Julia Edwards, WG’17, applied to Wharton in San Francisco, then moved from California to Boston, then back again. Wharton EMBA was there along the way, from her classes and teammates in Philadelphia to the alumni network on the West Coast.

After applying to Wharton’s MBA Program for Executives in San Francisco, Julia Edwards had an exciting opportunity to join a small biotech company in Massachusetts. Deciding to move her family from San Francisco to Boston for that job, the chemical engineer deferred admission to Wharton.

“Knowing that Wharton’s EMBA program is available on both coasts made that an easier decision because I knew I could return later to the Philadelphia campus when the timing was better,” she said.

Six months later, she transitioned to Biogen Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, MA as director of regulatory affairs. With so many options for business school in the Boston area, Julia had to communicate the value proposition of the Wharton MBA at each stage of the recruiting process. Also, living just outside of Boston with her husband and two young kids (ages 8 and 11), she needed to carefully assess the benefits of Wharton over a more local EMBA program that wouldn’t require the commute to Philadelphia.

As she looked at programs, Wharton remained at the top of her list.

“Wharton’s residency requirement was a big differentiator, even when I was living in San Francisco and applying to the West Coast campus. As a mom, I knew that if I was going home after classes on school weekends, my attention would be split and I would stay in mom mode. I wanted to throw myself into this program, which required my full attention,” she said.

Julia also appreciated the school’s environment. “Wharton has an entrepreneurial and energetic vibe on both coasts. The curriculum is very rigorous, but students are supportive. And the program gives students the flexibility to take on more learning opportunities through Global Modular Courses.”

The Difference Two Years Can Make

Now a MBA graduate, Julia recently moved back to the West Coast to start a new job as executive director at Allergan in Irvine, CA. “I don’t think I would have gotten that job without being at Wharton. A lot of it was my industry experience, but my ability to understand the business side made a big difference.”

This time around in the recruiting process, Julia didn’t need to explain the value of her Wharton degree. “I was able to demonstrate the value by applying my new skills and knowledge base to the interview. The opportunity I’ve been given at Allergan is the ultimate reward for the hard work over the past two years.”

Although Julia flew back and forth to Philadelphia to finish the program, Wharton’s large West Coast community is a great benefit.

She said, “I already have a network of Wharton students and alumni I can call in San Francisco and my new home in Orange County, and I plan to come to Wharton San Francisco for events. I’m excited about this transition and know it will be smoother because of Wharton.”

Posted: July 13, 2017

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