“There is no foolproof system that always leads to success.” – Prof. G. Richard Shell, Springboard: Launching Your Personal Search for Success
This is the statement to which my classmates and I constantly find ourselves returning, as part of P3 (“Purpose, Passion, Principles”), a unique program that encourages Wharton MBAs to examine what we value in our personal and professional lives.
The leadership of Wharton MBA students has driven the genesis of P3. In spring 2013, a group of MBAs approached Professor G. Richard Shell (Wharton’s Thomas Gerrity Professor and chairperson of the Legal Studies and Business Ethics Department), looking for an opportunity to work with him. Professor Shell asked for their feedback on the manuscript draft of his book Springboard: Launching Your Personal Search for Success.
This editing exercise evolved into a book club, of sorts – with more personal and meaningful dialogue – as the students broke into focus groups, conducting regular discussions regarding their long-term goals and values.
Soon thereafter, several Wharton students joined together with faculty (led by Professor Shell and Professor Stewart Friedman, the Founding Director of Wharton’s Work/Life Integration Project), as well as the MBA Career Management and Leadership Offices, to develop the content and format for a formalized program. P3 was born.
How P3 Shaped My Wharton Journey
P3 has grown significantly as a student-led initiative. This spring, 35 groups (averaging six students each) will participate in the program. During nine weekly discussions over the course of the semester, the small groups will explore different topics, readings, and exercises – ranging from reflections on pivotal ‘crucible moments’ from their past to visualizing their paths towards their future leadership journeys.
I was fortunate to first participate in P3 during the spring semester of my first year at Wharton. I felt so inspired by the experience, that, this past fall semester, I decided to serve as a P3 Facilitator, helping to direct the group conversation and to foster an open and safe sharing environment. Personally, P3 has motivated me to develop a better understanding of how I define both happiness and success in my personal and professional lives – and how those definitions relate to my past endeavors, my present priorities at Wharton, and my unique goals for the future.
At a crossroads in my life, P3 has proven to be an important forum to slow down for introspection, to reflect on my values, to recalibrate my compass, and to anchor my actions with integrity. I have most enjoyed engaging in authentic, candid conversations with a trusted group of peers within the Wharton community; we have developed a deep understanding of one another’s experiences, shared diverse perspectives, challenged one another to think critically about difficult questions, and, in the process, have developed true friendships.
Following these two years of personal and professional development at Wharton, I am hopeful that I will emerge with a clearer vision of my story: who I am, what is important to me, and how I hope to impact the world. I will be grateful for the Purpose, Passion, and Principles that shape my life legacy.