A guest post by 2017 Wharton MBA graduate Dylan Hooe.
When I wrote my application to the Wharton School in the fall of 2014, I spoke about my desire to obtain versatile skills, meaningful experiences, and enduring relationships. Throughout my two years at the school, these pillars have guided my actions and involvements – one of which was participating in the Mack Institute’s Collaborative Innovation Program (CIP) in 2016.
As a technology consultant prior to school, participating in CIP presented a unique opportunity to unite with peers across functions while working for a firm focused on potential innovation breakthroughs. Matched with a medium-sized industrial component manufacturer, our semester-long challenge was to define the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) outlook and recommend the firm’s response. This meant a great deal of IIoT independent research, client deep dives, and innovation brainstorming exercises to stretch the art of the possible.
Ultimately, the team’s effort was personally rewarding given the amount of learning that occurred; it was also extremely beneficial for the client, for by the end of the semester, we provided them with an action-oriented & impact-driven output.
Just as important as developing innovation management skills and working with a top manufacturing firm was the ability to form lasting relationships with three classmates. Unknown to each other prior to CIP, we each brought diverse and valued backgrounds to the team, which ranged from a graduate mechanical engineer with mechatronics knowledge to a prior management consultant with experience in corporate growth. Such a melting pot of knowledge and skills is special, and it enabled us to develop a well-rounded recommendation while also learn from and build relationships with one another.
As I look back on graduating in May 2017 and reflect upon my time at Penn, participating in CIP not only exceeded my expectations but also resoundingly provided the right set of skills, experiences, and relationships.