2018 Best MBAs: Tomer Meir, Wharton School

Tomer Meir

Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

“Proud Israeli, veteran and EMT committed to transforming underserved communities through technology innovation.”

Age: 33

Hometown: Holon, Israel

Fun fact about yourself: For my first ever performance, I had a leading role in a Bollywood skit and dance in front of 1,000 MBA classmates and faculty.

Undergraduate School and Degree: The College of Management, Bachelor of Arts Accounting and Business Administration, CPA (Rishon Letzion, Israel)

Where did you work before enrolling in business school?

  • Lieutenant, Search and Rescue Officer and Commander at the Officers’ School, Israeli Defense Forces
  • Project Manager and Community Emissary, The Jewish Agency for Israel
  • Management Consultant, KPMG

Where did you intern during the summer of 2017? Apple Inc. Product Manager, Online Store – Led cross-functional teams to develop the first ever end-to-end Augmented Reality in-store experience.

Where will you be working after graduation? Amazon, Product Manager

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • Co-President, Israel Club & Israel Admission efforts: I feel fortunate to come to Wharton from Israel, and I would like to support other aspiring business leaders from my community to have the same opportunity. Together with the head of Wharton admissions, I spearheaded an initiative to elevate the Wharton brand in Israel through developing and executing a new recruiting strategy. Additionally, during my first year, I co-led the largest ever Wharton Israel Trek and showed 150 classmates the best of what my country has to offer!
  • Veterans Club Career Mentor (Technology): Through the Wharton Veterans club, I mentored multiple veterans through their transition from military service personnel to managers in the technology industry.
  • Social Impact Club Board: During my first year at Wharton, I convened an education technology startup forum for the tech and social impact communities. Building on this experience in the Semester in San Francisco (SSF) program, I created a startup pitch event to support my classmates who are starting their own companies.
  • Wharton 22s Club Board: The 22s address gender disparities by inspiring awareness, dialogue, and action amongst men within the Wharton community. As a board member, I facilitated discussions surrounding gender biases and power dynamics in the workplace.
  • Tutoring High School Students: One of my most rewarding experiences at Wharton is providing weekly tutoring sessions for West Philadelphia youth. These teens often times lack a safe environment that allows them to reach their full potential. Giving students individual attention to help them better understand course materials in a fun and engaging way increases their confidence to succeed in the classroom, a process which I find extremely fulfilling.
  • Global Immersion Program Ambassador Fellow: Fellowship awarded to academically engaged students who are deeply interested in learning abroad and promoting intercultural awareness.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? P3 (“Purpose, Passion, Principles”) Facilitator: P3 is a unique program that encourages Wharton MBAs to examine what they value in their personal and professional lives. As a facilitator, I guided the group conversation to foster an inclusive and safe environment. Drawing upon my leadership experience in the military, I encouraged my group to share meaningful stories to deeply connect with one another. Through these thoughtful discussions, I challenged P3 participants to develop and pursue their personal definitions of success and happiness.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? As a Search and Rescue officer in the Israeli Defense Forces, I led a 30-soldier search-and-rescue standby unit in response to a major train crash. Despite the horror and chaos, my unit rescued three lives and aided more than 80 people to safety.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Cade Massey: Professor Massey is a professor in the Wharton School’s Operations, Information and Decisions department. He teaches Negotiation and Influence courses for the full-time MBA program. During my Semester in San Francisco Program (SSF), I had the honor of taking his Influence course. We learned how to become more effective in networking, forming coalitions, navigating through organizational politics, and more. Professor Massey’s teaching style is warm and engaging; he is able to facilitate dynamic class discussions, challenge students, and facilitate debates that push our boundaries.

Why did you choose this business school? I grew up in a middle-class family in Israel and am the first in my family to graduate from college. Being offered a full-scholarship for a master’s degree in Israel, my parents did not understand why I wanted to pursue an MBA in the United States. Despite their skepticism, I realized that, in order to fully develop professionally and personally, I needed to forge my own path. My goal was to transition from management consulting to technology. Therefore, I looked for an MBA program that utilizes a data-driven approach and offers global opportunities in entrepreneurship and innovation. In addition, Wharton’s collaborative and diverse community, world-class professors, and powerful alumni network made the school my number one choice. I feel fortunate to be part of this community.

What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? As with any school, try to reflect upon the reasons why you want to attend business school in the first place. Speak with students and alumni to hear a broad and diverse set of perspectives about Wharton. Reach out to affinity clubs you are interested in, get to know the DNA of the school, and bring those insights into your application process. A common misconception is that Wharton only selects candidates with quantitative and finance backgrounds. In reality, Wharton values all types of backgrounds and experiences. Don’t try to be someone you think the admissions office wants you to be.

What was your biggest regret in business school? During my final semester, I took an Entrepreneurship class with Professor Ethan Mollick. My group and I started a fashion-forward university apparel company through which we applied business concepts learned in and outside the class. I regret not taking this class during my first semester, as I could have taken advantage of Wharton’s substantial entrepreneurship resources throughout my two-year tenure here. I hope to build on what I’ve learned so far and cultivate my entrepreneurial spirit in the next step of my career.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Smita Mukherjee – Smita received her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in Biophysical Chemistry, during which she studied how signs of Alzheimer’s disease are formed. Since coming to Wharton, Smita has been working on her venture, Nimbus Care Hub, to provide easily accessible, affordable and holistic services to caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD). I admire Smita because her research has not only contributed to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s, a disease that was discovered in my family, but also her venture helps family members who are indirectly affected by this disease. In addition, she juggles being a student, a wife, a full-time mom, and a dance studio choreographer. I don’t know how she finds the time to do it all!

“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…in medical school right now. After witnessing a severe car accident in Israel, I decided to become an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) for Israel’s National Emergency Medical Services. During my five years volunteering as a first responder, I was able to assist those in need and save multiple lives. Witnessing death on a regular basis changes your perspective on life and allows you to focus on what’s important.”

What are the top two items on your bucket list? Getting a pilot’s license and doing a stand up comedy show

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? The guy who always makes time to grab coffee, catch up, and provide his honest opinion

What is your favorite movie about business? My favorite movie about business is The Pursuit of Happyness. The movie taught me that, through persistence and hard work, no setback is insurmountable even after hitting rock bottom.

Favorite vacation spot: To me, it is less about the vacation spot and more about the people I’m vacationing with. But, if I had to choose one, it would be Cape Town.

Hobbies? Long-distance running, scuba diving, jigsaw puzzles, surfing, documentaries, and Israeli politics.

What made Tomer such an invaluable member of the Class of 2018?

“Tomer, a veteran Lieutenant, Search and Rescue Officer and Commander at the Officer’s Training School, Israel Defense Forces, led his fellow MBA peers to a trek through Israel to learn more about his native country, business, and culture. His positive approach is noted by his peers in building community on the Philadelphia and San Francisco campuses of Wharton. Tomer is engaged in the Wharton learning community as both a Communication Program and Global Immersion Program Fellow.”

Wharton Graduate Association Board


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