Recent economic fluctuations over the past few years have created great opportunities for some while simultaneously creating difficulties and hardship for others. Wharton alumni have not been immune. Wanting to “answer the call,” the Wharton Club of Philadelphia partnered with the School to launch an annual Career Planning Workshop.

For the second such workshop on Oct. 3, 2015, the club moved beyond the traditional information about job search and interview techniques and focused on the individual. What the 55 participants got was an opportunity for transformation—to examine what makes them unique and special, then unleash that power. The workshop was about bringing forth a new energy and perspective and, in practical terms, setting themselves apart from the general candidate pool.

The day began with a presentation titled “HeadTrash,” with author and consultant Tish Squillaro. Based on the expression, “We are our own worst enemy,” the session was about how we all too often squander or sabotage opportunities because of the conversation we have in our heads—“Am I really qualified for this position?” and “If only I was more of this and less of that!”

How can you convince someone you are right for the position when you keep telling yourself you are not? Squillaro presented a program for turning around this negative


Job seekers at the Wharton Club of Philadelphia Career Planning Workshop also received guidance to help them with “Portraying Confidence and Courage.” This session, led by JanBara & Associates Partner Barbara Taylor, again explored how the battle must be won within before achieving success with others. We have all been in situations where another person was trying to convince us of a perspective different from our own. We judge their merit based on their confident portrayal, accepting their truth if they are confident while discounting their perspective if they appear unsure. The same holds when people evaluate us.

To complete the transformative workshop, the focus switched from proactive preparation to learning how to adapt if by some chance things don’t go as planned. Avish Parashar, of Ding Happens!, demonstrated how improv comedy can turn any situation into a stunning victory.

Lori Rosenthal W80, who is a board member at large with the Wharton Club of Philadelphia and cultural gardener at VSE Inc.