This year’s Wharton MBA Reunion is looking to bring a dose of new technology into an annual tradition.
The reunion — which will be held from May 11 through May 13 — will coincide with the Wharton School’s launch of its new mobile application for iPads and iPhones, Wharton Connect.
According to Senior Associate Director of Virtual Services for Alumni Relations at Wharton Rose Laden, the app will allow alumni to “check-in” to any location around the world and find other alumni in their area. The app has been in development since January 2012.
“It will be a great way for alumni to keep in touch with other alumni on the go and see who is near them,” Laden said. “It will be nice to see what other alumni are there when they are traveling and hopefully get connected with each other.”
Wharton Connect also features a detailed alumni search index that allows users to categorize alumni in various ways.
“You can search for alumni by industries, but it’s really exciting to go down to something as specific as someone who speaks Chinese, likes piano or likes to read,” Laden said. “As long as alumni put their data in, you can get really specific searches. It’s fast and user-friendly.”
The fact that Wharton Computing — rather than a third-party developer — created the app also holds several advantages, Wharton Chief Information Officer Deirdre Woods said.
“To my knowledge, there aren’t really any other alumni apps out there built by the same school,” she said. “The fact that we write and own the app and can make a lot of news and information available to the user makes it unique.”
Users can also link their Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts to Wharton Connect, which adds an extra level of convenience, Laden said.
“Everything is in one site and that’s kind of nice,” Woods said.
Laden added, “It’s Wharton right in the palm of your hand.”
In addition to the launch of the app, this year’s MBA reunion will include several other new features to give alumni the opportunity to engage with faculty and others in a series of educational discussions, with topics ranging from “Business in Africa” to “Social Media and the Enterprise.”
The entire reunion will reflect Wharton’s Lifelong Learning initiative, which encourages alumni to seek new knowledge and utilize Wharton’s resources even after they graduate.
“Lifelong Learning is an extension of Wharton Dean Thomas Robertson’s three pillars,” Senior Project Director for Wharton’s Innovation Group Laura Zarrow said.
“It’s part of the vision of the Wharton School and how we are serving the pillars of social impact, global impact and innovation, a promise of serving alumni as learners throughout their lives.”
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