Wharton Impact Newsletter, Our community, your inbox.

January 2023 • Edition 17

Start the new year by joining the Wharton Global Clubs Network! Learn how these clubs help not just create networking opportunities for alumni but also generate impact; read how women students are benefiting from McNulty Women’s Roundtables; and see where on the road the Wharton Impact Tour has been – and where it is heading next.

Join a Wharton Club to Enhance Your Impact

Executive Director; Alumni Relations Shannon Connolly says Wharton's alumni network is a draw tor incoming classes.
Executive Director; Alumni Relations Shannon Connolly says Wharton's alumni network is a draw tor incoming classes.

Every year, after sending out MBA offers of admission, Wharton surveys the candidates who matriculate. Why, the admissions office wants to know, did students choose Wharton?

For Wharton’s most recently admitted MBA Class, the answer was clear: the School’s 100,000-plus living alumni. According to Shannon Connelly, Wharton’s executive director of alumni relations, two-thirds of the MBA Class of 2024 “said that alumni were the most significant factor in their decision-making process – why they picked Wharton over a peer institution.”

What makes Wharton’s alumni network such a draw, says Connelly, is not just the number of members or their professional success, but the degree to which they give back and remain involved in the Wharton community.

In July 2020, for example, the Wharton Club of New York gave nearly a quarter of a million dollars in support of Wharton alumni in New York whose employment was affected by the pandemic.

Similarly, this past year, when the Wharton Club of Spain ran a surplus, the club used the excess funds to halve their annual dues for the following year and donated the remaining budget to The Wharton Fund.

As the year begins, Connelly urges alumni to consider how they can enhance their impact on Wharton’s future by joining or renewing their membership in one of Wharton’s nearly 80 geographic and affinity-based clubs.

Joining a club, Connelly notes, provides multiple ways to give back, including raising donations, helping plan class Reunions, and mentoring current students. Clubs also offer programming that helps strengthen the Wharton community, such as the Wharton Women’s Circles and the Scale School for entrepreneurs.

“Wharton doesn’t end after you graduate,” says Beltran Alvarez de Estrada, W’96, until recently president of the Wharton Club of Spain, who led the club’s efforts to engage students and alumni during the pandemic.

“The more you give back,” says Alvarez de Estrada, “the more you receive in exchange.”

Learn More About the Wharton Global Clubs Network

The Wharton Fund Scales McNulty Women’s Round tables

Tanya Gupta, WG'22, and Zamreen Ebrahim, WG'21, found the McNulty Women's Roundtables transformational.
Tanya Gupta, WG'22, and Zamreen Ebrahim, WG'21, found the McNulty Women's Roundtables transformational.

For both Zamreen Ebrahim, WG’21, and Tanya Gupta, WG’22, participating in the McNulty Women’s Roundtables had a profound effect.

“Every participant had an enriching experience,” Ebrahim recalls. Gupta says the program helped her tap into a community of women that she still calls on for support.

The McNulty Women’s Roundtables began as a pilot for students in the Wharton MBA Program for Executives, when Ebrahim – then in business development at a top technology company – approached the McNulty Leadership Program about creating a platform that empowers women while serving as a source for meaningful connection.

Working with Jess Segal and Emily Gunther, the McNulty Leadership Program’s director of strategic initiatives and the associate director of Wharton’s People Lab, respectively, Ebrahim put together a structured, multi-week program in which women in the MBA Program for Executives met to share and honor their experiences and to discuss approaches to navigating common workplace challenges.

The advice from fellow participants proved invaluable. Ebrahim shaped her approach to life as a working mother by leveraging takeaways from the forum. Even as alumnae, she and several other participants continue to lean on fellow roundtable participants as sounding boards.

The following year, Gupta, then co-president of Wharton Women in Business (WWIB), started a pilot of the Women’s Roundtables for female students in the MBA Program.

At her previous job in portfolio management, Gupta had led the development of similar discussions, but conversations were limited by the fact that all participants worked at the same company. “What’s so special about Wharton,” she says, “is that you have women from so many different backgrounds.”

As co-president of WWIB, Gupta had crossed paths with other student leaders on campus. “I thought it would be really interesting to get all the women together,” she recalls, “and have conversations about what it means to lead.”

Like Ebrahim, Gupta found her classmates eager to engage. Their roundtable conversations ranged from practical tactics to ensure women rece ive credit for their ideas in meetings to dealing with imposter syndrome.

”This is a place to fail,” Gupta remembers thinking. “I want to be able to have difficult conversations here, so I don’t struggle later on in my career.”

When Ebrahim and Gupta graduated, The Wharton Fund stepped in to scale the Women’s Roundtables, which are now accessible to students in both the MBA Program for Executives and the MBA Program.

By supporting The Wharton Fund, you can help women at Wharton access the same, transformative discussions that Ebrahim and Gupta say are still advancing their careers.

Learn More About The Wharton Fund

Going Globetrotting With Wharton!

Dean Erika H. James is on the road with the Wharton Impact Tour.
Dean Erika H. James is on the road with the Wharton Impact Tour.

The Wharton Impact Tour is bringing the best of Wharton to cities around the globe. There are opportunities to reconnect with classmates, make new connections, and hear from the School’s thought leaders, including Dean Erika H. James, faculty, and special guests. The tour will make upcoming stops in Miami, Sao Paulo, and Philadelphia, with other cities to be announced.

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