Meet Wharton’s MBA Class Of 2019

Nicole Robertson 

The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania 

Describe yourself in 15 words or less:  Solidly balanced with infectious determination. Creative while technical, competitive yet compassionate, and confident while humble.

Hometown: Northfield, NJ

Fun Fact About Yourself: From an early age on, I have always loved attending concerts. At one of my first, Diana Ross selected me to sing a song with her at Madison Square Garden!

Undergraduate School and Major: 

  • Georgetown University, BA Mathematics with dual minors in Business Administration and Studio Art
  • Georgetown University, Masters in Real Estate Development and Finance

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: Department of Justice – Management and Program Analyst

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Next to Wharton…My biggest recognition of accomplishment was being an award recipient of a 2016 Office of the Director of National Intelligence (“ODNI”) Award. It was a culmination of dedicated work, within the Department of Justice, prioritizing and implementing substantial private sector reforms. Our team managed a multi-billion dollar budget and interfaced with Congressional oversight. It required strict focus upon identifying needs, balancing priorities, and optimizing strategic use of limited economic resources and became a primary driver of my passion for innovation through public-private partnerships.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants?  First and foremost, use the opportunity of your application essays to tell your honest story.  Upbringing, academics, employment, credentials, activities, and achievements have already laid the foundation of your essay. Yet, it is in the crafting of your essays that you have the chance to pay homage to your past while looking ahead to your future. So, allot ample time and reflection to express your story and create an all-encompassing narrative weaving in your past, present, and future. Do not underestimate the importance and power of the things you have taken for granted in your life or which have become amongst its smallest of details. They may have become matter of fact to you, but often they hold genuine pieces of the person you want to become. Reflect on your experiences, and write as many drafts as it takes, to convey why you stand amongst the best of the school’s applicants and how you will contribute to the school’s mission.

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? Key to my decision to attend Wharton was a full appreciation of its reputation, programs, culture, and community. I derived inspiration from every exposure whether during its Women’s Visit Day or at different panels I attended in Washington, DC. I saw it as the best platform to empower and advance my leadership goals in the field of real estate given its dedicated programs, which will particularly include my emphasis upon redevelopment. Its real estate program provides the freedom to build upon a strong core MBA curriculum with specialized majors. Wharton is at the forefront of inspiring MBA students, like me, to enter the space between public sector policies and private sector resources with its Public Policy Initiative.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? Success will be embracing all of the opportunities Wharton affords inside and outside of the classroom. A year in, it will be sensing that I am internalizing the benefits of Wharton’s unique platform to grow academically, personally, and professionally. One year down will mean one year left to reach my perfect Wharton experience. I want to feel myself progressing along a leadership path capable of transforming lives and landscapes through an invigorating real estate development and finance career while solidifying lifetime relationships with peers. From new friendships and activities, student clubs and a new city, I want to hold a growing sense of possibility and excitement about the future ahead.

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