The Pioneering MBAs In The Class Of 2019

William Vuillet 

The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania  

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Navy veteran raised in Paris, former college rower turned runner, transitioning into world of opportunities.

Hometown: Paris, France

Fun Fact About Yourself:  My day job used to be flying F-18s off a carrier.

Undergraduate School and Major:  U.S. Naval Academy, Electrical Engineering

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:  U.S. Navy, 12 years strong

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: After my first few years flying in the Navy, I was selected to attend the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School (more commonly known as TOPGUN) and instructed there for three years. I was able to instruct and learn from some of the best fighter pilots in the Navy.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants?  Stay humble but don’t undersell yourself. It’s easy to get caught up and be in awe of other applicants that you may run into. As a veteran, I was impressed by the background of everyone I came across and would often question my own contribution, not having any background in any of the common post-MBA sectors. Remember you bring a unique set of skills to the table that will ultimately contribute to your program’s dynamic just as much as the financier, entrepreneur, or consultant. Finally, remember that no one piece of the puzzle will make or break your candidacy.

What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you?  The support structure for veterans and the strength of the vets club at Wharton is unparalleled. Being able to attend one of the top MBA programs in the world and have that kind of support is exceptional.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? Success takes many forms and I don’t know that I have yet identified the specifics of what success would be to me in the long term. I will consider my first year of business school to be a success if I make new friends from different background (I would like to make one friend from each continent) and discover something new about myself as I transition out of the military.