Wharton posted on its admissions committee’s blog additional details about the new element in this year’s application process- the team-based discussion:

“At Wharton, our culture is highly collaborative and teamwork plays a critical part of the MBA experience. On average, a Wharton student will be engaged in 15 different teams inside and outside the classroom during his or her two years in the program. While many of you work in teams on a regular basis, one differentiating aspect to the Wharton MBA experience is that you will be working on teams comprised primarily of peers.  At Wharton, you will learn firsthand more about leading, persuading, and collaborating in this setting. The team-based discussion will provide our candidates with an opportunity to sample this element of the Wharton experience.
We have also heard that, at times, applicants feel that the written application limits their ability to showcase aspects of themselves. The team-based discussion provides an opportunity for candidates to “lift off the page” and show us, how they think, lead, communicate and interact. In addition to learning about these aspects of you in the application, we look forward to witnessing them firsthand in the team-based discussion.
I also know you are eager to learn as much as you can about what to expect. Below are some key details regarding the team-based discussion. We will continue to share further details on logistics over the coming weeks.

  • The team-based discussion, like our behavioral-style interview, will be by invitation only.  Participation is required to complete the admissions process.
  • Each team-based discussion will be comprised of 5-6 applicants. Teams will be organically created; there is no ‘crafting’ done on our end.
  • The discussion will have a prompt and a purpose; you will work towards a tangible outcome with your group.
  • In addition to the team-based discussion, candidates will still have an opportunity for a short individual conversation with an admissions team member.
  • The majority of team-based discussions will be held on-campus and conducted by our Admissions Fellows, a select group of second-year students. When you come to campus we encourage you to attend classes, have lunch with students, tour campus and attend an information session about the program. More information about the visit program is available on our website.
  • During each evaluation round we will continue to meet students in select cities around the world.  There will be limited slots, so please plan accordingly.  We will do our best to accommodate candidates where possible.
  • On- and off-campus team-based discussions will be conducted and considered equally. There is no ‘advantage’ to doing either, though we encourage you to come to campus.

As with all parts of our process, the team-based discussion will continue to be just one of the many pieces of this process. Just come prepared to engage with your teammates, be yourselves, and enjoy the experience.”