Top Three People You’ll Meet Your First Semester at Wharton

Posted by Alexander Swick

I’ve yet to find a Wharton student who fails to place “my peers” in their list of favorite things. Relations between Wharton students can range from friendship or romance to admiration and mentorship. Is it because we’re all so motivated to better ourselves? Is it because we see each other and smile every day? Is it because we are creating inside jokes with lifelong friends? I can’t put my finger on just one reason, but regardless of what form it takes, Wharton students just seem to be crazy about each other. In honor of this infatuation, here’s a list of the top 3 students you will meet (and should look forward to meeting!) during your freshman year at Wharton:

3. Chipper Charlie—You’ll likely meet this person during the Amazing Cohort Race—a race around campus during the first semester. They are the most energetic, spirited person in your cohort (group of 60 freshman in MGMT 100). Whether it involves rescuing you from your room to go play cohort soccer or using Snapchat to tempt you into taking a study break for cohort Thanksgiving dinner, this person is just plain fun to be around. Seeing someone’s “Peso Pride” or “Shekel Swag” is downright infectious, even if you’re not in their cohort. Every time you run into them, their excitement to be at Wharton really gets you pumped.

2. The Big Bro/Big Sis MBA student—Without question, you will interact with MBA students here at Wharton. They will give you priceless advice on writing a résumé, interviewing, work/life balance, and pretty much any aspect of life that you can think of (if you can put it into a question, they’ll either know the answer or find someone who does. They’ve done in the real world what we are only learning!). At what cost do they provide lifesaving career and life assistance? Your friendship. That’s right, MBAs are genuinely excited to meet you! These friendships are some of the most valuable and unexpected relationships I have had at Penn.

1. Anti-you—No, this isn’t your arch nemesis. Wharton kids are great, but we aren’t from comic books. Wharton pulls together so many diverse individuals. This person will be in all your classes but come from an entirely different background as you. Do you only speak English? They are fluent in 5 languages. Do you attend religious service every week? They are atheist. This person talks distinctively, thinks differently, and is from the other side of the globe! With so “little” in common, this is still the NUMBER ONE person you should be excited to meet. College is a time to expose yourself to new ideas and figure out where you want to go in life. What makes Wharton so wonderful is that you are pushed to challenge who you are. What good would college be if you graduated the same person you came in as? The “anti-you” will make you think. They will make you decide and talk about the things that really matter to you. Having known this person, you will have developed a firmer sense of who you are and where you want to go. Wharton gives you the tools to chase your dreams, but first you have to find it. That’s where your peers come in. Think of them as the James Sullivan to your Mike Wazowski.

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Alex, W17, is from Lima, Ohio and is concentrating in Finance and Operations, Information and Decisions. Around campus, Alex consults for both Social Impact Consulting and the Small Business Development Center, researches for Wharton’s business radio show on Sirius XM, plays club tennis, and is a member of the Wharton Investment and Trading Group. Alex came to Wharton because of social impact and is currently working on a mobile phone application start up with that goal in mind.