Meet the MBA Class of 2023: Samantha Klitzman, Wharton School

Samantha Klitzman

The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

Actor / Producer / Singer / Knitter / Ice Cream Fanatic / Dancer / Baker / Lavender Lover

Hometown: Weston, Florida

Fun Fact About Yourself: I am a voracious jet skier.

Undergraduate School and Major: Columbia University, Art History and Political Science

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Actress on a network television series

What word best describes the Wharton MBA students and alumni you’ve met so far? I need two. Impact-driven and KIND.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of the Wharton School’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? The Wharton School offers an individualized major for students whose interests do not fall within the scope of the 18 available majors. This option appealed to me because it allows students with less traditional goals (i.e. me) to tailor their coursework towards their specific interests.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at the Wharton School? I’m most excited about joining Wharton’s Media & Entertainment Club. I reached out to the M&E community when I was first considering the school and its members could not have been more welcoming; they were one of the main reasons I chose to matriculate. Before I even secured an interview with admissions, the M&E club members connected me to colleagues with backgrounds relevant to my interests and met with me to discuss Penn’s entertainment resources. I cannot wait to thank and to contribute to this community in person!

When you think of the Wharton School, what is the first word that comes to mind? Why? Supportive. From the second I stepped on campus, students offered to assemble furniture, commute together across town, and connect over Philly’s amazing food. It sounds cheesy but my classmates really lift each other up and make everyone know that they belong.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Co-producing and starring in Candy Jar, a film written by my brother (and Penn alum), Chad Klitzman. This film made me realize how much of an impact I could have through film production and storytelling and ultimately inspired me to continue on my producing journey.

How did Covid-19 change your perspective on your career and your life in general? With respect to my career, the pandemic has made me realize how drastically film and television distribution processes have changed; people are consuming most content through data-driven streaming services at home. In light of this shift, it is critical for producers like myself to understand the analytics which drive digital streaming. Hence, I decided to come to a business school known for its excellence in business analytics. On a personal level, seeing frontline workers devote their lives to caring for others reaffirmed my commitment to using my career as a means to make a difference in the communities that I’m a part of. I also have a renewed appreciation for time with friends and family.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? Having been in front of the camera for my entire career, I wanted to attain the business acumen required to handle work behind the camera, as well. A strong business background and a solid foundation in data analytics, marketing, and negotiation will prepare me to be a successful producer in our evolving media landscape. When I graduate, I hope to launch a production company which independently produces content and to continue acting. I look forward to using skills honed at Wharton to tell stories that both push the needle on salient issues and deepen global empathy.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? CBS, NYU

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Wharton School’s MBA program? Apply whenever you feel your application is strongest. I almost didn’t apply to Wharton because I was told that there was a small chance of getting in during Round 3. But, I knew earlier in the process that my essay and other application materials were not where they needed to be because of other obligations in my life. Worry less about which round you apply in and more about crafting the best application possible.


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