Dear Mr. Boyd,
My Wharton interview was conducted in a group format in which we were asked to conceive a new conference to host at the business school. We went around the table, each candidate offering a different idea on which topic would most effectively engage students and faculty. The ideas reflected the respective backgrounds of each candidate - a "Big Data" conference from an IBM analytics practitioner, a "Health and Wellness" conference from a self-described 'yogi,' a "Healthcare" conference from a healthcare consultant, and so on.
I was the last to offer an idea - an "Innovation" conference.
I continued to offer examples in which each candidate's idea could be included within the theme of innovation. I suggested that students and faculty would not only benefit from appreciating the existing business priority to be continually innovative, but also by learning the tactical skills to become intentionally innovative themselves.
My interview group agreed on an "Innovation" conference, refined the idea, laid out the conference logistics, and pitched it to the interviewers. One month later, I was exploring Philadelphia with my family as an accepted member of the Wharton MBA Class of 2018.
You are one of the few people who have encouraged me to admit that I want to do great things in my life. I did not always have the courage to proclaim this. When I say it aloud, it fills me with energy. It makes me hungry to acquire knowledge, inspire breakthrough, and create impact. Thanks to you, I feel that I am on my way.
I thank you for your guidance, advice, and support over the years. I promise I will put it to good use!
Paul Carey, Jr.