Student clubs in universities and business schools

Student clubs in universities

Everyone knows that student clubs in universities and schools are fun, that they help students pursue their hobbies and interests, and that they bring people together. But is there more to student clubs? And beyond school, do they have a lasting impact, or are they just stress-relievers that make sure you don’t go bust under academic pressure?
 

Benefits of student clubs on university campus

First, let’s go deeper into the advantages of being a member of a student club. As a club member, you will learn more about yourself, your interests, and your goals. You learn what your strengths are, such as multitasking, organizational ability, and service-mindedness. By interacting with other student members, you can find out what they have and you don’t, and then learn from them.

You can develop your soft skills and learn to communicate effectively to individuals and to groups. As you take on club responsibilities, you will also improve your team-building and leadership skills. The people skills you acquire will prove invaluable during your college life and life out in the real world.

Clubs add skills to your repertoire or fill in the gaps left by your classroom sessions. For example, professional clubs help you learn a thing or two from your peers in addition to what your professor taught you about a topic. Sports clubs remind you of the great outdoors when you feel you are drowning in your books and computer. Social clubs help you pursue an old hobby even while meeting new souls to hang out with.

Networking opportunities are a major benefit. Club members develop a bond among themselves, which is useful on campus but which might also come in handy as their look to start and grow their careers. Club activities involve professionals from various sectors and provide opportunities to get to know them.

You gain practical organizational experience as a club member as you will be running fundraising campaigns and events for your club or university/school. Even if you make mistakes or find that you fall short in certain aspects, you can easily correct them since it is all done on campus, unlike any slip-ups that you may make outside.

The webpage of a university student club reminds us that club activities are not all work. There is a lot of fun involved in meeting new people and learning new things. There’s probably no better way to enrich your student/campus experience than by participating in the activities of a student club.
 

Benefits of student clubs beyond school

Clubs’ role in improving school life should be a good enough justification for their existence. But do they have a practical use once a student graduates and leaves the campus?

One well-kept secret is that your club activities may make you seem a better job candidate. If you were a member of a professional club as a student, it will show recruiters that you were interested in a domain or sector right from your university days. If you were part of a sports club, then you probably have team and leadership skills; if you were a social club enthusiast, you have an interesting personality, and your future colleagues may well like to work with you.

Participating in club activities makes you an even more interesting person and brightens your CV in the eyes of the recruiter. If you get to conduct an event for your club, it will show that you can balance work and hobbies. Meanwhile, you will also be showing that you have some managerial talent that can be developed. Now think of someone who didn’t go to any club but just worked hard sitting in her room. No comparison, there.

Activities organized as a member of a university club not only help the community but look good on your resume. If you also manage to get good grades, future recruiters will know that you can do some effective multitasking. Additionally, recruiters will know that you empathize with society and less fortunate people around you and that you are a sensitive person.
 

Types and categories of student clubs

There are hardly any colleges or universities without student clubs. Some are organized around study topics and some around student interests. While most are run by students, some are managed by alumni. Whatever their shape or form, student clubs enhance the campus or university experience for students.

Most university and school clubs cover an assortment of interests. There are quite a few types of student clubs. One major category covers academic areas. For example, if you are studying business, and are especially interested in entrepreneurship, you may be able to join your school’s entrepreneurs club.

Most schools and universities have community service clubs that work on environmental, economic, social and women’s or human rights issues and strive to improve the living conditions of the destitute elderly and children.

Cultural clubs facilitate interaction between students from various regions or countries on campus. They learn the cultural traits from many nations help them understand the customs and traditions of people around the world.

Sports clubs bring athletes and sports and outdoor-activity lovers together to organize tournaments and treks. Be it ice hockey or soccer or baseball, or rappelling or mountaineering, sports clubs have a special place on every campus with the maximum number of enthusiasts.

Student government clubs make efforts to persuade their respective school boards to include their views in the school management policy. Club members who have suggestions for improving student welfare and campus life are heard more often than not, and the institution’s management may include their views.

Spiritual clubs help students from far and wide be in touch with their faith and religious customs. Students who are interested in learning about other religions also find these clubs useful.

Your university/school may also have clubs for people with various other interests, such as an aeronautics or psychology, media and publication, public-speaking and theater.

On joining a campus, enterprising students launch new clubs that cater to additional hobbies and interests. They find support from other students, professors, and their schools themselves. These new clubs further enrich student life on the campus and you only need to pick and choose.
 

Student clubs at the top business schools

Here’s a look at a few sample clubs at a few top business schools across the world.
 

Student clubs at INSEAD

INSEAD student clubs allow students to “explore and pursue new interests or old passions.” Campus activities are managed by the students’ business, sports, and social clubs with the support of the school. Fontainebleau, INSEAD’s European home, is the French capital of horse-riding and rock-climbing, while the forest close by is ideal for hiking and running.

A sample of INSEAD student clubs: Global Leadership Club; INDEVOR (INSEAD club for social impact, an affiliate of Net Impact); Private Equity Club; Fintech Club; Football Club; Sailing Club; and OUTSEAD (for the LGBT community). The sports club members—for example, those of the Rugby Club—not only do some hard training and go on tours to play local teams but also find some time for partying.
 

 
MBA Crystal Ball asked Minh Huy Lai, Managing Director – INSEAD MBA Programme, about the most popular clubs on the Singapore campus and how they help in building leadership skills. Here’s what he shared.

“The most popular student clubs by membership are: Sports (Rugby, Football) and business (Private Equity; Consulting; Women In Business; INDEVOR Social Impact; Industry; Investment Banking; Retail, Consumer and Luxury Goods; Entrepreneurship; and Technology, Media and Telecoms).”

“Student clubs help students to build connections, learn about a topic or sector and develop leadership skills,” he adds.

“During the intense 10-month programme, students have to contact companies, secure the speaker and yet manage the time with the least conflict to classes and/or other events. They have to work with fellow students who are from different career backgrounds and culture. We have weeks such as Entrepreneurship Week when club leaders have to collaborate with their peers on the other campus.”

 

Student clubs at Harvard Business School (HBS)

HBS hosts about 70 student clubs with over 200 leadership positions. The clubs “refine leadership and organizational management experience, explore interests, and make friendships that will last a lifetime,” says the HBS website. Some clubs cater to the lighter side, such as “Heard on the Street,” which organizes Winter and Spring Concerts and an event titled “Embarrassing your section-mate via serenade.” HBS recently approved the launch of new clubs Search Fund Club and CODE Club.

A sample of clubs at HBS: Aerospace & Aviation Club; Women’s Student Association; Beyond Dance Club, Blockchain & Crypto Club, Brew Club, Investment Club, Running and Triathlon Club, Salsa Society, Turnaround & Restructuring Club, and Whisky, Bourbon & Beer Society.
 

Student clubs at London Business School (LBS)

“There is always more going on than you could ever have time for,” says the London Business School web page about the school’s student clubs. The over 70 LBS clubs help students explore their interests and build bridges to the wider community. They increase learning opportunities through discussions on the latest business topics, interactions with alumni, hackathons, and career treks.

A sample of clubs at LBS: India Club, China Club, Middle East Club, and Africa and Asia Clubs (among regional clubs); Consulting Club, Emerging Markets Club, Design & Innovation Club, and Net Impact Club (among professional interest clubs); Snow Club, Squash Club, and Volleyball Club (among sports clubs); and Acting & Creative Communications Club, Board Games Club, and Debate & Public Speaking Club (among social clubs).
 

Student clubs at NYU Stern

As many as 300 student clubs, from Chess Club to Cheese Club, welcome new members every year at New York University. The various university schools have their own clubs, including the Leonard N. Stern School of Business. The clubs promote career and professional advancement and help students cultivate relationships with companies and other organizations. More than 60 percent of Stern students participate in club activities.

A sample of clubs at Stern: the Actuarial Society, Islamic Finance Group, Marketing Society, Pride Corp, Supporting Excellence and Advocating Diversity, and Undergraduate Stern Women in Business.
 

Student clubs at USC Marshall

The student clubs of USC Marshall School of Business cover a range of interests such as careers, diversity and affinity, and social and athletic pursuits.

A sample of Marshall student clubs: The Business of Entertainment Association, which helps students launch careers in the media and entertainment industry; Marshall Mobility & Automotive Club, which prepares members for careers in the “mobility industry” with electric vehicles and other technology; Marshall Hospitality and Gaming Club, which organizes a Las Vegas Trek and “Days on the Job” at companies such as Princess Cruises and Universal Studios Hollywood; South Asian Business Association, which brings South Asian diversity to Marshall; and Marshall Soccer Club, which holds tournaments for male, female, and co-ed teams from among MBA students and viewing parties for local games and international matches.
 

Student clubs at ISB

The Indian School of Business hosts two kinds of clubs: professional and social clubs. The professional clubs help students use the skills they picked up in their classrooms, develop leadership and life skills, and connect with alumni and other professionals in their field. Social clubs provide a platform to students to show their talent and get to know their classmates better.

A sample of ISB student clubs: Consulting Club; Energy Club; Manufacturing & Operations Club; Toastmasters Club; Arts & Creativity Club; Photography Club; Radio Club; and Theatre Club.
 

Student clubs at CMU Tepper

The Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business uses its 40 student clubs to help MBA hopefuls balance academics, hobbies, and social life.

A sample of Tepper student clubs: Adam Smith Society, which promotes debates and discussions on the moral, social, and economic benefits of capitalism; Black Business Association, which devotes itself the advancement of its diverse membership; Culinary Club, which brings students together through food; Endurance Club; which encourages biking, hiking, and distance sports; Racquet Club, which helps members learn and play racquet sports; and STARS, which educates students about careers in space technologies.
 

Student clubs at CEIBS

The China Europe International Business School sees the activities of its student clubs as an extension of classroom programs. Social, athletic, and professional clubs bring students together to provide leadership opportunities and develop managerial experience, with the added benefit of improving their campus experience.

A sample of CEIBS MBA students’ clubs: Family Business Club, which creates a life-long professional forum to create and develop family businesses; Management Consulting Club, which puts students in touch with educational and career opportunities in consulting; and Leisure Club, which runs fun and sports activities such as Basketball Cup, Desert Race, Dragon Boat Competition, Movie Nights, and Cocktail and Wine Tastings.
 

Tips for new students interested in student clubs

A blogger provides a couple of tips about club memberships. He points out that new students, on their entry to school or university, usually encounter some hard canvassing by club members scouting for fresh club enrolments. There may be a fee for enrolment, which need to be paid upfront, for meeting club expenses such as seminar, discussions, and other events. New students would do well to compare their interests with club activities before signing up and paying the membership fee.

New students may also be tempted to accept club leadership positions. But they should be wary of overcommitting themselves, as they are likely to be burdened by academics, social events, and networking, and may hardly have much time to spare.

Also read these interesting articles on life on campus.
 
References: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13


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4 Comments

  1. Shraddha says:

    I am currently doing my graduation( B.Sc Chemistry honors) and want to pursue MBA in future.I have got a job offer of a Business Development Associate that includes Revenue generation,emails,database management,clients follow ups and cold calling.So,is it better to go for the job ,take some experience or directly pursue an MBA after my graduation?
    Also ,this experience would help me in which field of MBA?

  2. Mayank says:

    Hi Sameer,

    Let me first start with my career profile introduction and then will ask the doubt.

    10th Standard: 69% (CBSE)
    12th Standard: 73% (CBSE)
    Academics: B.E (Electronics and Communication) – 76.59%(H) – 2009 Passed Out
    9 Years of IT Experience (Oracle Supply Chain Management Consultant)

    I can feel that in IT industry there is hardly any growth and charm left and there is lot more I can do. Life in IT industry is getting monotonous and over that IT industries are very much volatile in nature.

    I want to get into Sales/Marketing for FMCG/FMDG, Supply Chain, Operations etc or any other industry with lots of opportunities and growth.

    Do suggest what do you think will be best for my career and the way it can be achieved. There are many things (MBA/ICWA/Others) in my list but I’m not sure which path I shall start working on.

    Thanks!

    Mayank

  3. Sanghamitra says:

    Hello Sir,
    I graduated in 2011 with a B.Tech computer science degree. My grades were decent. I worked for 5 years in two IT companies. I was really good at my work. I was a developer. I got married and moved to a middle eastern country to stay with my husband. I could not work for one year due to visa restriction. After that it was mostly because there were no opening related to my experience. Whenever I tried to apply for job, I was rejected because of no relevant experience in that technology or else the opening was mostly for male candidates. I tried reaching English at a institute for two months. I also worked at a start-up for 1.5 months as a documentation job. I tried to take care of my health. I read a lot of food and lifestyle health issues. I learnt to cook, bake. I also tried to start a baking business. I tried to learn Italian for 1 month. By the end of two years I was sure I wanted to go back to corporate work life. I started preparing for all MBA entrance exams. Now how do I explain this gap during MBA interview. I do not have any certification, but I surely learnt much more about the world around than I did when I was working.

  4. Sameer Kamat says:

    @Shraddha: Better to take up the job and work for a few years. What you’re doing will fall in the general domain of marketing. There’s much more that you can explore in that space apart from the sales oriented profile you currently have.

    @Mayank: Here are two article that may be of interest to you:

    Career change options after MBA for software engineers:
    https://www.mbacrystalball.com/blog/2015/11/26/career-change-options-after-mba-for-software-engineers/

    Alternative career options for software engineers with higher education: https://www.mbacrystalball.com/blog/2017/12/29/alternative-career-software-engineers-higher-education-options/

    @Sanghamitra: We’ve written about how to handle gaps in your education and career in MBA essays:
    https://www.mbacrystalball.com/blog/2016/04/01/how-to-handle-career-gaps-in-mba-applications/

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