TGIWF: Student Perspectives on the Wharton Weekend Experience

In a new “Wharton Fridays” Webinar series, we’re asking students to talk about their experience on Wharton EMBA weekends. Our first session featured second-year Philadelphia students Dr. Emmy Graber, a dermatologist at Boston University School of Medicine, and Paul Garibian, a management and technology consultant in New York City. Here’s an excerpt from that Webinar:

Q. How and when does your Wharton weekend begin?

Paul: I take the train from New York City to Philadelphia on Friday mornings with about 20-30 other classmates. On the way there, we study. We arrive before our 9:30 classes begin. On the way home, we socialize.

Emmy: I take a 7:00am flight out of Boston on Friday mornings and arrive in time for classes. There are a few of us on the plane together. We study on the way there and hang out on the way home.

Q. What do you most look forward to on Wharton weekends?

Emmy: Seeing the people. I made a lot of great friends here and I look forward to catching up with them and seeing what they thought of the school work load and how their jobs are going.

Paul: It’s one of the highlights of my week to get away from the day-to-day and see my classmates. It’s a very rewarding and bonding experience.

Q. What is the classroom experience like?

Paul: It’s very unique because of the quality of my classmates. We’ll be discussing a case about the airline or energy industry and we’ll have someone with over 10 years of experience in that industry who can share insights.

Q. Have your expectations about your fellow classmates been met?

Emmy: I expected everybody to be a financial analyst and that really isn’t the case. It’s a very diverse group of people.

Paul: I had some stereotypes about Wharton, but it turns out to be the most diverse group of people I’ve been around. We don’t share the same assumptions, which is nice because you can bring work challenges and ask for help. That diversity allows you to come up with better solutions.

Q. What happens on a typical Friday night?

Paul: In our first year, there is a lot of case and team work so when classes end we work on our group assignments. But while we work hard, we also play hard. We value our experience and try to maximize our time together so we’ll have group dinners and take part in local events.

Emmy: The socializing is the fun part about being here on the weekends. We go out with our groups or sometimes go out as a class.

Q. How has your experience impacted your career so far?

Paul: I can’t even begin to describe what it’s done. I heard someone say that they invested the time and money in this program, which has allowed them to make fewer mistakes. That is true. I recognize things now that I wasn’t aware of before and that applies to both mistakes and opportunities. I can’t put a value on that.

Emmy: The Wharton experience has really paid back even through connecting with Wharton alumni. I’ve met some in Boston who have been helpful in making my career the best it can be. I know in the future it will continue to be invaluable.

To view the entire Webinar, click here.

Paul Garibian
Paul Garibian