Intense Residential Program Fosters Deep Bonds Among Wharton EMBA Students

It’s been about a month so far, and the new Wharton EMBA students in Philadelphia and at Wharton West in San Francisco are settling in nicely to their new environments. Philadelphia students are residing every other weekend in the Steinberg Conference Center where they eat in the executive dining room, meet with their teams in group study rooms, and take advantage of in-house fitness facilities. Wharton West students are staying at a top-brand nearby hotel during their program weekends, and they eat all their meals together in Wharton’s executive dining room.

The residential aspect of Wharton’s Executive MBA program is quite unique, and is an integral aspect of the Wharton EMBA experience. All students travel to either Philadelphia or San Francisco every other weekend, staying at the Steinberg Conference Center or San Francisco hotel on program nights. The intense immersion in classes with a small but diverse learning team of experienced classmates is a valuable part of the program. Students take advantage of their time together by informally networking on program weekends and connecting to work on group projects between class sessions, furthering the deep bond that inevitably results from such a program.

While their schedule doesn’t allow them quite as much time for extracurricular activities as their full-time MBA counterparts, most EMBA students don’t miss them, as they are balancing a heavy course load in addition to work and family. And because the time students spend together on weekends is so intense, they often form second families of sorts, which translates into a strong alumni network after graduation.

The bonds that Wharton EMBA students form have also resulted in new business and philanthropic ventures, career networking opportunities, and winning teams for various competitions. With an average of 10 years experience, students are typically further along in their careers than traditional full-time MBA students. They are often on track for advancement to senior management, and some are younger but highly qualified “fast-track” candidates. Needless to say, they are an impressive group every year!

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