Why Clubs Matter in Choosing an MBA Program
Test scores. Graduation rates. Job prospects.
These are all important things to look for when deciding on an MBA program.
But the most overlooked? Student clubs.
Ilana Kowarski, a reporter at US News, recently spoke to experts on why student clubs count when choosing MBA programs.
“Clubs are very important and should definitely factor into an applicant’s research and choice, but given that business school is a major investment, clubs should not outweigh academic rigor, the strength (and connectedness) of the alumni network, and the program’s job placement track record for your desired industry,” Rebecca Horan, a brand strategist who received her MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business and later served as a Stern admissions officer, tells US News.
One of the best ways to make connections in b-school is to join a student club.
“Business schools are typically home to an eclectic group of student-run organizations, including clubs that focus on cultivating a specific type of business skill, like investing, and clubs that focus on socializing with people who share a hobby in common, such as skiing,” Kowarski writes.
Additionally, according to Kowarski, students can find affinity groups that align with their background.
“These affinity groups allow MBA students who come from underrepresented backgrounds to forge friendships and professional relationships with one another in a supportive and affirming social environment,” she writes.
Joining clubs can help you build not only your professional network, but your personal one too
“It’s helpful for networking, but I think it’s more helpful though for students feeling socially connected with each other,” Jack J. Baroudi, a professor and senior associate dean for academic programs at the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, tells US News. “So, for instance, we have an international student association in the business school and that becomes a very important place for our new international students to come in and say, ‘What is school like in the United States? What is business school like?’ and to meet their fellows who come in from their own country, but maybe also from other countries.”
Finding Your Career Interest
While the classroom can offer you a perspective into a certain subject, student clubs can present opportunities to actually see a career in practice.
“For MBA students who arrive at business school unsure of what career they want to pursue after they receive their MBA degree, student clubs offer exposure to a plethora of industries and business functions,” Kowarski writes. “That can help students discover the types of jobs that are the best fit for their talents and interests.”
Additionally, finding the right club can help you prepare for the job search.
“Some industry-related clubs will develop their own resume guides, conduct mock interviews, and undertake various other activities to compliment the work of career services,” Alex Brown, an MBA Admissions Expert at Clear Admit, tells Metro MBA. “So, it’s pretty important to engage with the clubs that relate to your MBA career goals.”