Meet The Wharton MBA Class of 2017

Kiki Teshome

Kiki Teshome 

The Wharton School Of The University of Pennsylvania 

Hometown: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Richmond (Major: International Business and Finance. Minor: Leadership Studies)

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: Goldman Sachs (International Equities Sales & Trading and Pan Euro Share Sales)

Recalling your own experience, what advice do you have for applicants who are preparing for either the GMAT or the GRE? Give yourself ample of time to study for the exam (schedule set study hours during the workweek) and take advantage of resources such as programs offered by the Manhattan GMAT.

Based on your own selection process, what advice do you have for applicants who are trying to draw up a list of target schools to which to apply? Be honest and clear as to what you would like to get out of Business School. Based on a certain skill set or job you would like, rank the schools that provide you with the best platform to get you to your desired goal. Take time to speak to current students (who generally are very open to speak about their experiences) and truly get to know them, it will give you a good sense of what the student body is like. Then once you have picked your schools, just pray that you will get in.

What advice do you have for applicants in actually applying to a school, writing essays, doing admission interviews, and getting recommenders to write letters on your behalf? Get recommenders early and pick people who know you well and who understand your ambitions. Focus more on the quality and time the recommender will put into your recommendation letter, rather than his/her title.

The essay, in my opinion, is the toughest part. Find an event/story in your life through which you can truly describe how you have come to be the person you are today and why. Your essay should allow for someone to get a good glimpse of who you are.

For the interview, I think the only thing that is incredibly important is to be yourself. Know why an MBA is a necessity for you and how it helps you get to the next stage in your career. Craft your story. Make it yours. And if you believe it, you can do it.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA?

I come from a background in sales and trading. While I loved my job, I wanted to delve deeper into the technical aspect of valuation and finance. I knew that Wharton has the best finance program in the nation and could provide me with the resources to get me to where I wanted to be. The kicker for me was the student body and alumni. I met phenomenal individuals during my visits to the school and the welcome weekend confirmed that this was the student body I wanted to surround myself with over the next two years. In fact, I met my roommates during welcome weekend and so far have no regrets.

What would you ultimately like to achieve before you graduate? Get my dream job, build a network that lasts a lifetime, and that I can leverage at any time. Last, but not least, I am planning on having the best two years of my life here. 

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.