After spending two years working for companies like Teach for America and McKinsey and Company, students from the inaugural cohort of the Wharton MBA deferred admission program have returned to Penn.
The Moelis Advance Access Program, established in 2017, is a deferred admission program that allows undergraduate and full-time masters students to apply for deferred admission to the Wharton MBA after two to four years of "quality work experience." 2018 College and Wharton graduate Shreya Jaggi and 2018 Wharton graduate Robert Harrison are two of the first participants to return after two years of work.
Program Director Jake Kohler said the program's work experience requirement before returning to Wharton is intentionally vague because quality work experience is not limited to securing a job at one of the top companies in the world. Although there are students like Jaggi who go into big tech or major consulting companies, there are also students who want to pursue healthcare, education, or public-sector work.
“The Moelis program is not going to dictate or provide the professional opportunities that students explore," Kohler said.
Harrison said the program allowed him to spend two years teaching while having the option to switch careers if he realized education wasn't for him.
“It really gave me the option and the security to pursue an opportunity that was very different from your typical Wharton [undergraduate] and the careers that they go to,” Harrison said.
The program also allows students to pick when they want to return for their MBA. Since the program launched in 2018, Harrison and Jaggi are among the first students from their cohort to return.
“The flexibility on how long you work before coming back for your MBA is pretty huge,” Jaggi said. “It gives you a lot of opportunities to try different careers if you want to do something a little bit riskier because you know that you’re coming back for an MBA.”
Although the program initially included only Penn students, it has since expanded to include other universities, with a cohort of 173 commits from 73 schools in 2020.
The program creates opportunities for Moelis fellows to connect with one another, including a leadership retreat for the first two cohorts admitted from Penn and a private online community for fellows from around the world.
"I have this cohort of other Moelis fellows, who are also going through similar things," Jaggi said. "We can really provide each other guidance.”
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