Every year, thousands of young professionals across the globe apply to Wharton, hoping for the opportunity to spend their next two years in Philadelphia, strengthening their business toolkits, broadening their networks, and interacting with some of the world’s top academic minds. Those fortunate enough to be admitted are eager to maximize their Wharton experience, and each new class of students comes with ever-changing and evolving expectations and objectives. The administration must respond to students’ needs but also ensure that Wharton delivers — as it has for generations — the highest-quality professional education.

The Deans’ MBA Advisory Council aids the administration in accomplishing these dual goals. DMAC is a select group of 25 students who are committed to enhancing the Wharton experience for their classmates and future students while helping to advance and implement the administration’s long-term strategic objectives.

The Council uses a rigorous data-driven approach to develop actionable recommendations and partner with the administration on critical issues facing the student body and the MBA program as a whole. DMAC also provides professional development opportunities for those passionate about consulting, higher education, and social impact.

DMAC annually updates its projects to respond to student feedback and administration needs. This year’s topics — Community, Ethics, and Experience — were selected in close collaboration with vice deans Nicolaj Siggelkow and Maryellen Reilly along with Kacey Barnes, senior director of strategic initiatives and communications, to ensure that the work of DMAC would be engaging for the student members, align with administration priorities, and have a lasting impact. The first project aims to improve existing community structures at Wharton (by, for example, looking at how to broaden the Cohort experience beyond preterm and the core curriculum), and the second to identify ways to enhance ethical practices at Wharton and beyond (e.g., considering whether guidelines should be implemented around generative AI usage in the classroom). The “Experience” project aligns with a new initiative within the administration to understand the decision-making journey for students during their time at Wharton and identify the best tools to help students design their Wharton experience with intentionality.

As the 2023-24 co-chairs of DMAC, we are humbled to be a part of the 38-year legacy of students committed to furthering Wharton’s excellence and its standing as one of the top MBA programs in the world for students, faculty, and staff.


Published as “Gold Standard Bearers” in the Spring/Summer 2024 issue of Wharton Magazine.