In any MBA program there are going to be some moving pieces, from classes to group meetings, and more. But a crucial part of the MBA experience is finding ways to get involved beyond the usual class requirements. Some of the most amazing experiences you’ll have may come through clubs and the opportunities they bring.
Find like-minded people within the program
Going back to school can be intimidating, and not knowing anyone in your program can make that even worse. Clubs are a great way to get to know your cohort and to find people who share your interests. Joining a club that’s focused on your concentration, such as finance or marketing, is a great way to get to know your classmates. You can share your passions for the classes and topics that most interest you, and forge deeper bonds. Maybe you’ll even meet a few great group members for that valuations class. Non-career-track clubs are also valuable opportunities to meet people with similar backgrounds that can help you feel more connected. For example, the vets club helps bring together students with shared experiences, even though their career tracks may be different.
Networking and professional development opportunities
Many of the activities and events MBA clubs host are fun. And there are also lots of professional events to participate in. Many clubs partner with companies to offer networking events, panel discussions and speakers, giving you a chance to meet people within the business community and expand your network. Their practice case interview sessions can help you hone your case interviewing skills, which can be crucial for getting that internship or full-time position. Many clubs plan treks to company headquarters that may or may not recruit regularly here at Smith. This is a great opportunity to connect with companies and really show your interest in them beyond just a blind application submission. These networking and professional development opportunities are especially helpful if you are a career-switcher. It can give you exposure to a field or industry you might not know much about, so you are more prepared when interviewing for positions in fields outside of your professional experience.
Clubs also have executive boards that offer great opportunities to develop leadership skills. In thinking about what skills you want to develop specifically, you might go for a more specific position, such as VP of marketing. Or maybe you want more general management experience, and club president appeals to you. No matter what position you want to run for, being on an executive board of a club gives you opportunities to work with people from different backgrounds, learn a new skill or further expand on your existing skill tool box. It can give you valuable experiences and stories to use in behavioral interviews and show involvement and leadership on your resume.