The attraction of the MBA club and why you should join |

The attraction of the MBA club and why you should join

By Laura L

Updated July 27, 2022 Updated July 27, 2022

A big part of the MBA experience is taking part in student clubs; well-oiled organisations run by students for students to expand your network, connect you with job opportunities and provide hands-on leadership experience beyond the classroom.  

Unlike the typical undergraduate clubs and societies that focus on social and recreational activities, MBA clubs give students the opportunity to plan, deliver and benefit from a programme of professional activities including networking, guest talks, skills sharing, company visits, conferences and recruitment events.

Studying at a top-ranked business school comes with many benefits including world-renowned business knowledge, access to high profile industry contacts and some of the most active and well-connected MBA clubs.  

TopMBA spoke to four MBA students about their involvement in business school clubs.

An opportunity to test your leadership 

A profile picture of Bernice Lee

Two years before Bernice Lee began her MBA at HEC Paris, she knew she wanted to become president of the HEC Retail & Luxury Club. Now an MBA graduate, Bernice can affirm that leading the club was the standout experience of the programme.  

“Leading the HEC Retail & Luxury Club was an incredible opportunity to inspire, educate and collaborate with my classmates. It pushed me to step into my own leadership potential, to take ownership of something real – something that my cohort relied on as part of their experiences too.   

“As president, I planned a programme of events and activities that went beyond simply networking. The club gave me the ability to build a vision and mission, and to go out and create opportunities in my chosen industry, with the agency and brand name of my institution behind me. 

“It was hard work, but a highly rewarding experience that furthered my leadership skills, exposed me to many industry contacts and gave me valuable challenges to overcome,” she said.   

Bernice isn’t the only one to hold club participation in such high regard.  

Liaise with alumni and industry contacts 

For Aishwarya Shinde, who studies at Alliance Manchester Business School, taking part in MBA clubs has provided a much broader network of alumni who work for high profile companies around the world.  

Aishwarya is president of the Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) Club and a member of the Consulting Club at Alliance Manchester. She said: “I’ve developed amazing relationships with alumni who have now become amazing mentors to me. They have helped me with my internship interviewing process and have been guiding me in using my MBA to its best.” 

As president of the TMT Club, Aishwarya helps her coursemates to better understand tech to enhance their learning on the MBA programme. Gauging what skillsets and support the cohort needs, she can devise a plan to support them best.  

This skill in understanding what her team needs from their experience is helping Aishwarya to grow as a leader in her industry. She said: “I’ve learned what it means to be a leader in tech within a diverse setting.  

“When I first started, there were many concepts of technology that were alien to the cohort, but we eventually aced the art of teaching tech solutions to people who come from completely non-tech backgrounds. It taught me the art of simplifying things and explaining them – a truly underrated skill.” 

The chance to try something new 

A profile picture of Michelle Tang

Michelle Tang is an MBA student at Imperial College Business School and president of the Fast-moving Consumer Goods, Luxury and Retail Careers Club. As part of her role as president, Michelle had the chance to assemble a committee who worked closely to develop a vision and strategy for the club.  

“Together, we planned, organised end executed events including hackathons for our members,” she said. “We held a student-led conference and innovation hackathon around sustainability in retail, where more than 100 students took part over three days.”   

It was the first time Michelle had organised a conference, or a hackathon, but the support of Imperial College Business School gave her the space to experiment. “It felt surreal to jump in and try something new. It was a lot of effort to get everything in place, but we were finally able to succeed and hold a great event. One of the students who attended even said it was the best hackathon experience she’d had. 

“Imperial is like a safe testing ground for us to incubate and experiment ideas before bringing them forward to the real world. We’re able to test out how viable an idea is, get constant feedback and repivot if needed.”

Get to grips with your career

A profile picture of Subhankar

Subhankar Agrawal is completing his MBA at the Indian School of Business, where he takes part in multiple clubs alongside his studies, including the Consulting Club and the Marketing Club.

Subhankar’s main reason for joining the clubs on offer was to gain further insight into the career he wants to pursue. He said: “I think the most important reason to be actively involved in a club is to learn about the role and industry you’re interested in faster.

“The clubs take a lead in organising peer to peer learning opportunities, passing on study materials and wisdom through experience. It helps you to get a jumpstart on industry knowledge that comes in handy during job interviews.”  

As Marketing and Communications Coordinator for the Net Impact Club, Subhankar is putting the lessons he’s learning in the classroom into a real-time role, with the support of the business school. 

He said: “The role has allowed me to execute the theoretical ideas we learn in class. It has helped me to maintain a practical experience and to understand the trends, techniques and direction of the industry I want to work in.”

This article was originally published in July 2022 .

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