1. Healthcare portion
I interviewed for the health care major, which involves an interview with the director of the program. I already have a healthcare background so we just discussed my previous steps in more detail and my motivations going forward. It was a logical conversation. It wasn’t explicitly told to me, but I get the feeling that post-MBA job placement marketability is important to them (does your background/profile match with the type of jobs you’re trying to get?)
2. Non-healthcare portion (Team-based discussion)
The team-based discussion was pretty anticlimactic and still baffling to me on its utility. Two 2nd year students essentially just watch 4-6 of you talk about your ideas and see how you move the discussion along over 35 minutes to a final proposition. From my group, 2 of the 6 had long, complicated ideas that weren’t actually bad, but too much for the time limit we had. Most importantly, they wasted significant time on repeating things and slowing us down. It doesn’t take 2-3 minutes to get across that you agree on a minor point. Of the 4 left over (which includes me), I’d say that each of us took charge at different points – I really liked the others simply because they were rational and didn’t waste their words. They also had simple and good ideas that were easier to come up with content for. Eventually, we had a vote and scrambled in the last 5 minutes to organize some nuts and bolts on one of those ideas. For our group, we weren’t overly polite with each other – many of us were worried about the time going by, so we cut each other off plenty of times. I’m not sure if they marked us down for that, but you could rationalize it either way I suppose. I will say that, while everyone was positive, we didn’t fall into the trap of burning 35 minutes of just complimenting each other’s ideas and trying to combine them all into one.
3. Aftermath interview
The 10-15 min conversation with one of the two observers after the team-based discussion was pretty basic. I was asked to assess the discussion, talk about whether that represents my behavior, and say who I would want and NOT want on my team. Also, I was asked if I wanted to reiterate any last points on my application for admissions. Then, I asked the interviewers about their Wharton experiences.
Comments: For the non-healthcare applicants, I felt that the team-based discussion was an odd way to select out the final class. I was surprised regular candidates who made the trip from out of town trip didn’t meet with an actual adult/AdCom member. I think over 90% of the “assessing” really comes from the observing, and the follow-up is just to answer any last questions you may have and understand if there was a very rare circumstance in which your behavior was not representative.