Wharton MBA Class of 2018: Now What?

Outside the Wharton School on the University of Pennsylvania campus - Ethan Baron photo

Outside the Wharton School on the University of Pennsylvania campus – Ethan Baron photo

Admitted to the Class of 2018 at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School? Congratulations! While admissions numbers are still pending, last year Wharton invited 1,302 candidates out of an applicant pool of 6,590 to join what is one of the world’s best MBA programs for its Class of 2017.

Thanks to a 7.8% increase in MBA applications last year, Wharton’s acceptance rate fell slightly to 19.8%, making it one of the most selective MBA programs in the world. Indeed, the average GMAT of its entering class last year–732–was higher than any other elite business school, including Harvard, with only one exception: Stanford Graduate School of Business. This year, the school is expected to enroll roughly the same number of incoming students as it did last fall: 856 (see below for Class of 2017 stats).

Though hardly reliable, GMAT Club stats to date for the Class of 2018 are at least entertaining. As of March 29, the day Round 2 decisions were released, some 748 candidates (about 11% of the total Wharton would get annually) say they have applied to the school this year, with 145 reporting being interviewed and 81 getting admit letters. That comes to an acceptance rate of 11%, though that is bound to increase over the next few days as more applicants report their decisions.

The time between being accepted and starting business school is a critical period where you can position yourself to succeed both academically and professionally. When you start classes, you’ll face an enormous transition. The coursework is more rigorous and time-consuming. And you’ll have so many options, ranging from clubs to job interviews. If you don’t come with a plan, you’ll squander time and opportunities – and make the program much harder than it needs to be. Before you order your Wharton t-shirt or baseball cap, here’s what you need to do now:

Join the private Facebook group for admits to the Wharton MBA Class of 2018

Join the private Facebook group for admits to the Wharton MBA Class of 2018

1. Get to know your future classmates. Join the Facebook group for the Wharton MBA Class of 2018. It’s the best place to meet your classmates, get up-to-date info on admit weekends as well as upcoming social events for admitted students. Wharton’s Facebook group is administered by the school’s admissions team. As of today, the group has 586 members, including admits to its MBA/MA Lauder program and its JD-MBA dual-degree program.


2. Firm up your career knowledge. Start reading The Wall Street Journal, if you don’t already, and learn about typical and atypical post-MBA career paths. Register now for Poets&Quants’ May 5-6 preMBA Networking Festival in New York. It’s a smart way to build relationships and get on the radar of the most prominent recruiters of elite MBAs. If you’re interested in consulting, you’ll be able to meet senior executives and partners from McKinsey, Bain, BCG, Deloitte, PwC, Accenture Strategy in their New York offices. If your interest is in finance, you’ll be able to have pow-wows with leading executives from Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Citi, and Bank of America/Merrill Lynch. And if you’re interested in tech, consumer product marketing, or even government jobs, you will be able to connect with Amazon, LinkedIn, Facebook, PepsiCo, Anheuser-Busch InBev, and the Securities & Exchange Commission. If you think you want to use your MBA experience as a way to start your own company or work for an early stage firm, you can take our startup track to visit with such successful MBA startups as Commonbond, Pymetrics, Warby Parker, Birthbox, and Rent The Runway.

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