“You are going to meet people at Pre-Term who are going to be in your life for the rest of your life, so take time to get to know everyone around you.” — Kristen Auch, Director of External Strategy, MBA Admissions

The MBA Class of 2025 has arrived in Philadelphia!

Three weeks before the official start of classes, eager members of WG25 arrive on campus for Pre-Term, ready to embrace their new home and seize the opportunities that lie ahead in the forthcoming academic year at Wharton. This three week-long student orientation helps new students build connections and community before fully immersing themselves in academics.

MBA students meet their new classmates during the Pre-Term Welcome Ceremony. (Image: Shira Yudkoff)

Pre-Term is one of the oldest Wharton MBA traditions. From competing in the spirited ‘Wharton’s Got Talent’ show, to collaborating with their learning teams, and concluding with a meaningful MBA Convocation ceremony and reception, there is never a dull moment during Pre-Term.

Every year, Pre-Term kicks off with a highly anticipated Welcome Ceremony, and lots of swag. In the days that follow, students meet their Academic and Career Advisors, select classes, and network with their new classmates. In the evenings, small group dinners are planned around Philadelphia to allow students to relax and unwind in a more intimate setting while getting to know their new city. The second week includes an immersive leadership experience, a full day of Learning Team bonding, and interactive workshops that discuss diversity, inclusion, and accessibility. In the final week of Pre-Term, the incoming MBA class takes MGMT 6100, a simulation-based class that sets the tone for the academic experience at Wharton.

Incoming MBA Classes meet their cohorts for the first time at Pre-Term. (Image: University of Pennsylvania)

To help students prepare for Pre-Term, we turned to those who know it best – the Wharton staff members who plan and execute these events – for their favorite traditions and best tips to maximize the experience.

Kristen, Director of External Strategy, MBA Admissions

“Pre-Term is a marathon, not a sprint. My best advice is to be willing to get rest every night and be willing to say yes! The stretch experience starts now – get comfortable with embracing discomfort, that’s a recurring theme during your two years at Wharton. You are going to meet people at Pre-Term who are going to be in your life for the rest of your life, so take time to get to know everyone around you. You never know what you will gain from them.

This is a special and memorable time. Relish the accomplishment of where a lifetime of hard work has gotten you. And of course, it’s hot in Philly in the middle of August – remember to hydrate!”

Ericka, Program Coordinator, Office of MBA Student Life

“My favorite part of Pre-Term is the addition of Wharton’s Got Talent. I am in awe of the talent and creativity of the class and what they create in such a short time! It’s an unmissable experience and provides students with a creative release during a time where they’re taking in a ton of information.”

Students show off hidden talents at Wharton’s Got Talent. (Image: Derek Rodenbeck)

Abby, Associate Director of Marketing and Communication, MBA Admissions

“I love that Pre-Term gives MBA students time to really explore Philly before hitting the ground running at Wharton. Take advantage of Small Group Dinners to check out the amazing food scene and use the weekends to walk around different neighborhoods!”

Kacey, Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives and Communications, Office of the Vice Dean

“This is one of the only periods of time during your MBA that there are no other competing priorities – we intentionally make Pre-Term a time where there are no assignments or deadlines so that you have uninterrupted time to learn about all that Wharton has to offer. At its heart, the goal of Pre-Term is to allow you to acclimate yourself to a new environment, so completely immerse yourself in it and enjoy the ride!

Based on feedback from students in previous years, we have revamped the check-in experience for the Class of 2025. In the past, students checked in on campus at the same time, and then went into a full day of programming. This year we are offering a staggered check-in process, welcoming each cluster at a different time during the day, to give students more down time in the first day of Pre-Term to move into their apartment, set up internet, get their Penn IDs, or complete other tasks to help them reduce overwhelm as they arrive on campus.”

Joe, Associate Director of Student Life, Office of MBA Student Life

“Pre-term will be the first opportunity for you to meet your next best-friend or cofounder! Take advantage of this time and be open to experiencing all that Pre-Term has to offer. Be curious and ask questions, trust the process and most importantly, be yourself! Given this is my first pre-term with Wharton, I look forward to meeting my cluster and partnering with my students to make the most of their Wharton experience. GO DRAGONS!”

Students show off pride for their Cluster at Pre-Term. (Image: Shira Yudkoff)

To learn more about Pre-Term and the MBA student experience, visit the Office of Student Life.

Posted: August 4, 2023

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