Angela Chen, a first-year student in the EMBA program at Wharton | San Francisco, works in corporate strategy and finance at Vantage Data Centers in Santa Clara, Calif. She recently shared her experiences bonding with her Wharton San Francisco classmates on a student-organized ski trip.
Wharton’s EMBA program has been described as the ultimate challenge of time management. We have jobs, families and other obligations so it isn’t always easy to get together outside of class. However, bonding is such an important part of the Wharton experience that we seek out opportunities and make the effort to deepen our connections whenever possible.
Recently, we took advantage of having world-class skiing in our backyard and planned a trip with our Wharton San Francisco classmates to Lake Tahoe during an off-weekend. More than 20 people participated, including partners, kids and classmates from other classes. We rented cabins within walking distance from one another and spent the weekend skiing, snowboarding and, most importantly, connecting outside the classroom.
These types of moments reinforce that Wharton’s MBA for Executives program was the right choice for me. I was able to spend the time on the lift chairs laughing with and learning from my classmates who have a wealth of experiences that differ from mine. The conversations enabled me to learn not just about their careers, but also about their lives and ambitions.
My class is extremely active and takes the initiative to spend time together during class weekends. Activities have ranged from river rafting to rock climbing to hiking, often with multiple events going on at the same time. Sometimes we enjoy a home cooked meal at a local student’s house, and other times we enjoy the great food that San Francisco has to offer. Through it all, Wharton EMBA students form a collaborative ecosystem, both on a personal and professional level. Our goal is to connect with everyone before graduation so that we create a strong network that will continue for years to come.
As for the ski trip, I hope it turns into an annual excursion. It was exciting racing down the mountain, surrounded only by my classmates. These experiences are ones that I will cherish and make my classmates feel more like family and lifelong contacts. Building this type of network was a big part of why I came to Wharton and the experience has surpassed my expectations.
With more than a year left in the program, I’m looking forward to creating many more memories to come.