Himanshu Nagpal, WG’13, had to pare down his activities when he entered the Wharton MBA for Executives program in San Francisco, but he managed to fit in time to build with Legos or play with his son Neil.

Because Wharton is not a watered-down executive MBA program, Nagpal, who is vice president and director of marketing strategy and analytics at HSBC Credit Cards Services, knew he needed to make tradeoffs. He dialed down some of his responsibilities at work, reduced some personal obligations—and admitted that TV was out of the picture.

“The objective was not to invest the bare minimum to just get through; the objective was to maximize all of the value in your life,” he explains.

That said, one of the highlights of Nagpal’s experience at Wharton | San Francisco was the Wharton Global Consulting Practicum. In his first year, he and five other West Coast students traveled to Perth, Australia, to work on a marketing strategy for aboriginal tour operators in Western Australia, which was “special because of the potential for social impact.” In his second year, Nagpal was a teaching assistant for a group working with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to help increase access to financial services for the poor by improving mobile finance products in Kenya.

A chemical engineering graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi, India, Nagpal came to the United States after his wife, Bhawna Bhatia, was accepted to Carnegie Mellon University. (She now works at Intel.) Nagpal began to consider an executive MBA. He realized that an MBA is a much more efficient way to satisfy his desire for learning new stuff than changing jobs every few years.

His commitment and dedication paid off.

“It’s been an amazing experience,” Nagpal says, “and I am glad that I did it. Overall, I have two words to describe the experience: global and practical.”

—By Anne Freedman

Editor’s note: Read more about Wharton’s Class of 2013 and five other individual class leaders in our cover article, “Diverse, Resilient, Ready: The Class of 2013.”