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Real Humans of the Wharton MBA Class of 2020

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Rachel Delia, Wharton MBA Class of 2020

Age: 29

Hometown: Lebanon, NJ

Undergraduate Institution and Major: Boston College, Carroll School of Management, finance

Pre-MBA work experience: Prior to business school, I worked in credit risk and corporate banking for 5 years covering both the consumer/retail and technology industries in New York and San Francisco. Most recently, I left banking to start my natural products company, Flask Brands, focused on developing plant-based skin and home products with full ingredient transparency.

Why business school? Why now? Running has been an amazing learning opportunity for me. Through the process of establishing and operating this business, I grew interested in marketing tools, business analytics, and operational strategies that were outside the realm of my prior work experience. I recognized that business school would allow me to grow my skill set and continue to develop both personally and professionally.

Why Wharton? What factors figured most prominently in your decision of where to attend? When looking at MBA programs, Wharton stood out to me as a place where everyone can craft their own unique journey. The flexibility to select coursework, clubs, and activities allows anyone here to create their ideal business school experience, and to do so while surrounded by an amazing group of supportive peers.

Having lived in both New York and San Francisco, I was also excited about the opportunity to explore Philadelphia and have really enjoyed getting to know the city.

Rachel Delia, Wharton MBA Class of 2020

What do you think is your most valuable and differentiating contribution to the Class of 2020? I believe that I bring a broad span of professional experiences to the class, having worked with some of the largest companies in the world while in banking, and also with very small U.S. businesses in my current role. I have also experienced the differences in business culture in NYC and the Bay Area, and the impact of these cultures on personal development. I hope to share insights that I have gained in these roles with my classmates to enhance our MBA experience.

Fun-fact that didn’t get included in your application? I was a background extra on a Netflix show and made it to the final audition round for a baking show on Netflix. Perhaps the communications courses (and food club) at Wharton will help me get past the finish line next time 🙂

Advice to current prospective applicants? Getting to know the culture and differentiators of business schools can be tricky, especially while spending time on your current job and the application process. I find that the best way to get to know a school is to speak with alumni, current students, and staff. These conversations will help you understand the true culture of a program.

–One thing you would change or do differently? I would have gone back to school earlier! In the first few weeks of preterm and coursework, I have already experienced many of the wonderful resources available at Wharton, and I look forward to becoming more engaged in the coming months.

Part you would have skipped if you could- and what helped you get through it? I would have applied in Round 1 instead of Round 2, as the Round 2 deadlines were aligned with a busy holiday time period for my company. I would encourage anyone looking at applying to MBA programs to take a long, forward-looking view of their calendar to plan out GMAT dates, recommender notifications, and time to work on the applications themselves.

What is your initial impression of Wharton’s students/culture/community? The Wharton community is both highly accomplished and very down to earth, which makes for a really wonderful group of classmates and professors.

One thing about Wharton that has surprised you? As Wharton is a large and very diverse program, there is always someone else here who is interested in whatever topic, interest, or outing that you want to discuss or try out. It is great to have a population of people that help you explore and expand your interests.

Things that you are most anxious about in first year? Ensuring that I get to experience everything that I am interested in during such a short time. I am glad to know that any annual event I miss out on will likely repeat next year.

Things that you are most excited about in your first year? While I can’t wait to jump into the Wharton course and extracurricular resources, what I am most excited about are the unknown adventures and possibilities awaiting in the next year. Whether a trip abroad to somewhere unique or a new idea or innovation waiting to come to life, I know that enrolling at Wharton has provided the keys to unlock a truly special experience.

Jonathan Pfeffer
Jonathan Pfeffer joined the Clear Admit and MetroMBA teams in 2015 after spending several years as an arts/culture writer, editor, and radio producer. In addition to his role as Contributing Writer at MetroMBA and Contributing Editor at Clear Admit, he was also a co-founder of the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast. He holds a BA in Film/Video, Ethnomusicology, and Media Studies from Oberlin College.