Best MBA Traditions At Top Business Schools

Fight Night is a student-run Wharton vs. Penn Law boxing event that takes place every March, with all event proceeds donated to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Philadelphia. Penn Fight Night has raised more than $600,000 over the past 15 years to benefit the clubs, which offer a variety of services to youth in the most impoverished communities of Philadelphia. The event brings members of the broader Penn community together for a cause that benefits the broader community we are a part of – Philadelphia, which also happens to be Rocky Balboa’s hometown.”
Orlando Gutiérrez, Wharton School


Emory Goizueta Business School

“My favorite MBA tradition at my business school is the annual Goizueta Gives partnership with 21st Century Student Leaders. Goizueta Gives is one of our clubs that promotes community involvement and organizes community service opportunities for our classmates. 21st Century Leaders inspire high school students to leverage diversity and to become leaders within their schools. Each year, they partner to host a case competition on Goizueta’s campus for high school students. During this case competition, I was able to coach a team of six students and watch them ideate and make recommendations on a real-world problem. They were so enthusiastic while presenting to our judges and it filled my heart with joy!”
Catie Mannarino, Emory University (Goizueta)


“In terms of events, I loved the ESADE TechTalks, an event that leverages the knowledge of MBA students to discuss cutting-edge technologies and their impact on society and business. This year, we learned about Art and A.I., the Digital Transformation of Music, and the Commercialization of Outer Space in a highly entertaining and dynamic format. This illustrates the breadth of knowledge and experiences of the ESADE MBA student body. If I could also choose a minor tradition that makes my day, it would be opening my eyes to the multilingual “good mornings” classmates have shared in our WhatsApp chat every single day for the past 18 months.”
Angeliki Malizou, ESADE


Tuck Talks is a once-in-a-semester intimate storytelling session where six Tuckies stand before the school to share their souls. From heartwarming tales of a family united to heartbreaking sagas of personal loss, it is the epitome of the Tuck fabric. It reflects the nature of our intimate community and Tuck’s lean-in culture of vulnerability and trust.”
Kevin Yuan, Dartmouth College (Tuck)


Ringing the Bell! When someone accepts an offer for a job or internship, he or she rings a bell with colleagues and friends. I love celebrating people’s accomplishments, so it’s been a joy to have a Scheller tradition centered on cheering each other’s big wins. It is such a boisterous representation of the collaborative, supportive community at Scheller. I’ve sat through many interviews with classmates where we both knew we were competing for an offer. While I know in many contexts this would create an air of secrecy and competition, at Scheller we work together to ensure we all look and perform our best. This type of collaboration is a primary characteristic of this program, and I have been thrilled and honored to perpetuate it while here.”
Nona Black, Georgia Tech (Scheller)


“My favorite tradition was the Cultural Nights that classmates organized. Events such as Korean Night, Taiwan Night, Indian Night, and Japanese Night reflected the diversity of our class. We tasted Taiwanese food, participated in Indian dances, watched Japanese sumo wrestling, and sang K-pop while eating fried chicken. I also had the opportunity to contribute to this by helping to organize a German Night. I have never felt more German than when I was at the supermarket buying tons of ground pork and potatoes – and barely ever felt more exhausted than when we were at the kitchen turning these ingredients into delicious potato salad and frikadellen.”
Andreas Glaefke, CEIBS


“A simple event that I believe really captures the Kelley spirit is the Kelley Little Little 500. Before the famous Indiana University Little 500 Bike Race (the inspiration for the Academy Award-winning movie, Breaking Away), Kelley hosts its own mini version on the quad, where students and faculty are teamed in groups of four to race tiny tricycles in lieu of bikes. Where else will you find professors pedaling their hearts out on tricycles alongside students, with indistinguishable cheers coming from a raucous crowd of students? I still have a photo on my phone of the chair of the MBA program holding the Golden Wheel after his team beat out the all-student team in the final round. The commitment Kelley faculty have to the MBA experience is completely unmatched and an event like this accurately captures it.”
Kofi Barko, Indiana University (Kelley)


“My favorite tradition at Fuqua is the section Friendsgiving. During my first year at Fuqua, my entire section gathered to celebrate Thanksgiving and share a meal with one another. We all shared the things that we were thankful for and shared family recipes with each other. All the domestic students shared their Thanksgiving traditions with the sections and the kids of one of our section mates challenged each other over the wishbone. It was a great time to share our stories and enjoy an evening with each other. We repeated this with our First-Year Section in 2019 and there were over a 100 people who gathered to celebrate our first family within Fuqua.”
Sahana Qaundinya, Duke University (Fuqua)


Oxford Matriculation is an ancient, strange, and ultimately quite a silly tradition in which we all dress up in full-length academic robes and march to an old theatre where university administrators incant Latin at us to initiate us into the University. What’s great about it is you’re going through a bizarre, shared tradition with the people who are quickly becoming your new best friends, and there’s a massive, wacky photoshoot afterward in the main square complete with champagne and throwing of mortars boards. As great as matriculation was, I suspect my favourite event will change after we perform in the Battle of the Bands at the upcoming MBA Tournament in Paris in May!”
Eli Mitchell-Larson, University of Oxford (Said)


“The Charity Auction Ball (CAB) is my favorite event at Kellogg. CAB is an annual ball organized and hosted by students in which Kellogg students, faculty, and staff auction off their talents, creativity, and resources to raise money for local charities.

The student body works together to carefully select and partner with a few charities that resonate with the ‘give back’ outlook at Kellogg. The event embodies the best of Kellogg: leveraging the connectivity and passions of the Kellogg community into making a tangible impact on the greater Chicago area.”
Amar Dixit, Northwestern University (Kellogg)



“My favorite event at Rice Business is the Annual International Partio. It is a huge event where the entire Rice Business community comes together to celebrate the different parts of the world we all come from and represent. Whether it is India, Mexico, China, or Texas, Rice realizes that everyone has unique differences and cultures that make you who you are and that it is worth celebrating. It is a full night of local and international foods, music, and dancing. The night starts off with visiting booths tasting amazing food from 20+ countries or states. Then once everyone has tasted all they can, the night ends with an evening of performances.

For this event last year, nearly my entire family flew in from Utah to support me in giving my classmates a taste of the Tongan culture and heritage. My mom and grandma did all the Tongan cooking, and my brother, sister, brother-in-law, and nephew came to help serve the food and perform a couple of Tongan musical numbers. It was a special event where I was able to mix both of my families: my immediate family and my Rice family.”
Doug Fiefia, Rice University (Jones)


“My favorite MBA event at business school is Diwali, the Festival of Lights in India. At the USC Marshall School of Business, the attendance at the Diwali celebration is attended by between 150-200 people. It is a highly multicultural event, where the diversity of students is represented in attendance. For me, this is a chance to showcase my own culture and also be a Bollywood dance performer. I love to be able to share this part of my life with the student body, and it warms my heart every year.”
Komal Shah, USC (Marshall)


Formal Dinners are my favourite tradition at Cambridge Judge. We are part of 31 colleges. Each college has their unique traditions and we are able to bond through traditional formal dinners. Besides, this gave me an opportunity to step away from my casual Californian lifestyle and embrace 1,000-year-old traditions and old-world charm.”
Melony Mahaarachchi, University of Cambridge (Judge)


Passport Day is my favorite Stern tradition – and not just because it’s the day with the best food! Each year, student volunteers represent their heritage or country of origin at tables arrayed around a large tent in our plaza, serving food, wearing traditional dress, and sharing elements of their culture. Many student groups perform; highlights from last year included Chinese yo-yo, Argentine tango, and choreographed dances by the South Asian Business Society. It’s a wonderful community event where students can share part of their life experience outside the classroom and welcome partners and kids to share in the fun.”
Rebecca Dewey, New York University (Stern)


Go to next page for favorite traditions at Michigan Ross, Wharton, Virginia Darden, and MIT Sloan.

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