How to Transfer into Wharton

How to Transfer into Wharton – an Interview

Our previous client H has recently been accepted to the prestigious Wharton School after studying one year at UPenn’s College (her application case can be found here). We interviewed her right after she received this exciting news and invited her to share some insights about her first-year experience at the University of Pennsylvania and her experience of transfer into Wharton.


Ray (Director of Elite Admission Consulting): Hi! How exciting it is to hear about your successful transfer into Wharton.

H: Thanks! It is quite exciting and I am glad to share my experience for those who are curious about this transfer.


Ray: We all appreciate that! First of all, tell us a bit about your first year.

H: Well, it was a very special year. I enrolled into the University of Melbourne to study a semester of Commerce before attending UPenn (Elite Admission: it is a common practice because of the calendar difference between the northern and southern hemispheres). Because of the pandemic, my parents did not allow me to travel to the States when UPenn’s school year started and I almost cancelled my plans to attend all together. By that time, I was already fitting into the life and work at the University of Melbourne and was questioning what I could actually gain from online learning at UPenn. Fortunately, I made the right decision in the end!


Ray: Yes! I guess this first year really paid off?

H: Yes, but in an unexpected way. To be honest, online learning from UPenn was not that different from what I got from the University of Melbourne. I guess I definitely missed some value because I chose to study most subjects through recording. However, the experiences I gained from the student clubs I joined were definitely life changing. From day one, I tried out many clubs, some of them were not as active as I hoped they would be, but some of them were fantastic. I met virtually all my friends through these clubs. One of the best ones was the International Student Club. I loved the people and events there, gained a lot of insights into study, life, and career, and became very engaged. Now I am the chair in charge of the alumni network and student employment. Another really memorable club for me is the Daily Pennsylvania.


Ray: When we conducted school research for your application to UPenn, we dug into the student club culture. So glad that you are actually enjoying it now! Could you tell us about your decision to transfer into Wharton? I remember you were not into business during your application.

H: No, I was not. You know my passion was politics and to a certain extent, it still is. The most important reason I chose to transfer is that I believe Wharton’s learning experience is more practical. Learning commerce at the University of Melbourne played a certain role here too because I quite liked the practicality of my learning. After starting at UPenn, I thought politics subjects, despite my interest, were too abstract. I couldn’t really gain as much from discussion and essay writing as I did in business learning. Therefore, I enrolled in some fundamental business courses, loved them, and decided to apply to transfer later in my first year.


Ray: That is a very genuine reason. So how about the future? Any plans? I think consulting could be an ideal path based on my understanding of you.

H: Ha, I guess. I know almost everyone at Wharton is gearing up for a career in consulting or  investment banking. However, that is not the reason why I want to go to Wharton or my current goal. Through my experience at UPenn, especially through talks with alumni working in Hollywood through the International Student Club, I became, a bit surprisingly, more serious about my interest in the entertainment industry. Therefore, I look to study more business knowledge and skills, for example marketing and business analytics, and then to work in the entertainment industry afterwards. Actually, I am doing a remote internship at a company in LA.


Ray: That is very surprising! I would never have imagined that! But I guess that is the benefit of going to colleges like UPenn: to expand your possibilities. We cannot wait to see how it unfolds! Could you share a bit more about the transfer application process?

H: Thanks! UPenn is very secretive about the transfer process, so I can only try my best. I think there are two windows of transfer: the end of freshman year and the middle of sophomore year. To make a successful transfer, you need to keep a solid academic record at UPenn and finish the prerequisite courses of Wharton. I remember there were two essay questions. One was about the two best things about UPenn you have experienced so far and the other one was about what you want to gain and bring up at Wharton. I hear that transferring is getting more and more competitive so, you would be best to start preparing early.


Ray: Because you are leaving for the States (finally!) the day after tomorrow, we will let you go pack now and of course thank you so much for your time and insightful sharing!

H: No problem. Glad that I could help a few more students.