Meet the MBA Class of 2025: Rajlaxmi Adwant, Wharton School

Rajlaxmi Adwant

Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

“Sugar, spice, and everything nice!”

Hometown: Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India     

Fun Fact About Yourself: I am a PADI certified open water diver.

Undergraduate School and Major:

Lady Shri Ram College for Women, University of Delhi

Major: Mathematics

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Open Secret (a healthy food & beverage marketplace, similar to Whole Foods)

Title: Head, Marketplace Business

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. I am really impressed by the diversity of cultures, industries, and thoughts at Wharton. There is so much to learn from each person you meet here. My best Wharton story is about going the extra mile, for people. Seniors, peers, and alumni are committed to helping you succeed here. A few weeks ago, I reached out to a second-year student for advice. She was just wrapping up her internship and was in the middle of moving cities. Despite that, she took out the time to chat within a day. Wharton is known for its focus on teamwork and collaboration, and I had the opportunity to experience it in the first week itself.

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? I look at Wharton as a space that will help me become a better leader. I am excited about Wharton’s unique McNulty Leadership Program, which, through its various touchpoints, allows students to build on their leadership skills.

What course, club, or activity excites you the most at the Wharton School? I am excited about the Wharton Marketing Club and the Food Club. They will help me create an impact in the consumer space and connect with people over food!

When you think of the Wharton School, what is the first word that comes to mind? Why? Teamwork. Every part of the Wharton experience is designed to make you a better team player and leader. It starts with the team-based discussion as part of the interview process and is embedded in the MBA journey here. Even coursework is done in ‘learning teams’, which helps people become better team players and thus, better leaders.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I helped my previous employer, Open Secret, build its new Marketplace business from the ground-up. This was challenging because Open Secret was formerly a healthy snacking brand and wanted to pivot to a Marketplace model and widen its offering to healthy food and beverages, akin to Whole Foods. I led the business and built the team to drive the scale-up. We onboarded 70+ brands, set up business processes, scaled revenue to 10x in 6 months and drove a transition to profitable growth.

What do you hope to do after graduation (at this point)? I would like to work in the Consumer space (preferably with a Food & Beverage brand) and contribute to the creation of products that improve people’s lives.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? I recently read The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates, and I believe MBA should read it to get perspective on being a more inclusive leader, whether you are a woman or an ally.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Harvard Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into the Wharton School’s MBA program? Be authentic and tell your truth. Leave the rest to the Admissions Committee – they have a great eye for spotting people who are truly passionate about something and looking to create an impact in that space!


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