We often get the question “Do you need to be a math major to succeed in Wharton’s EMBA program?” The answer is no. As Wharton | San Francisco EMBA alumnus Mike Gipe, WG’05, puts it: “Wharton’s EMBA program is very rigorous, but students from all types of backgrounds can be successful here.”
Mike – who runs the consulting business xaplap in Saratoga, CA and teaches a weekly tutorial session for core courses in the EMBA program – ran a one-day Quantitative Review Workshop on the San Francisco campus for prospective students. “Anybody who has applied to our program likely has had most of the math courses they need so it’s more a matter of brushing up on those skills. How often would a nonprofit manager need to use calculus on a daily basis? It’s something a lot of people are rusty in and this workshop was designed to help them catch up,” says Mike.
He notes that it really doesn’t take long to explain the math skills, but what is harder is grasping the meaning and purpose behind the math functions and applying them to business issues. “What does a derivative mean as far as market demand is concerned? What is the meaning of calculating that number? Once you get the math fundamentals up to speed, then you can get to the hard part, which is applying the skills in our MBA program.”
In addition to a math review, Gipe covered other topics students would encounter in their first year at Wharton like statistics. He also conducted a session on Excel and its advanced features that are used in Finance classes. The workshop concluded with a discussion about preparing for the GMAT.
“About 45 people attended the workshop, which we ran early in the admissions cycle to encourage people that with enough work, they can do our program,” says Mike.
He adds, “I really enjoy teaching students from such a variety of backgrounds. As a former student and now a teacher at Wharton, I see a diversity of perspectives in the classroom that wouldn’t be there if everyone was a math major and thought the same way. It makes for a richer and more powerful learning environment.”
In Philadelphia, Prasenjeet Ghosh, WG’09, serves as a resource for first-year students needing additional support during the core courses, holding regular online webinars for this group of students. Like Mike, having gone through the WEMBA program himself, Prasenjeet brings a first-hand perspective of what skills are needed for these courses.