfect: a survey the club had just conducted had shown that the top reasons members get involved include career development and job change. Working with fellow club members Patricia Berenson, WG’89, and Melinda Schorr, WG’81, Rabinowitz has coordinated a series entitled Business Is Our Business, Managing Your Career Is Your Business – A Lifetime Pursuit. The first program, held in mid-September, focused on “ins” and “outs” for job changers; subsequent programs will highlight entrepreneurship and moving up in an organization.
Rabinowitz’s experience is an example of how the alumni club in Philadelphia, representing the second largest concentration of Wharton grads in the world, responds to the needs of its constituents. As a club member, Rabinowitz felt encouraged to pursue her interests in lifelong career management with an entrepreneurial spirit that reflects the best lessons the Wharton School offers. And the career program is but one of several thematic niches in which the club operates: other members have volunteered to develop a well-received Wharton Women’s Network; a breakfast series spotlighting leaders from the local business community; and social events that take members around the greater Philadelphia area for art exhibits, wine tastings, and baseball games.As befitting their “home team” status in the Wharton network, the 16,000 Wharton alumni in the region represent the breadth of the School’s Undergraduate, Graduate, Executive, and Doctoral programs. According to club president Adam Fein, PhD’97, the club’s schedule of events, membership outreach, even the composition of the board of directors has been calibrated to reflect that diversity. “Our strengths are diversity and deep networking,” Fein said. “The network is broader and stronger than those we interacted with while attending Wharton. The club’s leadership and membership base represents different age groups, career paths, industries, and experiences. The services and programs developed for our members are definitely enhanced by this level of diversity and participation.”
In addition to the programs already mentioned, the club most recently sponsored a sold-out event at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, featuring a presentation by Wyeth President Bernard Poussot; interacted with students at campus-based programs; and co-hosted a reception for Dean Pat Harker. The club will also be an active part of the Jon M. Huntsman Hall celebration on October 25 and 26. To find out more information on the club’s upcoming schedule of events, or to get more specific information about the Wharton Women’s Network, visit their website at http://www.whartonclub.org/, or e-mail club administrator Maureen Waddington at firstname.lastname@example.org.