Wharton Undergraduate Concentration Fair helps students decide on their futures

The event hosted advising from Wharton, Career Services and researchers

· March 25, 2012, 9:57 pm   ·  Updated March 27, 2012, 12:34 am

Instead of battling over which major to choose, Wharton students instead mull over four-course concentrations.

Like a major, a concentration lets a student specialize in a certain area of study. But, since Wharton concentrations generally have only four required courses, many Wharton students choose more than one concentration.

While all Wharton students graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Economics degree , their concentrations can vary from finance to social impact and responsibility to management.

On Friday, students walked into Vance Hall behind the McNeil Building hoping to learn more about their academic future at the Wharton Undergraduate Concentration Fair held every semester.

About 15 students visited the fair early in the afternoon. Wharton advisors sent email announcements to all Wharton students about the event.

Wharton advisors and professors hosted the fair to advertise all of the different concentrations among which students could choose, targeting those who have not yet decided.

“Choosing a concentration is all about fit,” said Director of Academic Affairs and Advising Scott Romeika. “[Advisors] must have a discussion with Wharton students before they decide on a concentration, and we make sure the concentration fits well with their interests and skills.”

In fact, interested students who want to concentrate in a nontraditional area, such as arts management or finance in sports, can work with a professor to create their own unique concentration.

Management Department Undergraduate Advisor Adrian Tschoegl thought the fair was a great way of advertising the concentrations. “Students have the opportunity to ask both general and concentration-specific questions, such as, ‘Does it make sense to concentrate in both finance and management?’”

Concentration advisors, research advisors and Career Services representatives interacted one-on-one with students at the fair.

At the advising booth, students discussed with undergraduate advisors what they learned at other booths from concentration advisors and upperclassmen who have already declared concentrations.

The fair organizers also set up an academic trivia game so students could relax and have a conversation with advisors in an informal setting.

Many students were trying to find the perfect concentration that they would enjoy.

Wharton freshman Thomas Hong said, “I am thinking about which concentration I would like but am not entirely sure on what to do yet. All the representatives at the fair were pretty convincing.”

Wharton freshman Taylor Luiso expressed the same apprehension. “The business and public policy concentration was particularly interesting, but I haven’t taken classes in all of the concentrations yet, and I kind of want to try everything.”

Many concentration representatives talked to students and let them know the benefits with concentrating on their topic, but in the end, the choice is up to the student.

For students who are not sure which concentration to choose, “the best advice I have is to not be afraid,” said Romeika. “And by that, I mean don’t be afraid to explore, be curious and try different concentrations until you find the one that fits for you.”

With 20 concentrations from which to choose, students have a diverse field of studies to find the right fit.

Additionally, students don’t have to declare a concentration right away, said Associate Director of Academics and Advising Alissa Carpenter. “We don’t want to pressure the students to choose a concentration right away but advise them instead to take their time to find the concentration that’s right for them.”

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