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To Wharton or not to Wharton? December 4, 2006

Posted by InvisibleInk in General, INSEAD.

Wharton INSEAD Alliance

I was thinking about pros and cons of doing an exchange at Wharton, the following comment from an INSEAD exchange student at Wharton helped a lot. I thought it would be useful to share.

I am now on the exchange and it is very different from Insead! There is less of an international feel and people seem a little more “serious” in general. Classes are similar but there is not the campus feel like at Insead since wharton is just part of a huge university. Not as much socializing than at Insead especially when you arrive for a 2-month program its hard to really meet people there. You end up spending time with insead people which can be nice though coz you get to spend time with people you wouldnt have had otherwise. On the positive sides there are some great career services and I personally had a lot of interviews and one job offer so if you want to work in the US thats the way to go. 2 pre-requisites though: you need a valid US visa and you need to be on campus in November-December. If you dont fullfill these two criterias you have very little chances to get a job there. Also, a word of advice for non-americans looking into marketing in the US: be careful it seems they are looking for Americans in priority. Also, if you are interested by working in the US its interesting to be in class and hear other people’s comments and just get a feel of people there.



1. DomoDomo - December 8, 2006

I’m the first then. That INSEAD gives you great advice Invisible. Basically: if you want to work in the US and are a December student, go to Wharton; otherwise you’re much better off at INSEAD. Because INSEAD works in packed 2 months cycles, as opposed to relatively less packed Wharton 4 months cycles, you’ll only be able to join Mini Electives at Wharton, the list of which is not very exciting…

To summarize: Wharton super for December intakes who wants to work in the US… Otherwise, I have strong doubts about the takeaways.
It’s the other way round for our friends from Wharton. They get super electives in 2 months…

2. InvisibleInk - December 8, 2006

Thank you for the very useful insight DomoDomo. I’ll keep in mind what you’ve said when making the final decision.

Hope all is well with you. :o)

3. Cedric - December 20, 2006

Hi, what’s new on the Insead Campus ?

4. SF - January 3, 2007

I work and live in the US (green card holder). I’m applying for January 2008 intake at INSEAD and am interested in coming back to the US for work.


1) Can I spend the 5th period at Wharton? Would you advise it, considering that I’m interested in working in the US, but do not want to miss good things (including electives) at INSEAD.

2) How easy/diificult is it to get on the exchange program? I hear there are limited seats. What is the criteria?

3) Are career resources at Wharton as helpful to INSEAD students as Wharton students? Is November, December (period 5) a good time for recruiting for a full-time job?

5. AB - January 23, 2007

Hi Invisi…..,

First of all, thanks a lot for starting this blog. It has very useful info for potential applicants. I have the following questions.

Is it possible for someone to find internship (through insead’s career services, or through their alum network etc) in US ? I do not require visa to work in US.

In general, how difficult is for someone to find job in US after Insead MBA assuming that u didn’t make the cut for Wharton exchange?

Thankful applicant

6. AB - January 23, 2007

Hi SF,

I am in similar boat. I have US GC, and applying for Jan 08 intake. Did u look at Columbia J-term also ? I am looking at that also.


7. InvisibleInk - March 9, 2007

Hi AB and SF,

When you apply for internships, you can normally state the offices you would like to work in. Most positions are advertised globally. But make sure to check that the firm’s deadlines for INSEAD. I didn’t apply to North American offices but I know that for London banking positions, almost all the banks have specific internship application deadlines just for INSEAD. These deadlines tend to be later than those of other buss. schools. However, if you are looking for banking internships in Asia, you may have to apply before you join INSEAD in Jan. Consultancy and industry internship deadlines are normally much later.

For full time jobs in the States, Wharton is a good idea as long as you don’t require a work permit. I recommend going in P4. P5 is great in Singapore. The bidding is very competitive for Wharton. This year it cost 75% of the elective credits. Very expensive! Sometime ago I heard that even if you don’t go to Wharton, you still have access to Wharton job search database and can apply to all the positions that come up in Wharton via INSEAD. I am not sure how accurate this is so I strongly suggest you check with the careers service.

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