As a freshman entering the Wharton School, I was intimidated. The name itself inspires awe and brings success to mind, and I was nervous about how I would stack up against my peers. And then I walked into my Management 100 lecture. Management 100 is a required freshman Wharton course in which students are placed into teams of ten and partner with a local philanthropic organization to help their cause. We are given the ability to work autonomously with our client, and at the end of the semester are given a performance-based grade from both our peers and our client. Being thrown into such a professional environment together facilitates bonding and learning while handling the pressure to meet my client’s expectations. Ourboretum is my Management 100 team and we are lucky enough to be partnered with the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania. We hope to spread awareness about Morris to Penn students and garner more student attendance through our off-campus events, social media, and a cash-prize photo contest.
Upon driving through the gates of the Morris Arboretum, I was struck by the beauty of the rolling hills, blooming trees, and peaceful meadows. Just a short SEPTA ride away (last stop of Chestnut Hill West Line), the Morris Arboretum is more than just trees. Venturing “Out on a Limb,” one of Morris’ most popular exhibits allows visitors to gain a bird’s eye view in the canopy fifty feet off the ground, while the Swan Pond provides a serene outlook on nature with interacting with animals. Ourboretum hopes to introduce more Penn students to the incredible escape and resource that Morris has provided us. Currently, approximately 8% of Penn students visit Morris each year, while only slightly more are aware of its existence. Our goal was to increase these statistics by hosting a “Fallapalooza” at Morris, launching a cash-prize photo contest, and increasing the arboretum’s social media visibility.
Our “Fallapalooza” was held on Saturday, October 26th, and it provided free transportation and food for the nearly 60 students interested in seeing Morris. These students were able to explore Morris through a scavenger hunt and also have the opportunity to win $100 through a photo contest. Working with Morris has proven to be an unbelievable opportunity to collaborate with one of Penn’s many hidden gems. We have helped create a buzz on campus about Morris, while also learning what it takes to successfully accomplish a client’s goals. We have given Morris an insight into a Penn student’s perspective by revamping their social media campaign. Morris has given us insight into professionally working with a client. You can read and study all you want about leadership and “the real world,” but Morris has given my team genuine experience in business and management. Although organizing and planning Fallapalooza had many challenges, overall, our work with Morris allowed us to gain insight into being professionals.
We were able to build on the momentum Fallapalooza gave us by running our photo contest, in which the winner won $100 and a feature on Morris Arboretum post cards, building social media presence, and getting more students to go to Morris. We encourage you to escape to Morris – we hope to see you there.
Escape@Morris photo contest entries: