Edgardo Jimenez’s, WG’20, short-term goal was to move into a new role where he could “do something bigger and on the cutting-edge.” His long-term goal was to move into the C-suite. With a degree in mechanical engineering, Edgardo knew he needed to get an MBA to achieve both goals.
After talking with colleagues and researching executive MBA programs, he saw that Wharton’s EMBA program offers the full MBA. “It’s not a watered-down or slower-paced program,” he said. “I value hard work because the more effort you put into something, the prouder you can be of your achievement. I decided to apply.”
This meant taking a standardized admissions test. “I chose the GRE and studied on my own for about six weeks. I got a mediocre score, so I scheduled an admissions chat to get feedback. They encouraged me to work with a tutor and take the test again. I spent the next three months studying and working with a tutor. The second time I took the GRE, I crushed it and got a very competitive score,” Edgardo said
After he was accepted into Wharton’s EMBA program, he used his GRE score to negotiate a higher salary. “I made the case that I would use knowledge from Wharton in real-time, which would immediately benefit the company. I also provided my GRE score as evidence of my ability to be successful in this program and bring value to the company,” he said, noting that he received a 15% salary increase.
The GRE was also beneficial for his first year at Wharton. He explained, “In addition to working with a tutor, I also took an online math class as a refresher. That helped me prepare for the firehose that is Wharton. It’s an onslaught of studying, but I was prepared because I had gotten into the routine and mindset of studying.”
Immediate Career Impact
Edgardo is already seeing a career impact from the program. “Through individual career coaching, our EMBA career director helped me connect with alumni in different areas of technology. I now have connections all over the world because of those conversations. She also helped me with my LinkedIn profile. I took her advice and started receiving calls from recruiters.”
One of those calls — about a position in the security space — led to an offer he couldn’t refuse. Edgardo said, “My responsibilities are much larger than at my prior job, and I’m working on the cutting-edge of technology to launch a new product. I doubled my old salary and I haven’t even graduated! I wouldn’t have landed this job without Wharton on my resume.”
In addition to a new job, Edgardo points to several other aspects of the EMBA program that are adding value to his career:
“We get into the weeds. There is a heavy focus on analytics and math, but also the logic and science behind the theory. It’s a lot more than just reading cases. We do deep dives into business issues and look at how decisions are made.”
“The professors are world-renowned experts. They bring first-hand experience to the classroom. For example, David Pottruck, WG’72, former CEO of Charles Schwab, taught our Leadership class. He was responsible for Schwab’s transition to an online business, and he discussed moving the organization from the known to the unknown and all the uncertainty and resistance that came with that change.”
“They are all amazing people from diverse backgrounds. When a professor asks if anyone in the class works or worked at a particular company, someone always raises their hand. Or, if the professor asks if anyone has experience with a particular business issue, a classmate shares their experience.”
“My wife and I had our first child in the middle of the second term. The staff was incredibly supportive. I even got a few offers to babysit! Everyone wants you to succeed and they will do whatever they can to help you.”
Edgardo noted, “This program adds so much value from the brand and curriculum to the network. It’s already paying off immeasurably and I’m still in my second year.”
— Meghan Laska
Posted: November 12, 2019