MBA (Wharton) Quandary

Hey everyone. Life question that I want to solicit opinions on. I am ending my associate program this summer at a PE firm that kicks associates out no matter what after their 2-3 years. I have been interviewing and I also applied to business school at H/S/W.

I ended up getting into Wharton and waitlisted at one of the others (and waitlist isn't looking good...they already let a decent amount off of it and the candidates looked like my profile. My consultant and I agree that it is unlikely they will go for more candidates with my profile so I am operating as if I am denied.)

My interviews were all going well, but I was told by multiple headhunters that offers probably won't go out until in person visits to the office can happen. No one knows how long that will be with C19. I have to decide on Wharton in ~1 month (I can buy an extra month if I forego my deposit) so I likely won't get an answer on other jobs by then.

My question is this: Is the best career option here now to take Wharton? (I am fortunate that I am not worried about the money outside the opportunity cost. No loans needed.) Or do you think it would be better to float this summer (or ask my current firm to extend me 2-3 months) and try my hand at other interview spots when offices reopen?

If I go to Wharton, I am nervous about graduating at the VP level into a recession. It could be better to go somewhere as an associate/senior associate now and work my way up. Also, it's unlikely the MBA experience will exist for another ~6 months (trips, bars, etc.) The opportunity cost is very high to not actually get the full experience.

Going does seem to be an option that limits downside risk for the long, long term though...and in this environment, that sounds like a better idea every day.

Realize these are first world problems in light of everything going on, but would really appreciate any advice you guys have as I try to plan my life over the next month.

Comments (13)

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Apr 10, 2020 - 7:31pm

GS/MS/JPM followed by MF PE with 3.9+ GPA and 750+ GMAT

Low quality comment - just go to if you want to look at acceptances by profile.

It is a crap shoot though so you're wasting your time by hyper-analyzing the data sets in my opinion. I know biz dev guys from PE shops who got in when the investment professionals didn't.

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Apr 10, 2020 - 7:28pm

This is an incredibly immature comment so you probably aren't ready to get into either.

I am very happy to have gotten in to Wharton. I have many friends who are great people with great backgrounds in buy side roles that didn't get into any of the three.

If you don't mind, create a separate topic with your questions. I clearly can't give you advice on getting into the two schools you want to go, and clearly Wharton is beneath you so I can't be of much help.

Apr 10, 2020 - 8:01pm

Tbh you can basically extend out till Sep / Oct until Day 1 of classes (whenever that is). People switch school w WLs moving around until literally week before. So getting a job in a month isn't required. Question is more like can you extend your current program longer (eg they want you out in June or until school starts) or if you are open to quit in June and still keep recruiting (w a good honest excuse like current program ended / applied and got into MBA but having second thoughts) for next 4-5 months.

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Apr 10, 2020 - 8:12pm

First of all, thank you for actually contributing instead of just posting "Stats?!" Was starting to get a little frustrated with all the college kids posting.

And yeah, Day 1 of class is something like August 6 at Wharton (there's a light "pre-term"), and the date is a little behind that in reality because you have to figure out moving / apartment / etc. at least a month in advance.

My current program wouldn't kick me out for a little bit. In fact, I could probably stick around until Q4 if I really had to. But then I lose the business school option so it's a little moot. I'm basically weighing an exploding offer (Wharton) against the potential that a great PE job will open up that I like and that I will get the job after interviewing.

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