Why I’m Getting An Executive MBA At Wharton

Ahh…The gold standard. The students at Wharton | San Francisco didn’t need to take Dr. Andrew Abel’s Macro class to know that it’s gone out of style with regards to how the U.S. or any other nation, for that matter, backs its currency.

But that doesn’t mean that actual gold… bars, coins, bracelets, even teeth… has lost its way in the world. Just ask T-Pain.

And the concept? Well, that speaks for itself. You see or hear those words and it means that something is the best. As Ferris Bueller would have said, “That’s choice.”

For me, Wharton has been the choicest choice I have ever made. Last Spring, I was offered admission and there was little choice. When you get in to Wharton, you go. Duh.

But what led to my choice, is more important. A year or so ago, I made the decision that I wanted to go to business school while still maintaining my career as a news producer. My husband works in the Bay Area and so I knew I was going to have to select from schools around me.

Lucky for me, I live in Silicon Valley. This Cal Bear gave Haas a hard look, and school rivalry didn’t keep from considering Stanford, which does not have an executive MBA program. Having grown up in the Bay Area, I have a deep respect for the University of Santa Clara which does have a MBA program that caters to working professionals.

But when push came to shove, I only applied to one: Wharton’s Executive MBA in San Francisco. It was the only place I wanted to go.

Why? Because these days, words like downturn, unemployment and uncertainty are as ubiquitous as the phrase “there’s no place like home” is in the “Wizard of Oz.” I’ve taken only six hours of marketing but, I know enough to understand that brand matters. Plain and simple.

And maintaining brand is about trust: Wharton established that tradition more than a hundred years ago, and for the last ten years, they’ve been doing it out west too.  And that means making sure their graduates know what they are doing when they get out.

Looking for a cushy place to get an MBA? Wharton | San Francisco is not your place. How about the real deal?

Professor Abel… he wrote the book with Bernanke.  Dr. Kent Smetters, who we had for Microeconomics in term two, he tries to infuse some wisdom into the skulls of our elected officials on Capitol Hill.   In a world where your grandmother will sell you an executive MBA, it’s important to know you are not just getting a degree, but earning an education from the best and the brightest. To be taught by this faculty is an honor, but man, do their exams kick my butt.

Setting my posterior aside, it’s the continued growth of the goods inside my cranium that is the guarantee at Wharton. As we were reminded by our accounting professor, Dr. Richard Lambert, at the conclusion of our course in term one: a Wharton education is a continued education. Lambert encouraged us to call him in the ensuing months and years with questions. Alumni can audit classes long after they have graduated.

MBAs are pricey. Getting to take a class on a concept that has yet to be conceived twenty years from now? Well, that’s priceless and, fortunately, not tied to the historically volatile market price of gold.

Lindsay Stewart is an MBA for Executives student at Wharton | San Francisco and a special projects producer for KPIX- TV. She graduated from UC-Berkeley with a BA in English in 2002 and has worked in the TV business ever since. Her previous posts on P&QforExecs:

A Third Of The Way Into Wharton’s San Francisco EMBA Program