Five MBA students talk about their Pre-Term experience, exploring Philly, and what they’re looking forward to this fall.

Over 800 new MBA students touched down at Wharton this August for Pre-Term, a two-week immersive experience in all things Wharton and Philadelphia. Get to know these members of the Class of 2023 as they discuss community, clubs, and ambitions for the future.

Christopher Ghadban headshot

Christopher Ghadban

Hometown: Dracut, MA
Major: Health Care Management
Previous Education: BS in Chemical Engineering & Biotech Engineering, MS in Bioengineering, Tufts University
Previous Work: I founded a consulting firm advising a dozen emerging and established tech and biotech companies from Boston, MA to Washington D.C. I then joined AstraZeneca as part of a rotational program before being hired into the Emerging Innovations Unit, where I worked on innovation strategy and search and evaluation.

What was your favorite part of Pre-Term and why?

Getting to know my classmates. Be it through tackling team challenges or singing late-night karaoke, we quickly came together to form a strong Wharton community.

What is your favorite part about Philadelphia (so far)?

Morning runs along the Schuylkill River and trying the various ice cream shops around the city!

What clubs and activities do you plan to be a part of this fall?

This fall I’ve started getting involved with the Health Care Club and PE/VC on the professional front, and with Storytellers and Food Club. I’m also excited to restart salsa dancing.

Ghadban with his learning team at a football field.

josh fan headshotJosh Fan

Hometown: Henan, China & Santa Clara, CA
Major: Entrepreneurship and Strategic Management
Previous Education: BS in Finance and Accounting, Liberty University
Previous Work: U.S. Army Veteran & Management Consultant at Accenture in Fashion Retail and CPG

What was your favorite part of Pre-Term and why?

My favorite part of Pre-Term would have to be the team-building day. Working together with my learning team teammates and coming up with creative ways to solve puzzles not only allowed me to establish trusting bonds with my teammates but also provided me the opportunity to learn from my teammates and their strengths. In addition, the talent show component forced us to get out of our comfort zone and truly be ourselves in front of our entire cohort.

What is your favorite part about Philadelphia (so far)?

My favorite part about Philly so far is the people. Having moved to Philadelphia from Northern California, I was unsure about Philadelphia at first since I didn’t know anyone in the city but living among such a vibrant community of Whartonites has given me a sense of belonging and made Philly feel more like a new home rather than a brief stop.

What clubs and activities do you plan to be a part of this fall?

Since this is the first semester of my time at Wharton, I purposely “over-committed” myself to a long list of clubs so that I can try out as many different activities and meet people with diverse interests and passions. For professional clubs, I will be part of the Entrepreneurship Club and Consulting Club. For affinity clubs, I plan to serve on the boards of the Wharton Veteran Club and the Wharton Asian American Association of MBAs (WAAAM). For social clubs, I plan to take my wine-tasting skills to a whole new level through the Wine Club and hopefully learn some new dance moves through the Dance Studio (club).

Fan and his team at dinner

Sheila Garcia headshot

Sheila Garcia

Hometown: Long Island, NY
Major: Business, Energy, Environment, and Sustainability (BEES)
Previous Education: BS in Applied Economics & Management, Cornell University
Previous Work: I was previously a marketing associate at EnterSolar (now called PowerFlex), and most recently an energy analyst at Indigo Advisory Group.

What was your favorite part of Pre-Term and why?

My favorite part of Pre-Term was meeting the diverse members of my Cohort, 3I (my bee hive)! They’ve been a supportive bunch, always sending reminders about events, setting up small dinners, and encouraging each other to explore Philly!

What is your favorite part about Philadelphia (so far)?

I enjoy how walkable Philadelphia is, and how many murals I find along the way!

What clubs and activities do you plan to be a part of this fall?

I plan to be part of the Sustainable Business Coalition, the Energy Club, WHAMBAA, WHALASA, the Chocolate Club, and a few other social and sports clubs.

Sheila in a team meeting

Sotelo HeadshotSebastian Sotelo

Hometown: Bethesda, MD with previous stints in Mexico City, Buenos Aires, and Santiago, Chile
Major: Undecided
Previous Education: BA in Finance and International Business, Georgetown University
Previous Work: Infrastructure Private Equity in NYC

What was your favorite part of Pre-Term and why?

There were so many highlights, but the day that stood out the most was the outdoors field day with our Leadership Fellows. It was a really fun way to get to know the rest of my cohort while challenging our teamwork skills.

What is your favorite part about Philadelphia (so far)?

The many parks and trails around the city! There are many green spaces to explore with your new friends and it’s a great way to tire my dog Tokyo, who is usually full of energy.

What clubs and activities do you plan to be a part of this fall?

On the social side, I’ve joined Wharton Pub for a bit of tradition and Wharton FC to sweat it all out. I’ve also joined WHAMBAA and WHALASA to connect with the Latinx community and explore ways to elevate those around us. Professionally, I look forward to getting involved with the PE/VC club and the Energy Club.

Group of MBA students posing for a photo in a forest

afreen ghauri headshotAfreen Ghauri

Hometown: Beautiful little lake town called Bhopal in India
Major: Business, Energy, Environment, and Sustainability (BEES) and Finance
Previous Education: BE in Chemical Engineering, BITS Pilani
Previous Work: I spent 3 years as an Oil & Gas engineer for Schlumberger, mainly working in Southeast Asia, before pivoting into management consulting at BCG where I spent two years before coming to Wharton.

What was your favorite part of Pre-Term and why?

MGMT 610 stole the show for me! In the spirit of preserving the course experience for incoming students, all I will say is that it exceeded expectations and I learnt a lot about myself and my learning team. The effort Wharton puts in easing our transition onto campus is well-thought and commendable!

What is your favorite part about Philadelphia (so far)?

I love how walkable Philly is. I really look forward to the walks to or from campus with some friends, especially on a good weather day. Everyone apartments, restaurants, bars, and the beautiful Rittenhouse park are all walking distance from each other so you are never far from the action!

What clubs and activities do you plan to be a part of this fall?

Oh so many! I joined the Energy Club to fan my interest in energy and sustainability. I joined the Coffee Club and Chocolate Club to get my hands on the best coffee roasts and chocolates around. In affinity groups, I am a member of Out4Biz and Wharton Women in Business. As a ‘stretch experience’, I have also joined a sports club for a sport I know absolutely nothing about — rugby! I am equally terrified and excited to be part of the Women’s Rugby team. Go Wildebeests!

afreen pre-term

– Gemma Hong

Posted: October 4, 2021

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