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Top-Ranked East Coast MBA Program Expands to Silicon Valley

The University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School opened a new West Coast campus in San Francisco last month as part of a push to expand into the high-tech business sector. According to a Feb. 9, 2012 article for Bloomberg, the school hopes to attract "aspiring technology entrepreneurs" to its executive MBA program, which was ranked number three in the country in 2012 by US News and World Report (www.usnews.com, 2012)

The Wharton expansion is part of a larger trend, says the article, as East Coast business schools open satellite campuses or partner with other schools on the West Coast. This not only allows the school to draw from local talent, but positions them closer to some of the world's largest technology companies like Google, Apple, and Facebook. According to the article, New York's Columbia University is another top b-school to jump on the high-tech bandwagon, offering an executive MBA program in partnership with the University of California, Berkeley.

The article reports that the Wharton school signed a 10-year lease for its new space on the sixth floor of the Hills Plaza building, located near the Bay Bridge and San Francisco's eastern waterfront. The next six months were spent renovating the 37,000-square-foot space to foster the kind of communal, high-tech atmosphere typical of the area's famous Silicon Valley startups.

Wharton faculty interviewed in the article expressed their enthusiasm over the new campus, and one Wharton student, Muckai Girish, who works as a vice-president at Entropic Communications Inc., says he expects the new campus to put Wharton on the map in Silicon Valley.

"In the old building, not too many people knew about Wharton here because it was hidden away," Girish says, referring to the school's previous low-profile location in San Francisco. "This gives us an identity."