The Tuesday Q&A: Should I Join a Club?

MBA FAQ, MBA frequently asked questions, bschool questions, mba questionsQuestion:

Should I join a club at my college? If I should, how do I join?

Answer:

You should absolutely join a club. In fact, depending on how much time you have, you might want to join two or three. It’s important to keep a balance between your studies and your extracurricular activities since your GPA does matter, but there are many benefits to joining a club.

Schools offer tons of different types of clubs: athletic, social, business, arts, religious, cultural, political… the list goes on. No matter what you’re interested in, you’ll definitely find at LEAST one club that caters to your specific interests and passions.

Joining a club is a great way to meet people with similar interests. College can seem like a daunting place—so many new people in a new and unfamiliar environment. You may feel awkward trying to strike up conversations with people in classes since sometimes there’s that whole “competitive vibe.” But a club naturally brings together people who share something in common and who actually WANT to share that interest with others. Clubs often hold social events, informal chats, talks, and service projects, and they are a GREAT place to meet friends.

Clubs give you an opportunity to pursue interests that you don’t have time to take classes in. So if you’re a math major who loves dancing, but the dance electives all conflict with your calculus course, join the ballroom dance club and spin around the floor every week. Another BONUS: since you’re not being graded, the pressure is off and you can just enjoy yourself.

Clubs can also be a great resource for professional networking. Many clubs (marketing, finance, entrepreneurship, etc) hold conferences or participate in competitions. This is a great way to supplement the skills you’re learning in your major with hands-on experience… and make deeper connections with the people in your field. You never know… maybe you’ll meet a boyfriend/girlfriend.

Joining clubs is easy. If you’re unsure of which clubs your school offers, attend the club fair at the beginning of the academic year and survey what’s there. Chat with some club officers and take down information on when the clubs meet. Some clubs may not have tables, so you should also check the university’s Office of Student Activities website to find a complete listing of clubs. Then, just show up to the first meeting. Chances are you won’t be the only new person there, and even if you are, they’ll be happy to have you there.

— Jon Frank

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