Next time you complain about the walk to David Rittenhouse Laboratory, take comfort in knowing that the most remote location on your schedule is on the same continent.

For Wharton Executive Master of Business Administration alumnus Igor Taber, this wasn’t the case.

Taber, who graduated this spring, didn’t enter the Wharton EMBA program in San Francisco knowing he would be commuting from Moscow to Philadelphia for more than a year. His assignment for Intel Corp in Russia was supposed to end soon, at which time he would move to the United States. Yet shortly after beginning the Wharton program, he was offered the position of investment director at Intel Capital in Moscow.

The decision to continue the EMBA program and to transfer to the Philadelphia campus was not easy for Taber, but in the end he decided that both his job for Intel Corp, which deals with silicon innovation, and the MBA degree were worth the juggling.

“I didn’t want to stop what I had already started,” he said. “And if I deferred, I would probably not have gone back. It was kind of now or never.”

Despite the 16-hour commute, Taber was able to blend in effortlessly with other students, according to fellow classmate Karim Kefi.

“If you didn’t know he was commuting you would have thought he was just any other student,” Kefi said. “The fact that you didn’t notice it demonstrated his ability to go the extra mile without it having any impact on his ability to function.”

Taber, who never missed more than one weekend, said the jet lag he encountered didn’t affect his class time, but it did put a damper on his social life, which he cites as “probably being a more important part of the program than the classes.”

Add this disappointment to the time he spent away from his wife and you might think Taber would regret his decision to continue the EMBA program.

“About four hours into the flight, I would get ready to drop it,” he joked. But in reality, Taber is happy with the decision he made, and would do it all over again if he had to.

“You have to know why you’re doing it,” he said. “It’s not an easy thing to do, but I think it was worth it.”

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