Meet Wharton’s MBA Class Of 2020

Katharina Schwarz

Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

Dedicated nomad passionate about securing basic human rights for all people, collecting knowledge… and coffee.”

Hometown: Salzburg, Austria

Fun Fact About Yourself: I dived at Silfra (Iceland) between the North American and Eurasian plates.

Undergraduate School and Major: Harvard University, Government

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: Salzburg Global Seminar, Special Assistant to the President; Salzburg Global Seminar, Manager of Campaign Planning

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Working with Salzburg Global’s president and board to launch the quiet phase of the organization’s biggest capital campaign to date, positioning SGS for deeper, sustained engagement on some of the world’s most challenging issues

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? Don’t be afraid to tap into your network, not just for recommendation letters but for advice about choosing the right school for you and making the most of these two years. A surprising number of people will want to help you (and I frequently found that they answered questions I didn’t even know I had!). Plus, it helps you identify those who can guide you during and after school, since admission to business school is only a step down a longer road.

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? Wharton offers a 3-year JD/MBA with Penn Law, which I wanted for the ability to speak both languages when dealing with complex global issues. Penn’s program is stellar—they select students with vastly different professional experiences, and invest in program integration to make 1+1 (degrees) equal to more than two. All of that made the choice an easy one!

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? Having successfully balanced both degrees while exploring areas outside of my academic comfort zone at Wharton, and getting to know & travel with my classmates.

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