The board of the Wharton Club of New York recognized early during the pandemic the need to help other alumni. It established the WCNY COVID-19 Work Relief Program last year to provide qualifying alumni in the metropolitan New York area with paid consulting projects. This program creates flexible consulting gigs and networking opportunities for alumni while they look for full-time jobs. Alumni are matched with projects at host companies or within WCNY, with the program funded initially with $200,000 from the club.

“There was an immediate need for a lifeline,” said WCNY Chairman Kenneth Beck WG87. “We wanted to serve members of the Wharton community who have been adversely impacted with jobs loss or furloughs by providing time to clear their head, covering a couple weeks of expenses, and rebuilding confidence with meaningful projects.”

In Their Own Words

Here’s what alumni are saying about their experiences working on these consulting projects for host companies:

James Rhodes W92, alumni consultant for Felton Real Estate: “During the nastiest, loneliest episode of the century (so far), the Wharton Club of New York created a way to help us all help each other. If you ever wondered what we mean when we say things like ‘enlightened self-interest’ and ‘take the call and make the call,’ then look no further!”

Before joining biometric screening company CLEAR as vice president and head of partner management, Brian Bolten W96 was one of the club’s first alumni participants as a consultant at SuiteTooth: “I just wanted to say thank you for this program. It has given me hope and value, well above the money the club covered during my project with SuiteTooth. … And through my own Wharton network, I’ve introduced SuiteTooth to four potential investors.”

Sharon Mosse WG76, serial entrepreneur and CEO of her latest venture, How I Met My Dog, worked on a project with the club as a marketing consultant: “Participating in the COVID-19 Work Relief Program has been a very rewarding experience. At a time when securing new clients is challenging, I appreciated the chance to do meaningful work for a great client.”

Ways to Engage

Alumni in the New York City area who would like to register for the program, please click here.

Host companies that would like to engage Wharton-educated, independent contractors to complete short-term projects or assess potential employees in a low-risk environment, click here or email to learn more about hosting a project funded by this program.


Lilian Wouters WG10 has five years of experience in finance and over 10 years of experience in brand marketing in leadership roles at global consumer brands, including JPMorgan, Estée Lauder, and JINS Eyewear.