Wharton Lauder adds round 3: what you need to know
The Lauder Institute MA International Studies joint degree program with the Wharton MBA added a third series this year and is accept applications until March 30. This is a tremendous opportunity for globally-minded professionals who are passionate about gaining deep international expertise while earning a Wharton MBA.
As a Wharton Lauder graduate myself, and now an MBA consultant with Fortuna Admission, the program is close to my heart. When I applied to business school, I knew Wharton Lauder was my first choice. I had an interest in Asia and had studied Japanese language and literature as an undergraduate, which led to me working and living in Japan for two years before joining Toyota as a translator. For anyone looking to work outside of their home country, investing in this joint two-year MBA/MA degree is invaluable.
Everything that made Lauder relevant when it was founded in 1983 – its emphasis on cross-cultural leadership, interdisciplinary courses, language study and hands-on learning – makes it even more vital in the complexity of the ecosystem. global business today. I reached out to Kara Keenan Sweeney, Lauder’s Director of Admissions Marketing and Financial Aid, who shared her candid insights into this year’s application process.
For Round 3 Candidates: Timing Is Key
“Due to COVID-19, we were able to start the program a bit later for this year’s new class as well as the last two classes,” Kara explains. “The reason we can add round 3 is because of the updated start date of June 1st for the Class of 2024. Kara sees this as an opportunity for “candidates ready to go.”
For many of my Fortuna Admissions clients, Lauder’s new Cycle 3 presents an excellent opportunity, especially for those entering a period of personal or professional transition. That said, be aware of the tight time frame between notification and registration, especially if you currently live outside of North America.
“Notification for Round 3 contestants is May 10 and the program begins in Philadelphia on June 1, so it’s a short deadline,” Kara says. “If you reside in another country that requires lengthy immigration requirements to travel to Philadelphia to begin on June 1, it is probably not practical to apply for round 3 because June 1 is the start of the requirement in person.”
Whatever your passport, know what you will need to leave the country you are in. Due to the pandemic and ever-changing policies by country, it’s important to have an up-to-the-minute understanding of travel, visa requirements and timing.
“We have a lot of international applicants living in the United States or Canada, and it would be pretty straightforward for them. [to arrive on time]”, says Kara. “We don’t want to exclude international applicants. But we want to warn them that it might be better for them to think about applying next year.
Lauder Summer Immersion Resume
This 24-month program kicks off with an intensive one-month program in Philadelphia, followed by international immersion before the MBA program begins in August (when Lauder students sync up with their Wharton classmates).
“The big question that has been on the minds of applicants has been the ability to travel and international immersions,” Kara said. “We have been fully in-person since last August and travel will continue to be a key part of the Lauder program. We will continue to do language immersion and have those cultural and regional immersions that are an important part of the Lauder experience. The program also runs short-term immersions known as Lauder Intercultural Ventures. Recently, students traveled to Poland and Hungary, Israel, India and Senegal as part of the Lauder Intercultural Ventures and we look forward to our next summer destinations for new students.
What’s New in the Lauder App: A Second Try
As if applying to Wharton was tough enough, you have to earn Lauder’s love, and the bar is set high. You apply for admission to both Wharton and the Lauder Institute (The Lauder Supplement to the Wharton Online Application includes two additional essays), and you will be independently assessed. Candidates have until March 30 to submit their application, but you will have until April 15 to submit your Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) score. Lauder is not a stand-alone program, which means you must make a compelling case to both Wharton and Lauder admissions committees to be accepted.
“A change for this year is a new essay question asking candidates to write about their potential thesis topic. And there’s no wrong answer,” Kara says. “You are not judged at all on the quality of your subject. But it’s to make you think about the master’s thesis, the Global Knowledge Lab, and inform you about what is expected of you. This question allows the Institute to understand your areas of interest and see how you turn a complex topic into a research project.
The Wharton Lauder MBA/MA is academically demanding – you need a strong command of at least one foreign language and will write a master’s thesis in addition to taking courses in history, geopolitics and science social, as well as your Wharton business degree course load. The pace and intensity isn’t for everyone, but the benefits are phenomenal in terms of your exposure to the complex world we live in as well as your future career opportunities and global network.
Don’t rush your application
That said, you want to submit when the application best reflects your candidacy. Says Kara, “I always tell people to take their time, not to force themselves to rush it or cut corners. If you’re feeling rushed, I encourage people to wait until next year’s first or second round to make sure you submit a strong application.
Even if you choose to defer a request until the next cycle, start early to maximize your MBA application process. Applying for a dual degree and a degree with an international component requires thoughtful planning.
Other Lauder Changes: More Choice and Flexibility
“The program is enriched in terms of educational content,” says Kara. “The curriculum includes Lauder Core courses in Regional and Global Analysis, Advanced Language courses, Global and African Programs courses… One thing we have added over the past year is the ability to do more courses at the Lauder choice. We have more Lauder electives, so applicants can take courses specifically designed for Lauder students, such as some Global Program courses as second-year electives, or a capstone course for the entire cohort of the class.
Kara adds, “Lauder is adding more courses and more options for students to look globally, engage locally, and act responsibly. The Institute is committed to developing exceptional business leaders who understand what is happening in the world and are ready to engage with people from different cultures, communities and countries.
Jenifer Raver is an Expert Coach at the MBA admissions coaching firm Fortuna Admission and former Principal, Dean of Faculty Office, Yale-NUS College and Wharton MBA/Lauder MA. For a candid assessment of your chances of succeeding in one of the best MBA programs, enroll in a free consultation.