Interviewing At Chicago Booth and Wharton

Wharton Interview Recap

The Wharton School provided only two interview options for US candidates: Their main campus in Philadelphia or their West Coast E-MBA campus in San Francisco. Based on my blanket time and cost strategy, I chose the San Franciscan option. I also ended up saving an additional $250 on my ticket by flying out of Long Beach instead of LAX. Sweet.

Being early for each of these interviews was very important to me, as I hate being late. Since I know LA like the back of my hand, about 30 minutes is sufficient for any local interview.  In unfamiliar territory, however, I find it necessary to take additional–and sometimes extreme–precautions to ensure that my time cushion is sufficient.

I arrived in San Francisco at around 8:45am after a short flight from LA lasting one hour and one minute. I had been smart enough to pre-book my transportation to and from campus (I know little to nothing about navigating San Francisco) and was literally able to walk out of the airport and onto a shuttle about 5 minutes later, arriving on campus suited and booted at about 10am–hours before my scheduled time to interview.

Where Am I?

When I first got dropped off by the shuttle, I wasn’t quite sure whether I was in the right place. It is a historical building in downtown Frisco (what people in LA call San Francisco) right on the water and next to the Oakland Bay Bridge.

I was expecting a big “Wharton” sign to be plastered on the building. As it turns out there IS a big “Wharton” sign on the side of the building that faces the bay; however, from the street there was no sign that I was in the right place at all; good thing I had typed the address into my phone.

Wharton is located on the sixth floor of the building. What I got most from the environment was its warmth. Everyone from the receptionist to the professors to the E-MBA students that were working on projects before or after classes were extremely personable and welcoming.

I loitered in and around the building for a good number of hours (I had convinced myself that I would blog and get other work done while waiting. LIES. I toggled between reviewing my team-based discussion information from the invite email and watching Wharton videos on YouTube). When it was showtime, I went back upstairs (I had been up and down all day. I think the receptionist got tired of seeing me) just as the other folks who would be interviewing arrived.

My Cover is Blown, Once Again

And, as it has been with every event that I have been to thus far, exactly one person recognized me after putting 2 and 2 together from my blog (shout out KP! I hope to see you at admit weekend along with the other members of our awesome discussion group!). Whether in a room of 200 or a small group of 6, my cover has been blown by exactly one person every single time.  Astounding.

DISCLAIMER: Out of respect for both Wharton and Booth, I’ve chosen not to go into too much detail about exactly what was said during each interview (so don’t ask. Thanks!). What I will say about Wharton’s team-based discussion, however, is that I like it. I like it a lot.

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