Los Angeles Student Talks about Class Bonding for Commuters

While students in Wharton’s EMBA program commute from all over the world, a highlight of the program is its distinctly residential feel. In part this is due to the requirement for students to stay over on class weekends at either a designated hotel in San Francisco or the Steinberg Conference Center in Philadelphia, but it’s also because of the many social activities that facilitate class bonding.

We asked Wharton | San Francisco first-year student Vivi Lynch, senior production manager at Guess in Los Angeles, Calif., to tell us about how students in her class are making connections.  Here’s what she said:

“Wharton’s EMBA program reminds me a lot of college because of how strong the bonds are with my classmates. There is not a commuter feel at school even though many of us are commuting in from different places.  We get together all the time for happy hours, dinners and barbeques at the San Francisco students’ homes.  Some of us even stay over with those students if we arrive a day early or have a delayed flight, and a group of us recently went on a rafting trip.

“We also spend a lot of time hanging out in the restaurant located downstairs from our classrooms.  It’s our unofficial meeting place, and for those of us who commute it’s a great place to decompress upon arrival and coordinate taxis to get to the airport on our way home.

“To help foster connections among the female students, we started a group called Women of Wharton (WOW) and just had our first dinner.  It was a great chance for women in the program to network and share experiences.  We are all still recovering a bit from the intensity of our first term, but there will be more WOW events soon.

“As for my commute from Los Angeles, it’s very manageable. There are flights to San Francisco every hour and it’s only a one-hour flight.  For students from LA where traffic can easily create an hour-long drive to work, this isn’t bad at all. Plus, there is a group of us who try to coordinate the same flights so that we commute together, which is another way we bond.

“It’s really all about making the effort to get to know other students and stay connected. I try to stay over on Saturdays and fly out on Sundays so that I have more time to manage my school work, but also to spend time with classmates. Wharton now feels like my home away from home.”