Meet Wharton’s MBA Class Of 2020

Brittany Fearnside

Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

Passionate, service-oriented Army veteran and insatiable collector of experiences, hungry for the next adventure.”

Hometown: Niskayuna, New York

Fun Fact About Yourself: I recently completed the Camino Frances, walking 500 miles across France and Spain and meeting some incredible personalities along The Way.

Undergraduate School and Major: The United States Military Academy at West Point, Engineering Management

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: United States Army: Information Operations Manager, Psychological Operations Detachment Commander, Cultural Support Team Leader, Engineer Platoon Leader

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: As a Cultural Support Team Leader in Afghanistan, I was fortunate to be on the forefront of advancing women’s roles within the Special Operations Community, responsible for engaging the female and adolescent population during sensitive missions. We were proving that a woman’s presence, even in the most austere of situations, can have an incredibly constructive impact on mission success given the cultural sensitivities of the areas we were operating in. I found myself in a role that not only challenged the status quo, but positively influenced perceptions, both within the units we were assigned to and the people we interacted with, in a way that led to lasting change.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? It takes a village to get into business school; do not be afraid to ask for advice, support and mentorship. Through reaching out to former and current business school students, I was exposed to the organization Service to School, a non-profit that provides application assistance to service members and veterans. I was introduced to mentors who helped me through the process and truly took a vested interest in my success. Even more, they reminded me that there is no single piece that takes you out of the running. They told me the whole package matters and to be confident in your experiences. I credit my mentors directly with my success and I implore any aspiring business school students to find those resources that offer similar assistance.

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?  

I think any Veteran at Wharton will tell you that the support system from the Veterans Club is unlike anything they have ever experienced. Apart from Wharton’s academic prowess and incredible network, the Veterans Club absolutely solidified my confidence that I would have an unwavering community of support as I make the transition from Army Officer to full-time student and beyond.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? Building lasting relationships with my classmates and learning from their experiences, taking an active and participatory role in some of incredible career and social clubs Wharton has to offer, and securing an internship with an organization whose culture and mission I believe in.

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