As promised, here is my recap on my Wharton interview. The team-based discussion (TBD) was a great experience. Although I honestly have no idea how it will be assessed because the other groups all seem to have a positive experience too. However, I do think you are assessed as a group rather than individuals. Therefore if the admissions team are reading this, please admit my group we were super duper smart!
So everyone have heard stories about the TBD. I will not reveal the prompt mainly because I was asked specifically not to. (However for those intrigued and resourceful readers, I am sure a quick google search will give you the answer). With the prompt, you are asked to prepare a short pitch to your team mates at the start of the allotted 35 minutes. After the pitches, you then have to generate consensus in that time to reach some kind of conclusion.
For my team, I would say everyone mostly kept their pitches concise and punchy. One thing that was noticeable was the diversity of my group. It was not curated in any way by the admissions team. It was just pure luck that everyone was from a different industry. In some ways I think this helped because the fact that our ideas were incredibly different at the beginning drove us to dig deeper into common core themes. These became the basis from which we built our final idea. What was also nice was that we didn’t have any one dominant person or aggressive type A who tried to drive conversation towards his/her idea or hogged the microphone. It was truly collaborative with everyone being, if anything, too nice and too accommodating to each other. The calibre of applicants has definitely opened my eyes about the possible student body at Wharton. Hopefully, I will get a chance to experience that during an admitted weekend next year.
After the TBD, everyone had a short 10-15 1on1 with the moderator. This wasn’t really that structured but more for passing on feedback from the TBD and whether it is representative of what you are like normally. This was followed by a quick resume walk-through and usual goals questions. All in all, it felt like I could use that time however I liked to ensure I came across as myself and re-iterated strong points. After a couple of questions for the moderator, it was all over.
Although I had a great experience during the Team-Based Discussion, I am tempering my expectations. Just looking at the hard figures, roughly 40% of people will be admitted from the applicant pool. The calibre of the people I met during the process was incredibly high (and a lot of them had interviews with HBS, Stanford GSB, MIT Sloan, you name it). Also, from speaking to other applicants, it doesn’t seem like there are too many horror stories. I imagine it is pretty tough to evaluate using the TBD and subsequent 1on1 interview alone. It probably provides another data point with which the admissions team can make a decision.
With Wharton done, I am all out of interviews. Decision are 3 weeks away and strangely this is the most tranquil I have felt in a long time. Over the next week I will need to make a start on my Kellogg application and try to submit it in advance of the hard R2 deadline to have a shot at an off-campus interview. Motivation is definitely slightly lacking though!
Finally, I doubt they are reading this but I want to send all my team mates a mental high 5 for their efforts during the team-based discussion. Thanks for making it a totally enjoyable experience and I totally could not have done it without you guys and gals.