Winter 2010

Winter 2010





Cover Story

  • Mehmet_Oz_2

    The Doctor Is In. And Everywhere.

    He went to Harvard. He went to Wharton and Penn’s School of Medicine (at the same time). Finally, he went to … Oprah U. The rigorous training paid off. Because today, Dr. Mehmet Oz, WG’86, M’86, might be America’s most popular M.D.

Featured Stories

  • Is There a Future for Detroit?

    The Glory Days may be gone for the Motor City. But there is hope for the American auto industry, Wharton experts say.


  • Editor’s Letter

    By Tim Hyland The idea behind our new “Final Exam” back-page feature, which we debuted in the Fall 2009 issue of Wharton Magazine, was fairly straightforward. We wanted to find new and interesting ways to connect with you, our readers. We also wanted to make reading Wharton Magazine as appealing—and fun—as we possibly could. Final Exam, in which we challenge you with an actual exam question from an actual Wharton course, seemed like the perfect way to accomplish both of those goals. Everyone here on the magazine team was excited about it. Then, sometime in late summer, Prof. Jagmohan Raju, whom we had asked to provide the first Final Exam challenge, submitted his question. And my heart sank. The question was far too complicated, I thought. Far too mathematical. Far too difficult. I remember sitting at my desk, staring at the question for a good long while (I’ll be honest; it was way over my head), and wondering to myself, “Who on earth is actually going to solve this thing?” Answer: Well, you. That’s who. Proving once again that Wharton alumni back down from no challenge, we saw a tremendous response to our first Final Exam. We received dozens of replies to Prof. Raju’s Marketing 621 exam question—and, incredibly, some of you actually submitted the correct answer. Suffice to say, we here at Vance Hall are mighty impressed. We’re also thrilled that you took the time out of your busy schedules to engage with your alumni magazine—and, by extension, your alma mater. It is our ongoing mission to make this the most dynamic, fun-to-read and relevant alumni magazine, and Final Exam is just one of the features that we hope will help us to do so. In this issue of Wharton Magazine, we offer you yet another Final Exam challenge—this one […]

  • The Inbox

    Hot Chocolate-Worthy I received this magazine recently, entitled Wharton Magazine. I t didn’t seem like my previous Wharton literature, so I put it aside as I rummaged through the rest of the mail. My eyes were drawn to it, though, because it seemed to remind me of Forbes, Fortune or the other interesting business magazines I would go to Borders and read as I sip hot chocolate. As I looked inside, I was just overwhelmed by the new design and the content. It is exceptional. I put it down and said to myself, “This is a magazine worthy of sitting at Borders, sipping hot chocolate, and just reading what is going on in the lives of my fellow Whartonites and my School.” I look forward to my next issue. You did an excellent job on the new design. Rupert A. Hayles, Jr., WG’94 Chief Operating Officer, Christ Church Blairstown, NJ   ‘A Grand Slam’ My WG ’69 Class Notes correspondent, Karel Samsom, picked a great issue in which to publish my update. Nothing like optimum visibility in a pleasing, reader-friendly context. The new magazine format is far more inviting than the prior format. Even the lightly-coated paper stock is better than before. Your design and editorial staff have hit a grand slam. Congratulations. Jim Rowbotham, WG’69 New York City, NY   And a ‘Home Run,’ Too At least someone up in Philly is hitting home runs! The new layout and feel of Wharton Magazine is fantastic. For the first time ever, I read the entire thing cover to cover. Looking forward to the next one! Scott W. Hawley, C’92, W’92 Vice President of Sales American Utility Management Atlanta, GA   From The Other Side of the Earth I always enjoy when the Wharton Magazine arrives on the other side of […]

  • From the Vault

    By Tim Hyland Simon Kuznets, HON’56, HON’76, immigrated to the United States from Russia in 1922. By 1926, he had already earned his B.S., M.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University. It was an auspicious beginning to what would drove to be a remarkable career. Kuznets served on the staff of the National Bureau of Economic Research from the late 1920s through the 1960s and, during that time, was also a professor at Harvard (1960-1971), Johns Hopkins (1954-1960) and Wharton (1931-1954). He is shown here teaching a Wharton MBA class in 1946. Kuznets earned widespread acclaim for his contributions to the understanding and proper use of Gross National Product, a term he helped define through such works as National Income and Its Composition (1941). He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1971 “for his empirically founded interpretation of economic growth, which has led to new and deepened insight into the economic and social structure and process of development.” Kuznets died in 1985. He was 84.

  • Final Exam

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

  • Wharton Folly

    Twitter Power? 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)

  • Photo Spotlight: Winter Wallop

    A massive winter storm hit Philadelphia just before the holidays–and left Penn’s campus blanketed in nearly two feet of snow. The 23.2-inch snowfall made the storm the second-largest in city history.

  • A Middle East Partnership for Excellence

    Wharton in early November extended its global reach with the opening of the Wharton Entrepreneurship and Family Business Research Centre at the Centre of Excellence for Applied Research and Training (CERT) in Abu Dhabi. The Centre will allow Wharton faculty to pursue research on entrepreneurship, innovation, family business practices and the challenges of doing business in the region. The initiative was spearheaded by Raffi Amit, Wharton’s Robert B. Goergen Professor of Entrepreneurship. Noted Amit: “The insights we gain will have a broad and lasting impact on business leaders in the Mideast and worldwide.” In addition to the research center, the Wharton-CERT partnership calls for the institutions to collaborate on the launch of a CERT-Wharton Business Plan Competition (Wharton BPC) and on the development of the Arabic-language edition of Knowledge@Wharton. The first site in the Middle East to join the K@W network, the Arabic edition will make extensive use of mobile technology to analyze business trends in the Middle East and their effect on the larger global community. By disseminating the knowledge generated by Wharton’s faculty and delivering important regional business insights, the Arabic-language edition of K@W will further the School’s strategic goal of increased global engagement, both in the Middle East and with an Arabic-reading audience worldwide.

  • From the Cohort: Learning to Listen

    By Greg Emerson, WG’10 I’m what the folks in admissions like to call a “nontraditional applicant.” High-school dropout. Compost farmer. Insurance salesman. Recovering hippie. I came to Wharton expecting to be immersed in the world of business, and my first year exceeded those expectations. It was a whirlwind of accelerated learning, frantic job-searching and constant inspiration by an incredible group of classmates. Yet the most powerful aspect of my time at Wharton has been something I never saw coming: The personal and emotional growth I have achieved through the Wharton Leadership Program. The defining moment of my Wharton career was the day of the Learning Team Retreat when I first met my teammates. The strength and cohesiveness of one’s learning team shapes the first-year MBA experience here at Wharton. While some learning teams gel immediately, others struggle. My team fell squarely into the latter category. As someone who consistently excelled in individual coursework, my first inclination was to blame the other members for our poor performance. But through the 360-review process and the mentorship of Professor Greg Shea and Deputy Vice Dean for Student Life B. Kembrel Jones, I came to understand my role in our shortcomings. The message I heard from my teammates during our first 360-review session came as a, well, surprise: While they admired my intellect and appreciated my willingness to take on a significant workload, they found me intimidating and unwelcoming to others’ ideas. I was floored. This was my first real experience working on a team that provided organized feedback, and I was unaware of how my actions were negatively affecting my teammates. I am intent on pursuing a career in consulting, but I realized at that moment that my capacity for analytics and eagerness to learn would not help me one bit unless I […]

  • Wharton Leader: David Nash, WG’86

    By Tim Hyland Not long after Dr. David Nash arrived at Thomas Jefferson University, news broke of a White House-backed plan to completely overhaul America’s health care system. It was tabbed “HillaryCare,” as then-First Lady Hillary Clinton took charge of a mammoth proposal that would have provided all Americans with access to health care for the first time. Proponents said the effort was long overdue, not to mention absolutely necessary. Opponents called it wasteful, if not outright socialism. Ultimately, the plan went nowhere. Twenty years later, Nash, WG’86, is still at Jefferson, a new President is pushing forward a new universal health care plan, and America is still facing the same old problems—and same confounding questions—about its health care system. In his new role, Nash hopes to help deliver solutions. Last spring, he was named Founding Dean of the new Jefferson School of Population Health (JSPH), which opened its doors this fall with the aim of training the next generation of leaders in health care policy, public health and healthcare quality and safety. The school offers four masters-level programs and a Ph.D. in Population Health Science, as well as three graduate certificate programs. According to Nash, there’s not another health sciences university like it anywhere. “Interestingly, our whole school and its strategy for the future is aligned very nicely with where we believe reform efforts must go,” says Nash, a Board Certified Internist who also serves as the school’s Dr. Raymond C. and Doris N. Grandon Professor of Health Policy. “Culturally, medical schools for a century have put these kinds of health-policy issues elsewhere—in schools of public health, in schools of business, but not in the work of doctoring. And I think we are currently paying the price for that attitude.” Nash certainly has his opinions. He flatly calls the […]

  • The Locker Room

    “I’m probably the only person who went to Wharton on a literary impulse.”

  • Wharton Leader: Randall Weisenburger, WG’87

    By Nancy Moffitt Omnicom Group CFO Randall Weisenburger, WG’87, shows his commitment to Wharton, and the Wharton Interactive Media Initiative (WIMI), as concretely as he can–via the direct involvement of more than a dozen Omnicom-owned companies in WIMI research projects. OMG, Omnicom’s media buying and planning group, is working with WIMI on several projects to help the company better understand the cost effectiveness and efficiency of interactive media buys. Another Omnicom firm is working with WIMI to develop a media-mix modeling capability. “Anyone can try to measure what your return on investment is if you run one more TV spot or not or buy another million hits online or run one more print ad,” Weisenburger says. “But the real backdrop is how the different mediums all work together. So if a client shifts money from TV advertising to Internet, it may be cheaper, but is it more efficient? Does it actually have an end result that’s superior?” Weisenburger speaks with genuine passion for WIMI, a data-driven research program run by Peter Fader, the Frances and Pei-Yuan Chia Professor, and Eric Bradlow, the K.P. Chao Professor, that focuses on interactive media, its effects on global businesses, and implications for traditional business models. It’s a partnership that dozens of Omnicom’s data-driven subsidiaries such as Organic, BBDO and OMD, stand to benefit from, Weisenburger believes. “These are the kinds of research projects WIMI is interested in getting involved with,” he says. “It’s pairing up incredibly talented academics with real-world situations and run both academic and real-world research side by side.” Weisenburger, a founding WIMI supporter, has a long history of working to create problem-solving programs at Wharton. In 2001, he established the Wharton-Omnicom Communications Fellow Program, which trains students to serve as writing and speaking coaches to their peers. Weisenburger launched the program after hearing program […]

  • William_Mack

    A Great Business Mind, for the Greater Good

    By Lauren Anderson Although he wasn’t first in his class at Wharton, real estate developer William L. Mack, W’61, has certainly earned his place among the School’s outstanding global leaders. And on October 22 at the Fall Combined Boards Meeting, Mack received the School’s highest accolade—the Dean’s Medal, bestowed for extraordinary achievement or service to society by an individual. Accepting the award, Mack joked that he would tell his mother he had “finally made the Dean’s List.” Mack, founder and chairman of AREA Property Partners (formerly known as Apollo Real Estate Advisors, L.P.), was honored for his leadership in business as well as his commitment to education and the community. The successful and generous Mack, said Penn President Amy Gutmann, is an “incredible model for how you can do great business and do great good in the world.” In addition to heading up AREA, a global real estate investment group that has invested in 25 different countries worldwide, Mack also serves as Senior Partner of the Mack Organization and non-Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Mack-Cali Realty Corporation. During the course of his four decades-long career, Mack has had a “strong hand in shaping the real estate industry as we know it today,” said Wharton Dean Thomas S. Robertson, the Reliance Professor of Management and Private Enterprise. A noted philanthropist and civic leader, Mack has made it a point to share his keen business insight through his service on a host of boards. He is chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and vice chairman of the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, the University of  Pennsylvania’s Board of Trustees and Wharton’s Board of Overseers. Also lauded was Mack’s ability to forge connections—from business and technology to commerce and culture. He has […]

  • Making a Difference, Every Day

    Madelyn Adams, WG’89, is committed to making the most of every dollar donated to the East Lake Foundation. “Working hard is great,” she says. “But I really want results.”

  • Sea Change

    The rise of technology, empowerment of consumers and explosion of social networking are conspiring to make the advertising world more complicated—and ad campaigns more clever—than ever before.

  • A Retail Rebound?

    At the 2010 Wharton Retail Conference, industry experts offered their thoughts on the state of the retail sector—and shared insights into how they’ve kept their businesses thriving.

  • Available All the Time: Etiquette for the Social Networking Age

    Published September 30, 2009 in Knowledge@Wharton After a long day at the office, imagine logging onto Facebook to see what your friends have been up to, only to have your boss or colleague message you about an urgent work matter. Aside from the fact that you are officially off duty, is it appropriate for your co-worker to reach out to you through a social networking forum? Was it wise to accept a colleague or higher-up as a “friend” to begin with? And—perhaps more importantly— in this day and age, when people are seemingly available around the clock because of smartphones and our endless appetite for all things online, is anyone ever really “off duty?” As Facebook, Twitter and 24-hour Blackberry access blur the lines between business and personal lives, managers and employees are struggling to develop new social norms to guide them through the ongoing evolution of communications technology. Wharton faculty and other experts say the process of creating rules to cope with the ever-expanding reach of modern communications has just begun, but will be shaped largely by individuals and organizations, not top-down decrees from a digital Emily Post. Generational differences in the approach to openness on the Internet will also be a factor in coming to common understandings of how and when it is appropriate to contact colleagues, superiors or clients. “There are huge etiquette issues around the new social media, especially the interactive type,” says Wharton management professor Nancy Rothbard. “What if your boss friends you on Facebook? That’s a dilemma. How do you not accept that friend? What if you really are friends?” According to Rothbard, new communications technology is eroding the boundaries between home and office, which creates a “double-edged sword” for companies. “On the one hand, it enables flexibility. In some ways, it makes you […]

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