Fall 2010

Fall 2010

Elon Musk, W’97, C’97, has already conquered the Internet. Now he wants to revolutionize the auto industry–and space travel, too.




Cover Story

  • He Won’t Back Down

    As a college student, Elon Musk pledged that he would make an impact on the Internet, on the environment and in space. Fifteen years later, he remains as committed as ever to those same goals.

Featured Stories

  • Changed Forever?

    The retail sector has been changed dramatically by the economic downturn. But are those changes permanent? Experts and industry insiders say they aren’t yet sure.

  • Doing Both

    A Cisco Executive Explains Why It Makes Sense to Avoid ‘Either-Or’ Scenarios–Both in Life, and in Business.

  • Tinseltown in Transition

    The rise of foreign markets and popularity of 3D are offering Hollywood much-needed signs of hope. But insiders admit the good old days of filmmaking are very likely gone forever.


  • From the Vault

    During his time as a Penn student, Michail M. Dorizas established himself as one of the finest athletes the University had ever seen. During his time as a Wharton professor, he built a reputation as one of the School’s most beloved teachers, too.

  • Final_Exam

    Final Exam

    Think you could still ace your way through Wharton? Well, here’s your chance to prove it.

  • George_W._Gephart

    Popular Science

    The Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia has a big anniversary coming up, ambitious plans for the future and a new president, George Gephart, WG’79, leading the way.

  • The Inbox

    The Power of the Network, Indeed I was enjoying some downtime, reading your Spring 2010 issue on the airplane while traveling home to San Francisco from a business trip. While I was immersed in the article titled “The Power of ‘The Network’” (Spring 2010, pg. 30) I was politely interrupted by a woman sitting next to me (in the middle seat, poor thing) asking, “Excuse me, did you go to Wharton?” Coincidentally, we both had gone to Wharton undergrad, which is a bit rare in the Bay Area (most alums are MBA alumni; additionally, I find many professionals aren’t aware that there is an undergraduate program at Wharton, but I digress). She was class of 2005, I was class of 1996 and she just so happened to be looking to leave her retail consulting firm. Believe it or not, I work for a consultancy that has recently started a Retail Practice and I was looking to hire strategists/analysts. Turns out, she accepted our offer and her first day was June 21. The Power of the Network! Carol Citkovic, W’96   A Longtime Reader. And We Mean It. I have been receiving the Wharton Magazine for some time now and I just wanted you to know that I greatly appreciate receiving this great publication. I am an “old fogey” in my 93rd year, yet I am happy to be able to say that I recognize a nice publication when I see one. It sure is very fine to read it. I don’t remember the year I graduated from Wharton, but at least I am happy to be able to tell all my friends that it is certainly a very fine place to get a really good education. I tell them that I am speaking from “experience.” Thank you again very much […]

  • News Briefs

    Ulrich Named Vice Dean for Innovation Karl T. Ulrich, the CIBC Professor of Entrepreneurship and e-Commerce, was named Wharton’s Vice Dean for Innovation by Dean Thomas S. Robertson in late August. In this newly created role, Ulrich will work to identify and implement new research and teaching opportunities for the School. In a letter to the community announcing Ulrich’s appointment, Robertson and Deputy Dean Michael Gibbons wrote: “The Wharton community generates countless ideas for enriching our research and teaching missions. Because we recognize that many of these ideas are never adequately explored, we have established this new office to help us identify and implement the very best.” Robertson and Gibbons added that “there is no one better suited” to taking on the new role than Ulrich, who during his time at Penn has co-founded both the Weiss Tech House and the Integrated Product Design Program. He is also the co-author of Product Design and Development and Innovation Tournaments: Creating and Selecting Exceptional Opportunities. Ulrich also holds more than 20 patents. “As Vice Dean, Karl will be a steward for innovation opportunities, providing a vital channel to the Dean’s Office for ideas originating from across all divisions of the School, thereby helping us to become more efficient and effective in fulfilling our academic mission,” Robertson and Gibbons wrote. “We are confident that if we identify and implement two or three additional ideas each year, this could be transformational for the Wharton School.” Wharton | San Francisco Welcomes New Executive Director Bernie Birt took over as the new Executive Director of Wharton | San Francisco on September 2. Birt arrived at Wharton from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where she also served as executive director. At Kellogg, Birt was responsible for the end-to-end direction and administration of admissions, marketing, […]

  • Editor

    Editor’s Letter

    Late this summer, I had the opportunity to sit down for a long conversation with J.J. Cutler, C’93, WG’97, who since May has served as Wharton’s Deputy Vice Dean of MBA Admissions, Financial Aid and Career Management. Cutler’s dual role—he is charged with not only recruiting top young business minds to Wharton, but also helping them move on to rewarding careers after their years here are over—is a unique one among top business schools. According to Cutler, in fact, no other top b-school is using the same model. Wharton, though, believes in this new model. Cutler does, too. For one very simple reason: The world of business has changed, and Wharton must change with it. Thanks in part to the global economic downturn, in part to globalization and in part to the evolution of the MBA degree itself, business education is undergoing fundamental and very likely permanent changes—changes that have brought challenges, of course, but great new opportunities as well. Those opportunities are most apparent, it seems, in the striking diversity of interests among today’s Wharton MBAs—and the amazing variety of ways they are putting their degrees to use. There’s no mistaking it, Cutler says: Not every Wharton graduate wants a career in finance or banking these days; increasingly, these graduates are instead seeking out opportunities in the energy sector, in sports business, in nonprofits, in microfinance. Quite simply, students and employers today are viewing the MBA as much more than just a just a business degree. It is, instead, a leadership degree—a leadership degree that can be put to use pretty much anywhere. In this issue of Wharton Magazine, we highlight a few alumni who are proof of this new-world concept. • In our cover story, we catch up with one of Wharton’s most successful and most eclectic graduates, […]

  • Hess_Painting

    The Art of Private Equity

    John Hess says he had a very good reason for taking up painting: He was driving his wife crazy.

  • Exploring the Crisis, Explaining Dodd-Frank

    Why does the nation need the Dodd-Frank Act? During an August appearance at Wharton, a top Obama administration official tried to answer that very question.

  • The_Evolution_of_Legislation

    Wharton Folly: The Evolution of Legislation

    Illustration by Brian Ajhar. Concept by the Wharton Folly Committee (Joel Serebransky, WG’85, Matthew Sinacori, WG’03, Ram Rajagopal, WG’02, Steve Margolis, WG’86, and Andy Stack, WG’01)    

  • MBA_Convocation

    Welcome to Wharton

    Photo by Mike Bertoline Wharton’s newest class of MBAs was welcomed to campus by Wharton Dean Thomas S. Robertson during MBA Convocation on Aug. 6 at Irvine Auditorium. To see video highlights from the event, and to hear from some of the new students, see the video below.

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