I’m incredibly excited to be the first Student Life Fellow this year to share some of my experiences at this wonderful place called Wharton. It’s crazy to think I only have one year left, especially since it feels like yesterday that I showed up dressed head to toe in yellow to represent the Cluster 3 Bees in the Pre-Term Olympics (which I’ll describe later in my post).
Who are the Student Life Fellows?
We are a group of 53 second-year students committed to helping the first-year class build a community by offering advice, mentorship, and guidance as soon as students step on campus. We come from a variety of backgrounds and represent almost all clubs and other extracurricular opportunities at Wharton.
I am honored to be part of such a unique, talented, and compassionate group of friends and colleagues. Throughout the first year, we work with the Student Life Office in organizing Cluster-related activities, and you can often see us dressing up in crazy outfits and cheering wildly for our Clusters. On that note, go C3 Bees!
The Wharton Community
This brings me to what has honestly been one of the most rewarding parts of the MBA experience at Wharton — the sense of community and camaraderie among my classmates. It starts when you first get to Philadelphia for Pre-Term Weekend. During that first weekend you meet other first-year students in your Cluster, and you learn how to prepare for the next two years from the Student Life Fellows. Balancing school work, career search, social events/club activities, and your personal life takes practice, and it’s really helpful to get guidance from those who have already walked that path.
Furthermore, in looking back at my first year, the Cluster system really did a great job making it easier to acclimate to a new environment with a large student body. That first weekend, when we competed against the Lions, Dragons, and Tigers in Cluster Olympic events like dodgeball, cranium, and tug of war, I relished building relationships in the team setting. There comes a moment when it all clicks, and you and your classmates fully buy into the experience. It happened for me when all of the Clusters came together to cheer on our respective dance teams — cheering with all their energy. I realized then that I was part of something so special.
Forming an SLFam
Making the community even stronger, each Wharton SLF has a group of first-year students that together form a “SLFam.” As a First Year, my SLF was a great mentor to me, and I have had the opportunity to do the same with first-year students this year. We have bonded as a group — at events like the group tour through Penn’s campus and the dinner party at my apartment — and individually through coffee or lunch chats. This “family” is just another way we are able to build a community here at Wharton.
I hope to be a resource for every one of my SLFees, and I am already seeing them contribute so much to the Wharton student body by serving on Cluster Council, choreographing and dancing in dance-offs, and even just smiling while walking through Huntsman Hall. I know they will accomplish so much over the next two years and will continue to build on the best community in the world.
I could go on for days, but I’ll leave that for the following weeks. Over the rest of the school year, my fellow SLFs will post about their experiences and their passions here at Wharton. We’ll discuss leadership opportunities, career choices, traveling around the world with classmates, and more. I can honestly say everyone has a distinct experience here at Wharton, and I can’t wait to read all about them!
Posted: October 5, 2016