Write an essay where you tell us about what drives you in your pursuit of your graduate degree.

As a child, I listened with wide eyes as my grandfather shared his stories as an Air Force fighter pilot during the Korean War. That my grandfather survived is not only a testament to his pilot skills, but also to the quality of equipment developed for the Air Force. Decades later, the need for leading edge resources to meet our military’s defense requirements remains. In my current role as an Air Force Nuclear and Missile Operations Officer, I intimately understand how critical technology is to my teams’ effectiveness. Knowing this, I want to one day lead a high-tech division of an aerospace and defense firm, such as the Defense, Space & Security division at Boeing.

Because of this realization and my grandfather, I am inspired to pursue a Master in Business Administration degree from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School to prepare me to navigate an ever-changing business landscape. Over my 5 years in the Air Force, I have executed critical day-to-day operations and led multi-disciplinary teams through dynamic, challenging environments. Now, I need to understand business fundamentals such as strategy, finance, and marketing, and delve into topics like regulatory compliance and sustainability.

I knew Wharton was the right program for me to maximize this learning when I visited and sat through a Wharton Global Impact Consultancy demonstration. Among all learning styles, I learn best through the practical application of theory. This student-led strategy program will allow me to experientially learn a responsibility I will have in my future executive role at Boeing: solving complex business dilemmas while keeping the broader organizational impact in mind. Just as my grandfather relied on superior technology, our military’s future generations will continue to rely on private sector innovation. I’d be proud to continue to serve by working with the companies behind the scenes of our military’s effectiveness to meet our nation’s next technological missions.

Todd from Florida
University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School