The Francis J. & William Polk Carey JD/MBA Program at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School and the Wharton School immerses students in an accelerated course of study, preparing them for careers at the intersection of law and business. Students earn both JD and MBA degrees in three years, rather than the five years it would typically take to earn each degree separately.
JD/MBA students can actively participate in over 200 activities and organizations at the Law School and Wharton, including the JD/MBA Student Association. Here, co-presidents Joshua El-Bey L’23, WG’23 and Genevieve Shaw L’22, WG’22 share more information about the organization and its offerings.
Q: What is the JD/MBA Student Association?
Genevieve Shaw: The JD/MBA Student Association is a student-led organization that works on programming for the current students throughout their time in the JD/MBA program. We host social events to bring together the JD/MBA community, connect with alumni, and represent the program to potential students. It is composed of students from the 2L and 3L classes, who volunteer to be more involved in bringing together the JD/MBA community.
Q: How does this student group support individuals pursuing the JD/MBA?
Genevieve Shaw: JD/MBAs have a unique school experience as we navigate between the Law School and Wharton. As a community, we are very eager to share knowledge to help us all successfully take advantage of all the fantastic resources both schools have to offer. The JD/MBA Student Association helps to facilitate connections between students through both formal panels for 1Ls and fun social events to bring the community together.
Q: What are some of the newer initiatives that the Student Association has been working on?
Joshua El-Bey: Some of the initiatives we are spearheading include offering the 1L representative position to spur interest in the JD/MBA program among JDs in the 1L class. We have also launched JD/MBA families which pair JD/MBAs across classes to not only serve as a guide for 1Ls, but also to offer another level of cohesion within our group. Finally, we are connecting with alumni so that JD/MBAs have a clearer idea on how their careers can progress 5, 10, even 20 years after graduation.
Q: What would you say has been the highlight of your personal JD/MBA experience to date?
Genevieve Shaw: The people have definitely been the highlight of the JD/MBA program for me. We are an eclectic group of individuals with highly varied interests and skills, yet are still a close knit community. We work hard, but understand the importance of balance and fun as well. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to learn and grow alongside such fantastic people. I can confidently say that I have made friends for life through the JD/MBA program.
Joshua El-Bey: This year, a group of JD/MBAs organized to live in the same house together for the next academic year. This has been a highlight for me because fellow JD/MBAs have been generous in hosting social events that foster deep connections which will last long after we graduate.
Q: What would you want people to know about the JD/MBA students and/or program that they might not know?
Genevieve Shaw: Despite condensing the equivalent of five years of schooling into three years, the program curriculum is actually very flexible. All of my fellow JD/MBA classmates have taken different academic paths, exploring the aspects of both the law and business academic curriculums that interest them the most. The combination of the JD and the MBA gives students incredible optionality both in school and after graduation, so it is so interesting to learn from your classmates’ experiences and how they have differed from your own.
Q: Is there anything you would like to add?
Joshua El-Bey: Often, I get asked the following question: How do you balance friendships outside of the JD/MBA program across both schools? I personally have many connections in both the law and business school due to the fact that the schools are about a five-minute walk from each other. This proximity allows JD/MBA students to maintain friendships across both schools in however way they see fit.