Meet the MBA Class of 2025: Ernie Rosales, Wharton School

Ernie Rosales

Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

“A kind, fun, and sarcastic individual passionate about building stronger guardrails in the financial system.”

Hometown: Miami, FL

Fun Fact About Yourself: I cycled and traveled across the United States this summer raising awareness for affordable housing with a non-profit called Bike and Build!

Undergraduate School and Major: The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania – Finance, Marketing, and Management

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Oliver Wyman, Associate, Finance and Risk

What has been your first impression of the Wharton MBA students and alumni you’ve met so far. Tell us your best Wharton story so far. Coming back to Wharton and stepping foot back in Huntsman Hall has felt in some ways like coming back home. Despite that familiarity, the Wharton MBA program is its own very different beast so coming into Pre-Term, I appreciated the touches that truly made sure we were able to build community and get to know the people that we’d be calling friends soon enough. The Wharton Hispanic American MBA Association (WHAMBAA) held a full day pre-pre-term orientation that gave the Latinx students a chance to meet each other and learn some of the basics in-advance. Most importantly, we heard from the 2Ys on their Wharton experience and get answers to our burning questions on what the experience was actually like for them. In a class of almost ~900, it might feel easy to be lost but the communities are built in every pocket of the program from clubs to clusters / cohorts to classes to random friendships struck-up at pub / happy hour.

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? In pursuing my MBA, I was particularly focused on two aspects: academics and leadership development. For my career goals, I hope to take advantage of the deep and esoteric topics that Wharton has to offer at the forefront of finance through the Quantitative Finance major. From Derivatives to Crypto to Public Finance to Fixed Income Securities, I hope to take as full advantage as possible from the coursework. I hope to develop my analytical thinking and leverage the tools utilized by the financial industry to manage, measure, and monitor risk for complex and niche asset types. To that same vein, access to Penn Law was something that I value highly as well to deepen my knowledge of financial regulation, administrative law, and rule-making.

On the leadership development front, I’m excited to take advantage of all the resources that the McNulty Leadership Program has to offer from the Leadership Ventures to truly stretch outside of my comfort zone. In the process, I expect to be thrown into ambiguous situations to an opportunity to impact the Philadelphia community through serving on a non-profit board as a fellow. Being uncomfortable is a sign of growth!

What course, club, or activity excites you the most at the Wharton School? P3: Purpose, Passion, and Principles is a course designed by Professor Richard Shell that I’m extremely excited. Having taken his course, Literature of Success, in undergrad, I’m excited to go deeper on the meaning on success and happiness and what it means to me with some real-world experience under my belt (while also getting a chance to form meaning connections with my classmates).

When you think of the Wharton School, what is the first word that comes to mind? Why? Diverse. Wharton’s class size provides an opportunity to truly see diversity in action. We’re 50% women, 11% First Gen, 11% LGBTQ+, 31% International, and 7% Hispanic/Latinx. Those numbers on a screen when the class profile is released do not accurately convey the feeling of seeing that make-up in class fostering robust discussion or in your clubs as you share the same interests. While daunting, it provides everyone an opportunity to find community and build one for yourself.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Throughout my career at Oliver Wyman, I’ve been incredibly proud of the work I’ve done. This includes ensuring that our largest financial institutions have corrected and resolved regulatory issues and consent order findings, customer remediation issues, and their capital and risk management practices – thus making our financial system safer. Personally, I’ve also been proud of my involvement at the firm, receiving recognition as a Firm Building Champion, and supporting our diversity recruiting efforts (with partners such as Jumpstart, MLT) to ensure that our talent pipeline better reflects the world we operate in.

What do you hope to do after graduation (at this point)? I hope to build a career crafting the policies and rules at the federal agencies (e.g., the Fed or OCC) that regulate our financial institutions and long-term influencing financial regulation and policy at the highest federal levels. My aim is to strengthen our financial system and create greater economic empowerment, access, and financial stability. Fundamentally, I believe that the difficult financial decisions made at our most vulnerable should never be driven by systemic barriers or flawed incentives. We should never need to choose between forgoing a necessity or relying on predatory loans. I hope that as a regulator, I’ll have the power to change that.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? The Light We Carry by Michelle Obama. The book explores meaningful topics that are incredibly relevant for the MBA admissions process such as how to navigate change, deal with self-doubt, build meaningful relationships with others, and have a “kitchen table” of people who you can truly trust and rely on. It provided an outlet that allowed me to reflect on myself and my story (and also get into my feels) – Sadly I didn’t read it pre-MBA apps!

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Stanford GSB, Yale SOM, Chicago Booth, Berkeley Haas, UVA Darden

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into the Wharton School’s MBA program? Reflect on who you are and what is your story. Beyond your elevator pitch, what are the components that make you uniquely you and how can you make them shine through on your application?. An MBA is a tool so describe how you will leverage that tool and how it can be used to sharpen your passions or guide you to the path you aim for in the future.


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