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Wharton’s Team-Based Discussion Prompt 2022-2023

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The prompt for the Wharton School’s Team-Based Discussion (TBD) for the 2022-2023 MBA admissions season is below. The exercise focuses on the Global Immersion Program:

“Wharton’s commitment to global engagement prepares MBA students for any challenge in the international business environment. As of the 2022 school year, all global travel at Wharton is back to normal operations. Wharton MBAs will once again have the opportunity to participate in a Global Immersion Program (GIP), a credit-bearing elective course, which is designed to provide a high-level survey of the economic, cultural, and geo-political drivers behind regions integral to the global economy.

GIP courses consist of three components: on-campus study sessions, international travel, and a final deliverable. By attending faculty lectures and traveling abroad to meet with local business leaders, government officials, and Wharton alumni, students have the opportunity to learn from a tremendous group of professionals while also immersing themselves in another culture and building strong relationships with their GIP cohort.
For the purpose of this discussion, you’ve been invited to be part of a team of students tasked with designing a new GIP. As a team, determine the following course requirements while clearly articulating your course’s desired outcomes:

  • a region of study for your GIP
  • a recommendation for company and/or government meetings
  • a recommendation for a cultural event or immersion to participate in while traveling
  • a recommendation for the final deliverable/assignment that students will complete after the GIP”

Clear Admit Co-founder, Graham Richmond, says, “This year’s question follows in the tradition of getting Wharton applicants to familiarize themselves with a specific aspect of the curriculum – in this instance the Global Immersion Program – and to help think creatively about how such a program might enhance the MBA experience. The question also likely serves to reassure prospective students that features like the GIP are back on offer after the pandemic-induced hiatus.” He continues, “While it’s clear that the approach Wharton takes with the question leans heavily on marketing the program, the TBD itself requires careful preparation and a thoughtful approach – ranging far beyond one’s initial response to the prompt – and focusing more on one’s behavior in group settings.”

The TBDs are once again virtual this year, but an online team discussion shouldn’t be uncharted territory for most applicants given the pandemic. As usual, the TBD requires applicants to do their homework and show up at their session with some tangible thoughts on how to proceed.  One way to approach this year’s prompt would be to think of it in several steps:

Step 1: Reflect
Reflect on your international experience or exposure that may direct you towards a region of interest. Since you are tasked with coming up with a new GIP, you may want to avoid current locations on offer. Consider potential business issues that you may need to tackled in a global setting, as a means to direct meetings and activities.

Step 2:  Research
Learn all you can about Wharton GIPs. Research Wharton’s curricular offerings to derive inspiration for a business problem or learning objective. Review important cultural values and events for your target region(s).

Step 3: Design
Based on the information gathered in the first two steps, do some brainstorming to come up with at least two ideas for your GIP.

Of course, beyond the specifics of this year’s TBD prompt, it is important to understand the basic mechanics of the TBD and to know how you might handle the different sorts of team members you may encounter (from the talkers to the timid). Applicants can tune into our podcast episode on the Team-Based Discussion because we break down the format and advise on how to perform well.

And, as always, the Clear Admit Interview Archive also offers a repository of applicant-submitted details about the interview process.

Good luck!

Lauren Wakal
Lauren Wakal has been covering the MBA admissions space for more than a decade, from in-depth business school profiles to weekly breaking news and more.