Wharton Now

The Job Market Roars Back for Wharton MBA Grads and Interns

Amid the cycle of interviews, career treks, and information sessions, 2006 graduates and first-year students can take comfort in the results achieved during the 2005 season.

Says Christopher Morris, director of MBA Career Management, “The hiring situation for the class of 2005 was better than for the class of 2004 and significantly better than for the two years prior to that.”

The results were especially striking for the second-year students, with far more companies coming to campus to interview. In 2005, 94% of MBA graduates seeking employment reported job offers as of September 1, and 93% reported job acceptances with a median total compensation of $135,000. Among first-year students seeking internships, 99% reported offers with 98% accepting summer employment. Employment rates for U.S. and international students were comparable.

Wharton graduates continue to pursue broad functions, industries, and regions. In the past year, more than 2,000 companies engaged Wharton MBA students through a range of activities that included on-campus recruiting, job board postings, and hosting student treks in nearly two dozen cities worldwide. Of these companies, more than 600 made at least one offer to Wharton MBA students in 2005.

Morris, now in his second year as director of the career office, cites two goals: first, to provide a higher level of service to students and recruiters by overhauling internal systems to be more user-friendly and by providing a higher level of customer service. “The second is continuing to provide additional resources for students who are looking for opportunities outside of organizations that historically come on-campus,” he says. “We do that by helping students organize company visits to different cities on an industry basis. We’ve promoted the use of our job boards for companies that are evaluating whether to hire Wharton students or alumni, as a very low-cost way to test the waters to see who responds. We’ve enhanced the use of technology across the board—providing video-conferenced information sessions from anywhere in the world.”

Morris notes that regional and international diversity continues to increase: “What we find in the recruiting process is that for the right job with the right company and the right responsibilities, students will relocate to cities they might not otherwise have considered.”

In addition to success among employers who are new to the School, Wharton’s traditional pipelines into consulting and banking are back on full force. More than a quarter of full-time hires went into consulting (26.5% in 2005 versus 22.5% in 2004), and the number of graduates going into financial services was up more than 10% (44.1% in 2005 versus 40.6% in 2004) with the hedge funds (4.8%), and private equity (7.6%) particularly hot — each nearly doubling over the previous year’s numbers.

For complete statistics or to find out how you can recruit Wharton MBA grads, visit <mycareer.wharton.upenn.edu>.

Wharton Welcomes Students Displaced by Hurricane Katrina

In late August, Rasheena Harris was settling into historic New Orleans as a first-year MBA student at Tulane University when Hurricane Katrina hit. Instead, Harris evacuated the city, along with all her classmates and millions of residents of the region.

At the time, most expected to return within days, but history did not unfold that way. Harris, a Philadelphia native, found a temporary home at Wharton for the fall semester, along with 11 other New Orleans-area graduate students and 18 undergraduates.

In the days after the hurricane, Penn announced that it would offer academically qualified Philadelphia-area students enrolled at colleges and universities in hurricane-stricken areas the opportunity to take fall semester classes at Penn. But matching students to the opportunity was complicated by the dispersal of the New Orleans evacuees and the destruction of communication networks.

Harris learned about the opportunity at Wharton and told several of her classmates about it. The grapevine worked. Within a matter of days, Wharton’s Graduate Division received 40 applications from students at Tulane University and The University of New Orleans, 12 of whom were eligible for Wharton’s MBA program. The next step, says Parker Snowe, associate director of Wharton’s Graduate Division, was to get them to Philadelphia as quickly as possible.

The displaced students now at Wharton include Philadelphia residents, as well as residents from farflung states and countries. The students from New Orleans were welcomed into the Wharton community, joining learning teams and taking part in activities. Harris, for example, became involved in the Whitney M.Young Conference, held in December. Wharton students became active fundraisers for victims of the storm. The undergraduate Wharton Council ordered 5,000 bracelets in Mardi Gras colors with the words “The Big Easy” to sell on Locust Walk and at all undergraduate benefit events. Wharton alumni clubs responded to the Hurricane Katrina crisis. Most notably, the Wharton Club of Houston, spearheaded by president emeritus Jonathan H. Lack, WG’91, reached out to help displaced Wharton alumni find jobs in Houston.

Tulane University sustained little damage compared to some other areas of the city and some other New Orleans universities, and MBA and undergraduate classes are scheduled to begin February 9, 2006, with two 12-week terms running back to back into the summer so that students who did not take fall schedules can catch up.

“New Orleans is New Orleans because of the people, but they’re not there now. It’s a ghost town,” says Harris. “The students are part of the community that will return, and bring the city back to life.”

Wharton Team Wins INSEAD Business Plan Competition

The first predominantly Wharton team to enter INSEAD’s Business Plan Competition was also the first to win. The company, VivaTech Imaging, was led by Wharton students enrolled during summer 2005 at INSEAD’s Singapore campus as part of the Wharton-INSEAD Alliance.

The winning team consisted of Nikhil Lalwani, WG’05, Dr. Sanjiv Talwar, WG’05, Anya Schiess, WG’05, Dr. Alexander Schuth, WG’05, and Monisha Dillon, an INSEAD MBA student. All Wharton representatives were health care management majors.

The team, in a slightly different lineup, made it to the Great Eight in Wharton’s 2004-2005 Business Plan Competition as Lemire Imaging Inc. When Lalwani traveled to Singapore to finish up his studies at INSEAD, he had no plans to enter another competition. Upon arrival, still passionate about his company’s potential, he saw an opportunity to refine its business plan and presentation.

Lalwani and Schuth recruited an INSEAD teammate and kept their U.S.-based colleagues on board remotely. With more experience under their belts and a stellar mix of skills, VivaTech Imaging made a winning pitch. The team won the top prize of 10,000 euros, as well as a bronze medal for innovation.

The company seeks funding to develop and market a painless, laser-based screening tool for breast cancer. VivaTech’s technology, called LaserScan, is based on a patent developed by advisory board member Bob Lemire. It uses non-ionizing laser energy to detect tumors by measuring hemoglobin concentration in neo-vascularization. The light passing through the tissues is scattered and absorbed, then computer algorithms construct a three-dimensional image of the breast.

Bendheim Gift Helps Wharton MBAs Pursue Public Service Careers

When Thomas L. Bendheim, WG’90, and his father, John M. Bendheim, W’40, first talked about making a gift to their alma mater, they knew that they wanted to help others to give back to society in the ways that they have been able to do throughout their careers.

“We know that many Wharton students are interested in public service careers, but that their educational debt burden may inhibit them from pursuing these jobs,” says Thomas Bendheim.

Established through a $2.5 million grant from the Leon Lowenstein Foundation, the John M. Bendheim Loan Forgiveness Fund for Public Service will help cover the debt obligations for MBA graduates who pursue public service or not-for-profit work.

The younger Bendheim says that the gift will help people such as his wife, Kathryn Bendheim, WG’90, who, because of the significant loan burden she had taken on to come to Wharton, could not afford to take a job in the not-for-profit field right after she graduated. The Bendheim Loan Forgiveness Fund will grant up to $50,000 of debt forgiveness to students who demonstrate their commitment to the public and/or not-for-profit sectors upon graduation. Each award recipient is then charged to become a mentor and resource for current Wharton MBA students who are interested in similar careers.

“This gives us a powerful message to take to those who are interested in this kind of work,” says Thomas Caleel, Director of Admissions and Financial Aid in Wharton’s MBA program. “And it’s a powerful tool for recruiting these people.”

Wharton and Penn Law Collaborate to Bring Deal-Makers into the Classroom

“The success of the deal depends on the team driving it,” said Ruth Porat, WG’87, vice chairman at Morgan Stanley, before a classroom full of Wharton MBA and Penn Law students.

She was speaking about the team of investment bankers, lawyers, and executives who made Genworth Financial’s 2004 stock offering the most successful IPO in two years, but she could just as easily have been talking about the team behind the interdisciplinary class she spoke to. An elective called “Deals: The Economic Structure of Contracts and Transactions,” the class was developed by Wharton Management Professor Daniel Raff and two colleagues at Columbia Law School when Raff taught at Columbia. Raff and Penn Law Associate Dean Michael Knoll, a trained economist and an expert in tax law, have brought it to Penn and are adapting it to the particular strengths and interests of the University’s faculty, students, and alumni.

The innovative class took place in two halves during the course of the term. The first part of the term was lecture style, team taught by Raff and Knoll. The second part involved students from both graduate schools dividing into teams to study recent interesting and prominent transactions. The students gained access and proposed an analysis in class each Monday. During the Wednesday class session, the deal was illuminated by the actual i-bankers and lawyers—many of them Penn and Wharton alumni—who pulled them off.

On November 2, the first deal of the second phase of class brought to Wharton Pamela Dealey, a Penn Law graduate, vice president of business development for GE, and a director at Genworth Financial; Briggs Tobin, senior counsel, transactions, for GE; David Lefkowitz, senior partner, Weill, Gotshal & Manges, LLP; and Porat. Dealey, one of the driving forces behind putting the class together, brought her team to Philadelphia to offer insight into GE’s strategy for spinning off Genworth Financial, as well as financial, governance, and tax details about a deal that had a $10 billion book value.

Other deals discussed during later class sessions included the redevelopment of the St. Moritz Hotel on Central Park South and the reorganization of Royal Dutch-Shell.

Knoll described one of the challenges of the inter-school collaboration, “The vocabulary of law school and business students is different, but we needed to find common ground,” he said. “We try to pitch it at a level that will be comfortable for both. Law students don’t know business jargon, and business students can’t quote code sections. But when they graduate and try to put deals together, they will need to talk to and understand each other.”

Three New Learning Simulations Enliven Management, Economics, and Operations

In a survey conducted last spring, 87% of Wharton students said computer-based tools enhance learning in class. In Fall 2005, Wharton’s Alfred West Jr. Learning Lab introduced three new simulations in management, economics, and operations and information management. Students who engage in the simulations and receive real-time feedback indicate that computer-based tools are more effective than both case-based and lecture-based classes in enhancing attention and engagement, retaining material, and promoting team collaboration.

These new offerings bring to 23 the total number of simulations developed and deployed by the Learning Lab, which was founded in 2001 through a $10 million gift from alumnus Alfred West Jr., WG’66. A total of 28 faculty authors have developed new learning tools that have been used by more than 5,000 Wharton students since 2001.

scenario parameters that can vary by group. It also introduces additional prompts to individuals based on their initial responses to the scenarios.”

The other two new products are PLANT (Production Line ANalyzation Tool), developed with Operations and Information Management Professor Anita Tucker to help students learn to improve production performance, and Macroeconomic Policy Simulations, developed with Professor Andy Abel to demonstrate the challenges of making macroeconomic policy in a world where fiscal and monetary policymakers with different objectives have control over various policy tools.

Outreach to Women Applicants for the Undergraduate and MBA Exec Divisions

In 2003, 712,000 women earned a bachelor’s degree in the United States, compared with 531,000 men. And 274,000 women received master’s degrees, compared with 194,000 men. Yet business schools have been left behind the trend toward female majorities in higher education.

In Wharton’s most recent classes, women make up 39% of undergraduates, 32% of traditional MBA students, and 20% of students in the MBA Program for Executives. While these numbers represent continuing progress, the growth is not nearly fast enough for Wharton administrators. This year, the Wharton Undergraduate Division and MBA Program for Executives introduced innovative outreach efforts to let potential female students — from teens to executives — know that business careers and degrees are worthwhile, stimulating, and achievable.

Wharton Undergraduate Vice Dean Barbara Kahn worked with New York University Stern School of Business Dean and Vice Dean Sally Blount-Lyon to create a joint initiative, “Discover Business Now,” that educates high school sophomores and juniors about what it means to study business at the undergraduate level and how doing so broadens their career opportunities. The program consisted of two fall events. The first, held on November 1, 2005 in Short Hills, NJ, invited students of both genders, and the second — exclusively for girls — was held November 6 in Philadelphia.

“Having business skills opens a thousand doors,” says Kahn. “You can pursue a doctoral degree, or go to a professional school. You can enter many different fields — you can be a business major and concentrate in politics, business public policy, marketing, or management, to name a few. It’s not a narrow approach to undergraduate education; on the contrary, it’s a broadening approach.”

The MBA Program for Executives reached out to female executives and professionals at their own events, held November 16 in Philadelphia and November 30 in San Francisco. While women know the value of an MBA by the time they have reached the level of career success necessary for an executive MBA, many doubt they will be able to balance work with Wharton’s demanding curriculum, while still maintaining time for their families and personal lives.

This myth was dispelled by Wharton alumni panelists and speakers, who were honest about the challenges but emphatic about the rewards. Amy Errett, WG’88, CEO of Olivia Cruises, spoke on the West Coast, while the East Coast panel included Shelley Boyce, WG’95, CEO, MedRisk; Gladys Gabriel, WG’99, purchasing director at IFF; and Lillian Heizner, WG’01, principal, Booz-Allen Hamilton.

Summer Program for International Undergraduates Grows

Penn’s Summer Institute in Business and Technology, sponsored jointly by Wharton and Penn Engineering, is just four weeks long and two years old, but it has an impact on students from around the world.

Begun in 2004, after a request from Jiao Tong University in Shanghai, SIBT gives international undergraduates intensive courses in engineering entrepreneurship and management. Students also make site visits to companies, attend guest lectures, and receive optional coaching on oral and written communication.

The program attracts students from countries such as China, South Korea, Brazil, Croatia, and France. Visit <www.mandt.wharton.upenn.edu/mtsi.htm> for more information about 2006 admission.

RAISE (Raise Allocation Interactive Salary Exercise), used by students in Wharton’s Undergraduate Management 101 class, was developed under the faculty leadership of Lori Rosenkopf, associate professor of management. With RAISE students focus on allocating a salary raise pool among seven employees. The simulation gives students hands-on experience in the role of corporate managers who must allocate limited resources. Within the simulation, students make decisions about which employees will receive a raise based on quantitative and qualitative performance measures as well as a host of demographic characteristics and other idiosyncratic information for each employee.

“Before RAISE, we needed several Teaching Assistants to run the exercise manually and were not able to provide the same level of hands-on interaction for each student,” says Rosenkopf. “The simulation automates many of the calculations and provides scenario parameters that can vary by group. It also introduces additional prompts to individuals based on their initial responses to the scenarios.”

The other two new products are PLANT (Production Line ANalyzation Tool), developed with Operations and Information Management Professor Anita Tucker to help students learn to improve production performance, and Macroeconomic Policy Simulations, developed with Professor Andy Abel to demonstrate the challenges of making macroeconomic policy in a world where fiscal and monetary policymakers with different objectives have control over various policy tools.

Outreach to Women Applicants for the Undergraduate and MBA Exec Divisions

In 2003, 712,000 women earned a bachelor’s degree in the United States, compared with 531,000 men. And 274,000 women received master’s degrees, compared with 194,000 men. Yet business schools have been left behind the trend toward female majorities in higher education.

In Wharton’s most recent classes, women make up 39% of undergraduates, 32% of traditional MBA students, and 20% of students in the MBA Program for Executives. While these numbers represent continuing progress, the growth is not nearly fast enough for Wharton administrators. This year, the Wharton Undergraduate Division and MBA Program for Executives introduced innovative outreach efforts to let potential female students — from teens to executives — know that business careers and degrees are worthwhile, stimulating, and achievable.

Wharton Undergraduate Vice Dean Barbara Kahn worked with New York University Stern School of Business Dean and Vice Dean Sally Blount-Lyon to create a joint initiative, “Discover Business Now,” that educates high school sophomores and juniors about what it means to study business at the undergraduate level and how doing so broadens their career opportunities. The program consisted of two fall events. The first, held on November 1, 2005 in Short Hills, NJ, invited students of both genders, and the second — exclusively for girls — was held November 6 in Philadelphia.

“Having business skills opens a thousand doors,” says Kahn. “You can pursue a doctoral degree, or go to a professional school. You can enter many different fields — you can be a business major and concentrate in politics, business public policy, marketing, or management, to name a few. It’s not a narrow approach to undergraduate education; on the contrary, it’s a broadening approach.”

The MBA Program for Executives reached out to female executives and professionals at their own events, held November 16 in Philadelphia and November 30 in San Francisco. While women know the value of an MBA by the time they have reached the level of career success necessary for an executive MBA, many doubt they will be able to balance work with Wharton’s demanding curriculum, while still maintaining time for their families and personal lives.
This myth was dispelled by Wharton alumni panelists and speakers, who were honest about the challenges but emphatic about the rewards. Amy Errett, WG’88, CEO of Olivia Cruises, spoke on the West Coast, while the East Coast panel included Shelley Boyce, WG’95, CEO, MedRisk; Gladys Gabriel, WG’99, purchasing director at IFF; and Lillian Heizner, WG’01, principal, Booz-Allen Hamilton.

Summer Program for International Undergraduates Grows

Penn’s Summer Institute in Business and Technology, sponsored jointly by Wharton and Penn Engineering, is just four weeks long and two years old, but it has an impact on students from around the world.

Begun in 2004, after a request from Jiao Tong University in Shanghai, SIBT gives international undergraduates intensive courses in engineering entrepreneurship and management. Students also make site visits to companies, attend guest lectures, and receive optional coaching on oral and written communication.

The program attracts students from countries such as China, South Korea, Brazil, Croatia, and France. Visit <www.mandt.wharton.upenn.edu/mtsi.htm> for more information about 2006 admission.

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