Before Wharton, I had worked in the hedge fund industry for over 10 years and was a partner at a hedge fund in San Francisco. I had always expected to go back to school, but my career trajectory got in the way. At the time, my boyfriend (now husband) was a student at Wharton San Francisco so I was familiar with the MBA for Executives Program and enjoyed meeting his classmates. The campus was very close to my office and the executive format would allow me to continue my career while pursuing an MBA. After looking into it more, I was convinced this was the best program for me so I didn’t apply anywhere else.
I knew my employer at the time would not financially sponsor me so the only way I could attend Wharton’s EMBA Program was to sponsor myself. It was scary in terms of thinking about the sacrifices I would have to make because I knew my time and attention would be divided between work and school. As for the money, I considered the tuition an investment in myself. I still believe it is one of the better investments I’ve made so far in my investment career –and I will continue to see a return on this investment for years to come.
Advice for Self-Sponsorship
As ridiculous as this may sound, try not to obsess over the cost of the program. It will feel like a lot of money and you’ll wonder in the beginning if it is worth it, but you will have your education and network for life. Also, you will have the Wharton pedigree and the value of that cannot be overstated.
Why It’s Worth It
A huge benefit is the network. My social and professional network expanded exponentially after I began Wharton’s EMBA program. Within my own class, I made a wonderful set of close-knit friends. My husband similarly made a close group of friends in his class at Wharton and now of course we both enjoy each other’s Wharton social circles. The Wharton environment is also conducive to students connecting across classes and across coasts. And there are opportunities to make even more connections through Global Modular Courses (GMCs). I still stay in touch with people I met during GMCs. On a more personal note, Joe and I got married the weekend before my graduation and we are expecting our first baby in February.
In addition to the network, a big highlight for me was the GMCs. These are shorter classes where you can hone in on subjects that interest you in different areas of the world. I went on a GMC to Dubai where the focus was Finance in the Middle East. That was fascinating because the region’s Sharia law causes such fundamentally different financial structuring than what we know in the U.S. We met people with many different perspectives on this topic from local government officials to local business leaders to executives and investment managers from Western companies conducting business in the Middle East. Additionally, I went on a GMC to Japan on the topic of Supply Chain Management in Japan, which was also a great experience. These out-of-the-classroom learning opportunities add so much to the overall experience and are very unique to Wharton.
Posted: February 25, 2016