Students at the Lauder Institute collaborate around a table.

The Students

Gifted and Driven

Lauder students are exceptionally academically talented. Taking on two degrees simultaneously is no small feat. Lauder students have the academic aptitude and the motivation to do the work. They commit to the program because they have a passion for operating globally and the desire to lead on a global stage.


Walk into a Lauder classroom or lecture and you will hear the diversity. English is spoken with accents of Arabic, Dutch, Fefe, French, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Polish, Russian, Serbo-Croation, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Tagalog, and other languages. Classroom discussions are enriched by the perspectives of students who have lived and worked in varying sectors and fields – from corporate jobs to government positions, from engineering to business to law – in places from New York to Nanjing. To look at their applications, you might think they had nothing in common. But what makes an applicant Lauder material is the motivation, intellectual curiosity, humility, and drive to succeed in the globalizing business world.

Globally Minded

Part of what binds us as a learning community is the understanding that you need additional languages and intercultural skills in your toolkit if you are to have a truly global mindset. And this community is nothing if not global-minded. Lauder students have advanced oral and written proficiency in one language other than English when they arrive; by graduation, they have superior proficiency in at least one other language. Moreover, they spend a minimum of ten weeks in-country while at Lauder, gaining a depth of understanding of the history, customs, economies, and business practices in their regions of concentration.


The depth of experience that Lauder students bring to the table on day one – nearly five years’ worth, on average – brings immeasurable value to the educational experience. When students bring their experience to bear on their coursework, on immersions, in casual conversation and while engaging in collaborative research projects, everyone wins.


Like most business students, the students at the Lauder Institute are highly social, engaging in the clubs and organizations of the Wharton School of Business, Penn Law, and the Penn School of Arts & Sciences. More important, they form a community unto themselves. The size of the program, which enrolls around 70 students per class, is built to create a sense of collegiality among classmates – who become part of a lifelong network.

The students of the Lauder program are perhaps the most diverse students I’ve ever encountered, in terms of their life experiences, their professional experiences, and their intellectual curiosity.
Kenric Tsethlikai, Managing Director, The Lauder Institute

Learn more about Lauder students by reading through their profiles:

Class of 2020 Bios

Class of 2021 Bios

Class Profile

The Joseph H. Lauder Institute
256 South 37th street
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Philadelphia, PA 19104-6330