23. My Wharton Experience - MM Rao

Updated: Nov 12, 2021


Once upon a time, way back in June 2008 , I was going through some of Best Business Schools for Executive Education in the World, and Wharton has been featured as a One of the Top Notch Business Schools on Global Level. .


So, Its my dream to get educated at Wharton Business School for my Executive Education and I have chosen Three Module Accelerated Development Program ( ADP ) covering , viz.. 1. Strategic Management. 2. Finance Management. 3. Strategic Thinking and Leadership between 2016 -2018.


Out of Three Modules, Two modules have been completed in India and third one at Wharton’s Campus in Philadelphia , USA.


Pic : Wharton Business School, Philadelphia, USA


The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is the Business School of the University of Pennsylvania ( UPenn ), a private Ivy League university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Established in 1881 through a donation from Joseph Wharton, the Wharton School is the world's oldest Collegiate School of Business.


Wharton's MBA program is ranked No. 1 in the United States according to Forbes and No. 1 in the United States according to the 2020 U.S. News & World Report ranking. MBA graduates of Wharton earn an average $159,815 ( CTC of Rs.1.2 Cr / annum and with other perks , it may go upto Rs.1.5 Cr. on average ) first year base pay not including bonuses, the highest of all the leading schools.


Pic : With Prof.Harbir Singh, Wharton and Prof.Prashant Kale, Rice University, USA.


Wharton's MBA program is tied for the highest in the United States with an average GMAT score of 732 (97th percentile) for its entering class.

I. Details of Three Modules :

1) Strategic Management - Executing Growth Strategies.


This ADP Module consists of extensive study materials with a Lot of Case Studies of International Repute and Fortunate to Interact with Prof.Prashant Kale of Rice University, USA and Prof. Harbir Singh of Wharton Business School, who Published several Books and Articles in International Journals like Harvard Business Review and Sloan Management Review etc,. This given us an opportunity to learn how to grow in Complex Business Environment through Consolidations and Strategic Alliances.


Strategy is all about the Finding a Fit Case through Trade-Offs and Bringing a Competitive Advantage to the Table , Where Rivals find it difficult to Manage.




As a Growth Strategy, When to go International Strategies through Strategic Alliances and integrating the Firms Seamlessly in an Organic Fashion amicable to both the Partnering Organisations.

2) Finance Management - Wharton Finance for Executives


Traveled to New York and stationed in Manhattan , and then moved to Wharton US Philadelphia Campus and attended a Branded Wharton Module , ie. Wharton Finance for Executives , from 20th to 24th Feb'2017. The Core Faculty Member of this Program is Prof. Michael Roberts along with other two renowned Professors of Finance one each from Israel and Netherlands..


Pic : Wharton Classroom


Core Concepts learnt during this program


- Capital Budgeting,

- Design of Optimal Capital Structure ,

- Private Equity, Sources of Value and Free Cash Flow Analysis, Cost-Benefit Analysis and Discounted Cash Flow Analysis,

- Mergers and Acquisitions, Risk Assessment and

- Evaluation of a Project( NPA Method ) with World Famous Nobel Prize Winning " Black -Scholes " Formula etc. and Options Trading / Hedge Funding etc.


3. Strategic Thinking and Leadership.

Pic : With Prof.Mike Useem, signing on Book Authored by him.


We had the opportunity of learning from Prof.Mike Useem , who is an Authority on Corporate Leadership at Wharton and other Faculty being Prof.Harbir Singh. Both have authored several books together as well as individually. Notable Books of them include , The India Way, The Leaders Check List , Leading Up, Investor Capitalism and Fortune Makers etc.


Pic : With World Famous Management Guru, Prof.Ram Charan, Coach of Fortune 500 CEOs and met him and had a little chat with him at Wharton Business School.


Core Concepts learnt during this program

  • Detailed Analysis of Role of Corporate Leaders in building everlasting Businesses Institutions.

  • How Critical is Decision Making in the Times of Finance and Political Crisis.

  • How One wrong decision in Soloman Brothers had lead to its demise.

  • How Chile’s Mining Minister handled the Miners rescue operation lasted for several weeks.

  • Handling Crisis and maintaining the serene environment in an organization, while swimming in the troubled waters.

Pic : Batch Photo at Wharton Campus


In Nutshell, Its a rigorous training program of compacted Classroom training teaching and Case Study analysis covered in a few days ( a Typical 6 months course for MBA graduates covered in 5 days in Executive Education ).


On 3rd day night ( of 5 day module ) during the campus program, Wharton had arranged a Networking Night at a nearby Five Star Hotel. We had a wonderful opportunity of interacting with CEOs, CFOs, MDs,Promoters and Partners of organisations to exhange views on corporate world. I could make a few the co-participants as a life time friends from Brazil, Japan , USA and India etc.

Pic : With Mr.Noma , CFO of a Japanese Pharma Giant


I had experienced one of the Pinnacle Moments in my Life, When I went to the podium to summarise the five day Finance Module and also proposed a vote of thanks to the Faculty and Administrative Staff at Wharton.


Pic : ADP Certificate Award Cermony


II. Wharton Today


The Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania (Wharton) offers these departments and concentrations: accounting, e-commerce, economics, entrepreneurship, ethics, finance, general management, health care administration, human resources management, insurance, international business, marketing, production/operations management, public policy, real estate, and quantitative analysis/statistics and operations research. Its tuition is full-time: $80,432 per year. At graduation, 81 percent of graduates of the full-time program are employed.


The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania was the U.S.’s first business school and now has the largest alumni network in the country.

In addition to graduate business degrees, students can pursue joint degrees, including an accelerated MBA/J.D. degree in three years in conjunction with the Penn Law School; an MBA/M.A. degree in International Studies; and joint degree programs through the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Students can also earn a Ph.D. at Wharton, typically in four to five years, in nine areas including ethics & legal studies, statistics and applied economics.


Pic : Wharton Campus

Students learn how to handle stress, make critical decisions and lead a team outside the classroom on outdoor trips called Ventures. Whether students are mountaineering on Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro, trekking through Antarctica or sailing in Grenada, they put their leadership skills to the test during the weeklong trips. For leadership training closer to home, students can get hands-on experience in about 25 research centers on campus and have close to 150 organizations to get involved in.

The school has campuses in Philadelphia and San Francisco. Students at the Philadelphia campus can live in University City, an area also home to Drexel University and the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.


Pic : The Wharton School, UPenn, Philadelphia.


Wharton's MBA program is ranked No. 1 in the United States according to Forbes[5] and No. 1 in the United States according to the 2020 U.S. News & World Report ranking.[6] Meanwhile, Wharton's MBA for Executives and undergraduate programs are ranked No. 3 and No. 1 in the United States respectively by U.S. News.[7][8] MBA graduates of Wharton earn an average $159,815 first year base pay not including bonuses, the highest of all the leading schools.[9][10] Wharton's MBA program is tied for the highest in the United States with an average GMAT score of 732 (97th percentile) for its entering class.


Wharton has over 95,000 alumni in 153 countries,including current U.S. President Donald Trump, SpaceX founder Elon Musk, and billionaire investor Warren Buffett. Current and former CEOs of Fortune 500 companies including Alphabet Inc., General Electric, Boeing, Pfizer, Comcast, Oracle, PepsiCo and Johnson & Johnson are also Wharton School alumni.


Pic : UPenn campus, Philadelphia.


III. Globally Recognised Alumni of Wharton


1. Warren Buffett