Program Experience

Highlights and Key Outcomes

In Business Essentials for Executives, you will:

  • Identify your personal negotiating style and learn how to adapt it
  • Acquire business acumen to interpret financial statements and use them for decision-making
  • Gain insight into how to assess current and future strategic initiatives
  • Benefit from a webinar after the program is over to integrate the learning

Professor Nicolaj Siggelkow says many participants will experience an epiphany about their business while attending this program.

Wharton LIVE Programming

Real-time, synchronous peer learning

The live, online version of Business Essentials will be taught by the same Wharton faculty who teach in the on-campus program. Business Essentials offers, and requires, a high level of engagement through class discussion, case studies, and role play. Participants will have direct access to Wharton faculty throughout the program, and engage in dynamic group exercises that help reinforce the learning and enable networking among the peer community. This online program is a fully immersive and structured learning experience that culminates with a new set of knowledge and tools that can be put to immediate use.

Experience & Impact

Business Essentials for Executives focuses on the core concepts that drive business in every industry, using a mix of interactive lectures, case studies, simulations, self-assessments, and group discussions. Drawing on the expertise of Wharton’s world-renowned MBA faculty and its 20+ research centers, such as the Wharton Center for Leadership and Change Management, it will help you influence and interact more effectively across your organization. You will improve your ability to make cross-functional decisions that benefit you, your team, and your organization.

The Importance of Strategy: Professor Gad Allon says there are two key components of strategy in running a business.

With a focus on immediate applicability, daily integration sessions will help you begin to address key challenges using the tools and methods taught in the program. In addition, you will become part of a powerful learning community that comprises a diverse group of fellow participants; their wide range of industries, backgrounds, experiences, and geographies provides a rich source of insights and networking.

This program will give you insight into:

  • Leadership and decision making
  • Talent management
  • Negotiation and persuasion
  • Managing across organizational boundaries
  • Personal negotiating styles and how to adapt them
  • Customer decision making and how to position your product or service
  • The importance of building and sustaining operational excellence
  • Assessing current and future strategic initiatives
  • Interpreting financial statements and using them for decision making
  • How and when to scale your business unit or organization

Expanding the Enterprise: Business Essentials for Executives will explore the types of business model features that encourage a firm to grow.

Post-Program Webinar

Business Essentials for Executives also includes a webinar after the program is over to help participants integrate learnings. Led by Wharton professor and academic director Gad Allon, it stresses accountability and focuses on setting and working toward specific, concrete goals.

Convince Your Supervisor

Here’s a justification letter you can edit and send to your supervisor to help you make the case for attending this Wharton program.

Due to our application review period, applications submitted after 12:00 p.m. ET on Friday for programs beginning the following Monday may not be processed in time to grant admission. Applicants will be contacted by a member of our Client Relations Team to discuss options for future programs and dates.

Who Should Attend

Participants in Business Essentials for Executives may include:

  • Executives seeking to develop wider general management skills outside their traditional area of expertise
  • Managers and technical leaders who have been promoted to a role with significant responsibility
  • Executives who build and lead multi-functional teams
  • HR professionals who need to build on their business acumen and develop an enterprise mindset
  • Managers of family-run businesses
  • Entrepreneurs who need to extend their core business knowledge

Who Should Attend: Professor Gad Allon explains who can benefit from attending this program.

Fluency in English, written and spoken, is required for participation in Wharton Executive Education programs unless otherwise indicated.

Participant Profile

Participants by Industry

Wharton’s Essentials of Management participants by industry

Participants by Job Function

Wharton’s Essentials of Management participants by job function

Participants by Region

Wharton’s Essentials of Management participants by region

Plan your stay in Philadelphia

Plan Your Stay

This program is held at the Steinberg Conference Center located on the University of Pennsylvania campus in Philadelphia. Meals and accommodations are included in the program fees. Learn more about planning your stay at Wharton’s Philadelphia campus.

Group Enrollment

To further leverage the value and impact of this program, we encourage companies to send cross-functional teams of executives to Wharton. We offer group-enrollment benefits to companies sending four or more participants.


Gad Allon

Gad Allon, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Academic Director

Jeffrey A. Keswin Professor; Professor of Operations, Information and Decisions; Director, Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Operations management and operations strategy

Matthew Bidwell

Matthew Bidwell, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Xingmei Zhang and Yongge Dai Professor; Professor of Management, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Careers, contingent work, firm boundaries, human resource management, knowledge workers

Barbara Kahn

Barbara Kahn, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Patty and Jay H. Baker Professor; Professor of Marketing, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Brand loyalty, consumer choice, customer-relationship management

Sarah Light

Sarah Light, JDSee Faculty Bio

Professor of Legal Studies & Business Ethics; Faculty Co-Director, Wharton Climate Center

Eric Max

Eric Max, Esq.See Faculty Bio

Lecturer, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Negotiation, mediation, arbitration

Michael Roberts

Michael Roberts, PhDSee Faculty Bio

William H. Lawrence Professor; Professor of Finance, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Applied econometrics, corporate investment, capital structure

Nicolaj Siggelkow

Nicolaj Siggelkow, PhDSee Faculty Bio

David M. Knott Professor; Professor of Management; Co-Director, Mack Institute for Innovation Management, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Competitive strategy, firms as systems of interconnected choices


Business Essentials for Executives was life-changing for me. Wharton addressed my knowledge deficits as a CEO in practical ways. The program helped me strike a balance between my aspiration to stay innovative and relevant, and my tendency to be blindsided by striving for perfection. I can now quantify and speak effectively to people about the economic value of what I’m bringing to the market, and I can communicate better with my CFO. I have a stronger grasp of economics and can delve confidently into terms and concepts. For example, I realized that my business was a demand economies-of-scale company that was about to experience a network effect. I’ve put that on a vision board for my company. As someone who works with marginalized communities, it’s critical for me to be able to articulate the financial worth of my business to those who are not from marginalized groups.

Recently I was chosen to be a state speaker for ACT and incorporated principles I learned at Wharton into my speech. We were selected for Cohort IV of the University of Southern California’s Ed Tech Incubator, founded by Doug Lynch and Mark DeGennaro, and my company is now in a seed round for up to $30 million. Before Wharton, I wouldn’t have had the courage or knowledge to stay in a pitch round like that.

Professor Gad Allon was an amazing teacher, and you could tell that all the faculty members love what they do. I highly encourage anyone interested in taking their business to the next level to apply for this program."

Valencia Belle Founder and CEO, VB Ideas

I loved Business Essentials for Executives and I highly recommend the program. To learn from the professors in various areas such as operations and marketing was extremely valuable for me. The program bridged the gap from the population that I work with, to the funders and PhDs who write the research papers, by helping me become a better communicator. During the program I thought, wow, here’s a framework for exactly what my mind is trying to express to my external evaluators that they just don’t get. And now I have the vocabulary.

Taking this program is also going to help me scale my business. I learned about the operating structure, the framework, and the modeling language. I have a meeting scheduled with someone I’ve hired to help me with the model, and we’ll create a SOP document so my organization can expand into a new market in Florida.

I really liked the faculty. Professor Gad Allon was fantastic. I enjoyed his teaching style and all of the Wharton research that he shared to show how real-world corporations operate. I also benefited from the other participants. Hearing about the experiences of the for-profit sector — including large national corporations — made me realize that they face some of the same challenges as my regional nonprofit. I highly recommend the program. It’s how education should be.”

Lynne Kunins Founder, President, CEO, FLIPANY (Florida Introduces Physical Activity & Nutrition to Youth)

Business Essentials for Executives was exactly what I was looking for in a well-rounded curriculum that hit all the key pieces of business from finance to strategy to operations. I’ve had a pretty amazing opportunity to work in all different positions in a fourth-generation family business and move up to more responsible roles. I was excited to get back into the classroom and brush up on my skills.

One thing that is challenging in my day-to-day job is balancing our strategic positioning in the market. We came up as a niche provider with a focus on high-end premium organics, but as you grow and those things move closer and closer to commodity, it’s an interesting balance determining what the right approach is, especially since our customers want more from us and it pushes us into areas we didn’t used to play in. The Creating and Sustaining Competitive Advantage session with Professor Nicolaj Siggelkow provided a really structured approach to determining what our customers most value and what our key differentiators are, with a way for us to map that out and see where we fit in the market compared to the competition. After I completed the class, my company had Professor Siggelkow do a session with our executive team. We mapped out our strategy, which was immediately translated into decisions on how we approached certain accounts and determined our pricing and sales strategy.

Finally, I can’t stress enough how great our group in the class was. We just bonded so well and so quickly — it was amazing, considering it was only a six-day program. Sharing and learning from my peers in the class really added a lot to the experience.”

Jason Dabrow Chief Operating Officer,, Chelten House Products Inc, a food manufacturer of private-label dressings and sauces

Business Essentials for Executives was a great program to take because it goes through all the business disciplines, whether it be marketing, business acumen, or leadership. It was great to have so many different professors come in from all backgrounds and hear their experiences and how it relates to your career. I was one of the more vocal people in the class breakouts when we were asked what we would do in a real scenario. It increased my confidence because every time we came back and discussed what really happened, it aligned with my thinking."

Eric Sabato Western Regional Sales Manager, Carber Holdings Inc.

The program covers the five main components of business [marketing, finance, strategy, negotiations, and leadership]. It’s incredibly valuable to get this breadth of understanding. There were at least two key learnings from each discipline that I was able to apply immediately."

Max Baumann CEO, Just Chill

This was a comprehensive program that encompassed the core disciplines of the corporate landscape, providing me with real world, practical learnings that I have applied consistently and successfully since attending the course in fall of 2013. For me, personally, I felt I had a gap in my business acumen in the area of accounting and finance, and this part of the curriculum was specifically a revelation for me. That said, the other areas of study (marketing, operations, HR, leadership, etc.) proved just as practical and the lessons repeatable in my work life. Also, the professors weaved in specific examples and anecdotes from the course attendees — who were both globally and functionally diverse — and this really made the material come to life. I’ve been reaping the benefits of this, ever since my first Wharton program. I’ve just completed my Certificate of Professional Development, and seen marked differences in my overall performance, leadership, and, most importantly, my revenue results."

Danielle Turgeon Director Global Accounts, Director, Global Sales - Leisure Sales for AccorHotels

Date, Location, & Fees

If you are unable to access the application form, please email Client Relations at

November 4 – 8, 2024Live Online$9,50010:00 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. EST

May 12 – 16, 2025Philadelphia, PA$12,500

Download the program schedule, including session details and format.

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