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 submitted by none other than Prof. Jeremy Siegel—as well as several other features that speak both to the exceptional academic and research prowess of the Wharton School and the inspiring achievements of its alumni.

In our cover story, we chat with Dr. Mehmet Oz, WG’86, M’86, a joint-degree trailblazer at Penn who has not only gone on to enjoy a remarkable career in medicine, but also in show business. We spoke with Oz about his days here at Wharton, the state of American health care and, of course, what he learned from his television mentor, Oprah Winfrey.

In “Sea Change,” contributing writer Steven Kurutz examines the SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management’s unique “Future of Advertising” project—and the confused state of the advertising world. His story, which draws on insights from both Wharton faculty and ad agency execs, hints that social networking and newly empowered consumers are fundamentally changing the rules of the advertising game.

And in “Learning to Listen,” MBA student contributor Greg Emerson, WG’10—a former compost farmer and self-described “reformed hippie”—shares how his Wharton experience has changed him for the better.

We hope that you enjoy this issue of Wharton Magazine and, as always, we welcome your feedback. Please feel free to email us at letters@whartonmagazine.com or drop us a note at the address listed on this page.

Thanks again for reading—and good luck with that Final Exam question.

Not that you’ll need it.

Sincerely,

Tim Hyland / Editor

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