Two Unforgettable Weeks at the KWHS Global Young Leaders Academy

13 Jul

It’s not every day that one gets to meet the author of a New York Times bestseller (who also happens to be a Marketing professor at one of the best business schools in the world), attend his obviously incredible lecture, and get a signed copy of his bestselling book!

Sounds unreal, right?


Campus tour of the University of Pennsylvania

Thanks to Knowledge@Wharton at High School and BrainGain Magazine, meeting Professor Jonah Berger, and getting a copy of ‘Contagious’ was just one of the extraordinary things that we, a group of high schoolers, experienced at the KWHS Global Young Leaders Academy.

We all fell in love with the programme from the very first day when, after a particularly long and tiring journey from the airport, we were offered pizzas to help restore our energy. But this programme was so much more than just the delicious food we had every single day (though that was a very important aspect too)!

The classes we had were beyond amazing! Each one, sprinkled with numerous activities and discussions, required us to think on our feet. From Jaime Potter’s lecture on Behavioural Science to Professor Laura Huang’s talk on Entrepreneurship, from Professor Arthur Benedict’s masterclass on Public Speaking and Presentation Skills to Megan De Lena’s workshop on Business and Finance (she even brought candy for us in every class), from Andrea Contigiani’s class on Start Ups to Professor Alan Kerzner’s sessions on Marketing Strategies, from Professors Tyler Wry and Katherine Milkman’s pointers on Unlocking Innovation to Professor Mauro Guillen’s insight into how money works, and finally, Andrew Wakelee’s assistance in helping us build our business plans for the final presentation. It was a remarkable fortnight to put our little grey cells to the best use possible.

The only dissatisfaction we have? We wanted to spend more time with each and every teacher! If it was an hour-long class, we wanted two; instead of a two-hour class, a three-hour one would have been better! What’s more, we even got the opportunity to visit an actual start-up on campus, Weiss Tech House, and see for ourselves how things are run.

A number of group activities were organized, to infuse the spirit of teamwork within us. While the scavenger hunt helped all of us get to know the campus better than probably many students of UPenn itself (Google Maps, without thee we would be so lost!), the Marshmallow Challenge brought out our creative and artistic side.

And just when one thought the entire experience couldn’t get any better, the field and day trips came in! We had a quick Philadelphia city tour and a baseball game on a weekday. Then, the first Saturday was spent in Washington, DC, walking around the Capitol and marveling at the White House. On Sunday we went to Six Flags amusement park, and it was such a fun-filled and exciting day!

The Statue of Liberty, Wall Street and Fifth Avenue were on our itinerary for the next weekend. Yes, we also visited the Big Apple.

Volunteering at Philabundance

Volunteering at Philabundance

Overall, this programme helped us gain a lot of knowledge, made us realize the value of teamwork, and most importantly, taught us to be independent. All in a short span of two weeks! We made some friends whom we will cherish forever and learnt things that will remain with us. To call it an unforgettable experience would be a gross understatement.

Our only complaint? Instead of two, the programme should have been for three weeks!


Diotima Roy
Class 11
DPS, Ruby Park, Kolkata


Click here to find out more about the Knowledge@Wharton High School Global Young Leaders Academy!


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