Initiatives

WAB works in small initiative teams to implement change at the undergraduate level, developing solutions for both in-class issues (e.g., evaluating class participation) and extra-curricular issues (e.g., the impact of international experience). Below are some past notable WAB initiatives.

Recent Initiatives

Course Costs

WAB identified that there was a lack of transparency in the cost of courses for students. The Course Costs initiative aims to increase transparency around costs relevant to the Wharton curriculum. Through an analysis of past syllabi for the Wharton core curriculum, we identified key resources that students could use to the lower financial burdens of course costs. These findings can be found here in the following tips and tricks memo for students.
Tips and Tricks For Students

WAB Seminars

WAB Seminars is our fleet of student taught courses that encourage learning for the sake of learning. There are skills that many students want to explore, yet want to do so outside of a formal class setting. Our Seminars have included Coding for Absolute Beginners, Photoshop, Blockchain Basics, Smart Contract Programming, Mobile App Design, and Financial Modeling & Excel. WAB Seminars is a great way for students to both share there knowledge of certain skills and learn in an informal setting.

Passion Projects

WAB began the Passion Projects program in 2015 looking to enable students who wanted to explore their passions. We work with students by providing funding for any non-start-up, non-club, and non-academic project every Spring semester. Throughout the semester, WAB creates a community between the fellows allowing them to work with each other, get feedback and perfect their projects. Past examples have included: creating a hot cheeto cookbook, learning Arabic calligraphy, building a computer, or interviewing members of a community whom you admire. You can find more information and profiles of past fellows here!

Wharton Wellness

WAB began work on the Wellness initiative with the goal of improving the (mental, physical, etc.) wellness of Wharton undergraduates. We believed there was a lack of effective programming and resources addressing wellness issues, particularly ones which disproportionately and uniquely affect Wharton students. After extensive initial research (including meetings with key stakeholders, benchmarking against other schools, and discussion with wellness-focused organizations at Penn), we concluded that neither WAB nor any other current group by itself had the resources or purview to tackle such a vast issue. Instead, we collaborated with Wharton Council and Wharton Cohorts to found Wharton Wellness, an organization dedicated to the improvement of undergraduate well-being at Wharton. After founding wellness in Spring 2017, WAB has continued to collaborate with Wellness on an ongoing basis in initiatives where our experiences and missions are complementary.

HuntsmanHacks

HuntsmanHacks began with the mission of providing an immersive experience in which underclassmen are able to apply the skills in their business toolkit to real world problems. Rather than tackling theoretical situations, students are challenged with solving current and top of mind problems facing some of the largest corporations. In the first iteration of HuntsmanHacks, WAB partnered with Alibaba, and included over 150 students and 10 company representatives. To learn more about the initiative and to stay up to date with this year's competition visit our website here!

Office Hours

For the past couple semesters, WAB has worked with professors to help increase supplemental help offered in their courses. The Office Hours initiative aims to provide students with more accessible, personalized, and effective supplemental learning opportunities. Through frequent surveys and conversations with students, faculty, and administrators, we have identified supplemental help methods that are useful, yet underutilized. WAB has worked alongside professors in both core and elective classes to implement Interactive Exam Review Sessions and Virtual Office Hours. To date, we have worked with courses in the Real Estate, Statistics, and Business Economics and Public Policy departments.

Women of Wharton

WAB identified a disparity in Wharton undergraduate student satisfaction between women and men in regards to academic experience. Through rigorous primary and secondary research, reviews of academic literature, as well as working closely with students, faculty, and the administration, we developed strategic recommendations for professors on how to improve gender equality and inclusion in the classroom. Our analyses and solutions were published in a confidential white paper distributed to the faculty and administration.

Past Initiatives

WH398

The Capstone course is a 4-day elective in which students may choose to participate during their senior year.  Throughout the program, students compete in teams to solve a number of challenges related to managing a business in the real world.  Various tasks provide students with the opportunity to draw upon skills acquired throughout their Wharton education, especially the Core curriculum.  The Capstone was inspired by a simulation offered to incoming MBA students.  WAB worked with the Undergraduate Division to develop a curriculum for the program.  Our role included facilitating communications between multiple academic departments and the Undergraduate Division as well as marketing the pilot program.  After a successful pilot in January 2012, the program was adopted as a recurring elective for seniors.

Social Impact and Responsibility Concentration

Once an idea on a board member’s WAB application form, this now a popular secondary concentration is housed in the Legal Studies and Business Ethics Department.  Working with the Wharton administration and faculty members, WAB members helped admin develop a curriculum for the secondary concentration.  The concentration is comprised of one foundation course, one focus course, one application course, and one elective; the foundation course raises the question:  “How should business enterprises and business thinking be engaged to improve society in areas not always associated with business?”  This question is also raised by students each year at the Social Impact Conference, an event developed by WAB and organized through a collaborative effort by various social impact student groups.

Wharton Leadership Ventures (WLV)

Formerly known as the Wharton Undergraduate Leadership Initiative, Wharton Leadership Ventures aim to provide students with experiential opportunities to learn leadership.  Past WLV events have included whitewater rafting, SWAT simulations, power lab simulations, and a trip to Gettysburg to walk through the battlefield.  WLV has since become a separate organization jointly sponsored by WAB, the Wharton Council, and the Management 100 TAs.

Joint Concentration in Marketing and Operations Management

The Board noticed a rising interest among students in OPIM and Marketing.  Many students concentrated in both or were choosing between the two.  We worked with faculty to design a concentration that would focus on the intersection of these two subject areas.  The concentration was approved by the faculty and curriculum committee and is now available to all students.

Hauck Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching

The Hauck Award is the most prestigious undergraduate teaching award given by the Wharton School.  The implementation of this award reflects WAB’s emphasis on teaching and learning.

Wharton Peer Advising Fellows

The Wharton Peer Advising Fellows pilot program is a culmination of a multi-year effort by WAB to further enhance the enormous mentorship and peer-to-peer learning opportunities available to Wharton undergraduates. Peer Advising Fellows are a group rigorously selected and trained Wharton seniors who will can advice regarding academic, extracurricular, and professional concerns to their peers.

Musser-Schoemaker Leadership Lecture Series

The Leadership Lecture Series was started in 1991 by Ellen Kountz and Lillian Sun.  Its original goal was to sponsor prominent Wharton alumnae every year to speak about the “Secrets of their Success.”  Since receiving a generous endowment from Mr. Musser and Dr. Schoemaker, the lecture series has become a separate organization and grown to be a huge success.