Bring it On! Wharton EMBA Classes to Compete in Philadelphia Marathon

The battle has begun! It started when the second-year Women’s Group in
Wharton’s Executive MBA Program decided to participate in the upcoming Philadelphia Marathon, but
now it has turned into a full-fledged competition between the EMBA
classes over who can raise the most money and run/walk the most miles.

The first-year class set a fundraising goal of $10,000 for, 500 miles run, and 100% class participation. The second years caught wind of the goal and upped the ante with a fundraising goal of $15,000 for the RHD Career Development Center, which is a Philadelphia-based program that provides job training and placement services for low-income adults. They set their miles goal at 200 and are hoping for 100% participation as well.

First-year Wharton EMBA student and competition organizer Jennifer Paradis says that she is “completely confident” her class – along with partners, kids and friends — will meet its goal.

"We are more than half-way there with the fundraising and still have time left,” says Paradis, who is Director of Development at “As for miles, I was getting some pushback from some members of my study group who claimed they hadn’t seen the inside of a gym in ages, but a few of them decided to walk the 8K for the camaraderie although they might be dragging a beer cooler behind them.”

Second-year EMBA student and race organizer Seema Prasannakumar, a manager in Price WaterhouseCoopers' Financial Services Risk Management Practice in New York City, is hopeful that her class will meet the fundraising goal, but admits that she isn’t so sure about the miles goal. “We just got back from our international class trip to Moscow and some people are a little bit tired,” she says.

Sarah Sullivan, a first-year EMBA student and race organizer, says that the friendly competition between the classes reflects the collaborative nature of Wharton’s EMBA program.

“A lot of people in the program are not runners, but I’ve been amazed at how many people are participating. Some are doing it for the goal of completing the race, but it has more to do with wanting to be part of the event and hang out with classmates on a weekend,” says Sullivan, a veteran of six marathons and program analyst for the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington D.C.

Paradis adds that prospective students are welcome to join the first-years’ team. She says, “If you are going to be in Philadelphia on Nov. 23, register for the event and then come walk or run with us and celebrate at the post-race party. What a great opportunity to get the inside scoop on the program!”

Prasannakumar also invites prospective students to join the second-years’ team, but she advises everyone to hurry up and register because the marathon and half-marathon are closed and space in the 8K is limited.

Stay tuned for more information about how the teams fared in the race and with their fundraising goals.
Register for the 8K:

Click here to register for the 8K part of the marathon. After you register, email us at and we’ll put you in touch with the participating students.