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Wharton Rolls Out New Course on Coronavirus Impact

At University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, COVID-19 is more than a virus – it’s also a learning opportunity. 

COVID-19 has brought a range of economic and social implications that are only beginning to be understood. 

In response, Wharton has launched a new course, called Epidemics, Natural Disasters, and Geopolitics: Managing Global Business and Financial Uncertainty, that will explore the business impact of COVID-19, and what that impact possibly has to teach about similar events.

The six-week course will address topics like leadership under high levels of uncertainty, emotional contagion, and financial markets’ reaction to coronavirus.

With the course open to students from all University of Pennsylvania degree programs, Wharton says 450 students have already pre-registered. As with other Penn courses, the new course will now take place online due to COVID-19.

Wharton’s dean, Geoffrey Garrett, pointed out that “there are significant business lessons to be learned from the global response to the coronavirus outbreak.”

Garrett added that “this is a teachable moment for the global academic community, and this course is just one example of how Wharton is coming together to provide support during a time of heightened anxiety and ambiguity.”

The course will feature lectures from a broad range of Wharton faculty and was developed by Mauro Guillen, who holds the Zandman Endowed Professorship in International Management.

Guillen said the faculty were “proud to launch this course as it draws directly from the current geopolitical climate and will offer students insights into this crisis and all types of high-risk events.”

For his part, he said that he was “thrilled to take part in this course which was developed very quickly and through the generous support of professors and staff who understand the urgency.”

It will begin on March 25, when classes commence online after a spring break extended due to COVID-19. 

Dealing with uncertainty is an important aspect of management and leadership, and Wharton’s new course turns the coronavirus outbreak into something of a case study in uncertainty that students can learn from. 

With the new course, students at Wharton, like at other top business schools, carry on toward their educational and career goals despite the disruptions to life as normal that COVID-19 has brought. 

MBA applicants find themselves in much the same position – accepting the uncertainty and continuing to work toward long-term goals in the face of an unpredictable situation. In that vein, if you’d like personalized feedback on your application, feel free to contact us for a free MBA application assessment!

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Chioma Isiadinso

Chioma is a former Harvard Business School admissions officer and the CEO and Co-Founder of EXPARTUS, the first MBA admissions consulting company to use personal branding as a key part of the b-school application process. Chioma is the author of The Best Business Schools' Admissions Secrets, one of the leading books on how to successfully navigate the MBA admissions process.