HBS is not only about business cases or the occacional party. It’s also a great place to build social relationships with a magnitude of people from different backgrounds and cultures. HBS Clubs were initiated as a great way for students with similar interests to meet. Today, there are a total of 76 student clubs at HBS (for an MBA student body of about 1800).
At the start of the new academic year all of these clubs unite in the HBS sports-centre, where the basketball courts are being transformed into a giant student club fair which can best be described as a speed-dating session between students and clubs. Some of them are industry oriented, others focus on regional/racial groups, while the rest of them organize social gatherings or sports activities. Whatever their goal, they all try to stand out on this big event in order to attract as much potential future members as possible.
To do so, some use free gifts (putting your email address down at the ‘Venture Capital & Private Equity Club’ got me a USB-stick), others just stick to the basics (the ‘Francophone Club’ advertises with the word ‘Bonjour’). And then you have those that rely on humor (the ‘Democrats Club’, which is free to join, pointed out that the ‘Republicans Club’ was charging a membership ‘tax’).
You also have the more colourful clubs such as the ‘Euro Club’, desperately trying to reposition their brand with the slogan ‘not only about parties’… yeah right! The ‘Greater China Club’ has a Panda-bear greeting all of the visitors to their stand. The ‘Rugby Club’ was showing off two solid guys wearing very tight shirts…
I’ve signed up to the mailing list of about 6-7 clubs. I’ll decide later on where I really want to invest my time and money. As most of the clubs charge a yearly membership fee of about 30$, the sum of different club memberships can become rather expensive .
Finally, here’re some clubs whose existence kind of surprised me:
- The Brew Club (about brewing, drinking or both?)
- Heard on the Street (an acapella band)
- Outdoors Club
- Texas Club
- Wine & Cuisine society (organizing wine tastings, etc)
Should I start a Belgian club?
PS: for those interested, please find the full list of HBS clubs on http://www.hbs.edu/mba/studentlife/clubs.html