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Wharton-Omnicom Communication Fellows Program

The Wharton School has announced the creation of the Wharton-Omnicom Communication Fellows Program. The initiative will support the training of 40 MBA and other Penn graduate students to serve as written and verbal communications coaches for Management Communication, a core course taken by all Wharton MBA students during their first year of study. A second component of the gift will be used to support the development of a technology-enhanced distance-writing program that will be implemented by Wharton-Omnicom Communication Fellows.

"This gift to the Wharton Communication Program underscores our commitment to prepare business leaders who are able not only to formulate vision and strategy, but also to communicate them to employees, shareholders and the public," said Wharton Dean Patrick T. Harker. "Omnicom shares Wharton's relentless focus on innovation and global leadership, and we are proud to partner with the School to build the world's premier communication program in a business school," said Randall J. Weisenburger, Omnicom Group's executive vice president and chief financial officer. Mr. Weisenburger, a 1987 Wharton MBA graduate, is a member of the School's Graduate Executive Board.

The Wharton Communication Program is among the first of the leading business schools teaching students to deal effectively with the media. According to the Program's director, Lisa Warshaw, "Wharton prepares business leaders; dealing effectively with the media is integral to our students' success." Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE:OMC) is a leading global marketing and corporate communications company. Omnicom's branded networks and numerous specialty firms provide advertising, strategic media planning and buying, direct and promotional marketing, public relations, and other specialty communications services to over 5,000 clients in more than 100 countries.

Surveys of Wharton alumni explicitly show that clear and persuasive communication is critical in business. The retooled Wharton Communication Program is a valuable resource helping students avoid the scenario above. The program's cornerstone, Management Communication (WHCP 653), is a class required of all first-year MBA students. With six classes over the course of a quarter, students learn and practice effective oral presentation skills, polish these skills in front of a critical audience, and try new communication techniques in a non-threatening situation. Critical skills covered include persuasion, professional PowerPoint presentations, the graphical display of data, ad hoc elevator speeches, and handling media relations. The program also offers an array of non-credit communication workshops during pre-term and throughout the year.

"As an investment banker, I saw very bright people whose careers were derailed because they couldn't communicate well. I don't want that to ever happen to our students," said program director Lisa Warshaw. "My goal is for an employer to assume: 'If I hire a Wharton grad, I'll have hired an effective communicator.'"

Student presentations, which occur five times during the course, are videotaped and critiqued by instructors and peers. The program plans to expand the presentation media to include written communications. The initiative will support the training of 40 second-year MBA and other Penn graduate students to serve as written and verbal communications coaches for Management Communication. A second component of the gift will be used to support the development of a technology-enhanced distance-writing program. To learn more about communications at Wharton, visit the Wharton-Omnicom Communication Fellows Program, at

Almanac, Vol. 48, No. 6, October 2, 2001


October 2, 2001
Volume 48 Number 6

Dr. Lerman appointed associate director for Cancer Control and Population Science and director of the Tobacco Research program at the Leonard & Madlyn Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute
$2.1 million grant to introduce advanced security features into standard office PCs.
Dennis DeTurck, Srilata Gangulee and Alton Strange will serve the Colleges Houses this year.
The new director for public serves at the Library is Sandra Kerbel.
Wharton as appointed Steven Oliveira as associate dean for External Affairs.
UCD has announced it's new executive director.
Deadlines are announced for Pilot and Feasibility Grants, Trustees' Council Grants, Robert Bosch Fellowships and Luce Scholars Program
Year-end Council reports: Community Relations; Facilities; Personnel Benefits; Pluralism; Quality of Student Life; and Safety and Security.
A new Temporary Staffing Services has a new vendor; EHRS has Training for October and Annual Tuberculosis Screening is now available.
Steinhardt Hall, the new Hillel Center breaks ground.