Meet Wharton’s MBA Class Of 2018


Lauren Baker

The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Young professional with energy, a sense of humor, and desire to make the workplace diverse.

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Fun Fact About Yourself: I’m a huge music fan and love a wide range of music. I also used to work at the Hollywood Bowl, so I’ve attended 300+ concerts!

Undergraduate School and Major: Stanford University, Economics

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: Deloitte Consulting, Strategy & Operations – Consultant & Business Analyst

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Outside of client work, I’ve been passionate about driving diversity and inclusion initiatives at the firm. At the local level, I led Stanford recruiting events focused on attracting high-performing underrepresented minorities and students of non-traditional academic backgrounds. As a way to scale those efforts nationally, I was also part of developing an inaugural National Diversity Taskforce for the Strategy & Operations Consulting practice. Our team created a playbook and served as a resource to support undergraduate campus recruiting leads across the country with the tools to identify, recruit and develop diverse candidates.

Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? I would utilize current students and alumni as much as possible for informational interviews and reviewing essay. They know the school’s culture best and can share a unique perspective that administrators and websites won’t be able to provide! I took the GMAT right after graduation (when I was still in study-mode and remembered math), which I recommend if you’re even slightly considering business school. Your score lasts for five years and it will save you time and money on extensive test prep down the line!

I also highly recommend applying to Management Leadership for Tomorrow’s (MLT) early career programs if you are eligible. This organization has been instrumental to my professional development and has provided me with a powerful network of young leaders and friends throughout the application process and beyond.

Finally, be very thoughtful about ensuring that every important aspect of you is expressed in some area of your application. This includes making the most out of your resume space and taking your time while completing the short-answer responses. You don’t have to fit your entire story into your essays, so be sure that you prepare your recommenders to fill any potential gaps or speak to unique elements of your personality/leadership style. I would also walk through your application with a family member or close friend to make sure your application holistically captures who you are!

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? I was drawn to Wharton’s analytically rigorous curriculum, emphasis on leadership development through stretch experiences, and focus on teamwork and collaboration. I wanted to challenge myself in an environment that promotes stepping outside of my comfort zone (e.g., through Leadership Ventures or Fellowship opportunities), and the team-based interview reflected the school’s commitment to cultivating collaboration. I also thought the flexible core curriculum was the perfect way for me to develop a well-rounded skill set — I could build the knowledge of foundational business disciplines that I lacked such as accounting and finance, while gaining more depth in specific marketing concepts through electives. Ultimately, however, I knew that Wharton was the best place for me based on a gut feeling I had when visiting campus. The professors and students from various clubs were so supportive and accessible, and I felt like I clicked with a lot of my peers from the incoming class.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? I’d hope that my business school peers saw me as a supportive classmate, fun travel partner, and an effective student leader that took initiative to improve the campus in a meaningful way.

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