What principles will business graduates take with them into the workplace—and into their personal lives—long after they’ve left business school?
This spring, MBA students made their own values explicit when they participated in the inaugural Wharton Commitment Program (WCP) at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Developed by graduating students Siamak Sarvari and Carol Huang, the program was run in cooperation with the vice dean’s office and the McNulty Leadership Program. It invited Wharton graduates to provide a list of
the five values they intend to live by in the coming years. The 300 students who participated received wallet-sized metal cards with their individual goals inscribed on them.
Sarvari first had the inspiration for the idea when he attended a class on responsibility in business led by G. Richard Shell, professor of legal studies and business ethics and management. Shell described how graduates of professional and medical programs take oaths and receive tokens to remind them of the values they aim to uphold in their fields. In April, Shell joined with Savari, Huang, and Lynn Krage of the McNulty Leadership Program to hold a kickoff workshop designed to inform other Wharton students of the project.
According to Huang, there were ten common themes. Students largely wanted to take care of family, invest in personal relationships, do good, take care of self, continue to grow, treat others with kindness, act with integrity, pursue meaning, keep seeking out challenges, and enjoy life.
Read more about WCP.