Executive MBA Applicant Journey: Matt Boehm

Matt Boehm, an active duty Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, was on his way to attending another business school to earn his MBA when he took the recommendation to visit Wharton’s San Francisco campus. We talked to Matt about what changed his mind. Hear more about his executive MBA applicant journey during our live webinar discussion.

I did not have a traditional executive MBA applicant journey at Wharton. In fact, I almost did not have an application journey here at all. I was set to attend a business school near my home in Seattle when my brother, who is a Wharton graduate, convinced to at least speak to someone at the executive MBA program. I called Cathy Molony, the Admissions Director, and she put me in touch with Kathy Lilygren, who manages admissions for the San Francisco campus. Kathy urged me to visit campus so that I could get a first-hand feel for the program.

It turns out that I fell in love with the program during that visit. I was so impressed with the faculty, with the program staff, and most of all, with the students. The students were so engaged in class. When they talked to me, they were so engaged with who I was and what I wanted. I felt a very strong sense of community, which is very important to me as a submarine officer. When you have to survive with your shipmates for six months straight at sea, you find that your community is vital.

At Wharton, your class is more than the 100 students. These are the people with whom you share the struggle of the program, which felt very real to me. It felt very much like my experience at the Naval Academy. These are the people who are going to help you wherever you are and wherever you want to go. When I went home, I thought more about it and I began to see Wharton as much more than an expensive brand. I saw it as an incredible and dynamic community.

When I had made the decision to go to my local university, I was making a decision that was safe and sensible. I thought that I needed an MBA for the background knowledge. I wasn’t looking for a network. I wasn’t trying to take on any risk or stretch myself. But after visiting Wharton, I realized that I did want the network, and I did want to stretch myself. I had to decide quickly as I was supposed to start the other program in a few months. And so I told Kathy that I would have my application done within a week, and I did. I submitted my application in early July, and I soon heard that I had been accepted.

I’m really glad that I ended up here. I know that I made the right decision. I’m getting exactly out of the program what I wanted. The quantitative part was important to me as an engineer.