Luis Rietti, WG’18, on the learning environment, community, and opportunities in the Wharton MBA Program for Executives in Philadelphia

What’s it like to be a Wharton EMBA student? We asked second-year Philadelphia student Luis Rietti to share his experiences in the program so far. Here is what the founder and president of Dveloping Group in Austin, TX said:

Why did you come to Wharton?

I chose this program because it is the most balanced top EMBA program in the U.S. It has a strong focus on all disciplines like entrepreneurship, accounting, marketing, finance, and general management. In the second year, students have the flexibility to focus on different areas with electives. Also, the Wharton network is the largest in the world. I’ve tested the waters with different schools’ networks and found Wharton’s to be the most powerful. In addition, I wanted to take the next step in my career and challenge myself with the most rigorous program possible.

How do you build relationships with classmates?

I came into the program anxious to know who would be in my class — knowing that who you get in your cohort is luck of the draw— and I’ve been pleasantly surprised!

First, there is considerable geographic and cultural diversity, and I have really enjoyed getting to know new cultures. Over months of working hard together, I’ve developed close friendships, which truly make me feel like a part of Wharton. Second, those relationships have been professionally rewarding. As an investment broker, I’ve brokered two investments in my first year because of the Wharton network.

Relationships are built in three ways:

  • Classroom dynamics. You spend a lot of time with classmates, especially your learning team. All those hours together provide the unique opportunity (at our age) to develop close relationships.
  • Socializing outside of class. Most of our class makes an effort to venture outside the classroom, something that is not always easy to do, but is very rewarding. Philadelphia is a great location for going out to dinner or bars in groups.
  • Wharton-organized events. Wharton organizes events like the Global Business Week, which is a required trip at the beginning of the second year, mixing executive students from both coasts (Philadelphia and San Francisco) and offering interesting learning opportunities all over the world. This gives us a chance to expand our network and create unique experiences that last a life time.

What kinds of off-campus classes have you taken as part of the program?

My cohort just spent a week on the San Francisco campus for a combined Marketing course. I am also planning to take a Global Modular Course (GMC) in Argentina this spring to study entrepreneurship and innovation in uncertainty. The GMCs are optional half-credit courses that put you in a relevant geographic area to apply concepts outside of class in a very experiential way. You get to meet with top company executives in leading businesses and hear from industry experts who you would rarely have access to under normal circumstances. The required Global Business Week course is like a GMC. For that trip, I’m going to Spain to learn about the leisure industry – food, hospitality, and sport.

What is the learning environment like?

The Wharton community is very supportive. Students frequently help each other. Whether it is needing help understanding a new accounting principle or seeking insights into the pharmaceutical industry for a case study, you can always reach out when in need. The great part about this dynamic is that you get to infuse your learning with many new perspectives from extremely high caliber individuals across different industries. I am continually impressed with how talented and insightful my classmates are. I would say that a sizeable part of the learning comes from working with your peers. Most professors also do a great job of making themselves available outside of class, and I have reached out to several of them for both academic and professional advice.

How is the program making an impact so far?

My mindset has changed and along with the way I approach business. Having the opportunity to take classes in disciplines that you normally aren’t exposed to, taught by some of the best business minds in the world, has given me the chance to better understand business and equipped me with a powerful set of tools. Today’s world requires flexibility, clarity, and conviction to be successful, and I believe Wharton is helping me grow in each of those. It’s been an excellent return on investment so far.

Posted: November 3, 2017

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