For the next two semesters, Wharton’s Lifelong Learning Tour will continue to bring alumni together to stay connected and learn from a variety of Wharton faculty.
The tour is part of Wharton’s Lifelong Learning initiative, which provides opportunities for domestic and international alumni to stay involved with Wharton even after they get their degrees. Among other things, the initiative features faculty talks, webinars and networking opportunities.
According to Laura Zarrow, project director for Wharton’s Innovation Group, alumni feedback fueled the creation of the learning tour.
“They really loved learning with each other and other faculty, but they wished the classroom would come back to them,” she said.
Through the tour, various Wharton professors travel the globe and give traditional classroom lectures, followed by Q&A sessions. Although the lecture series targets Wharton alumni, other Penn alumni in the surrounding area and the business community at large are also invited to attend.
Nicolaj Siggelkow, chair of Wharton’s Management Department, explained that alumni career advancements helped to prompt the creation of the lecture series.
“One thing we heard loud and clear was that the alumni learned a lot but as their careers progressed new needs arose,” he said. “We are trying to connect with the alumni worldwide and one way to do that is through this lecture series.”
So far this semester, the tour has made stops at cities that usually do not experience much alumni interaction, such as Seattle, London and Munich.
“We worked together to identify cities where we knew there were pockets of alumni but were not frequently visited by the institution,” Zarrow said.
Wharton Vice Dean and Director of Doctoral Programs Eric Bradlow, who gave a lecture called “Mining for Gold in the Golden Age of Marketing” in London, explained to alumni how the field of marketing is a constantly evolving science.
“In some sense technology is always improving the field of marketing and the way we can measure people and how they buy certain items,” he said.
Siggelkow, who lectured on strategic planning in Munich, described one of the exciting aspects of the tour.
“It’s always fun to share your research and thinking with practitioners,” he said. “It’s even more exciting to do so with alumni. There are people in the room who took my class ten years ago, so it’s always fun when you feel like you’re continuing to teach them.”
The tour will conclude with visits to New York, San Francisco and Mexico City next semester.
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