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Outside the Classroom: Extracurriculars at the Top Executive MBA Programs
When comparing the top five executive MBA programs, all are exceptional in academic rigor and their well-respected faculty. But what happens in the classroom is only one aspect of a top EMBA program. Read on to get a taste of how the experience outside the classroom sets each of the top five EMBA programs apart.
The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania
Wharton, ranked as the number one EMBA program by U.S. News & World Report, prides its students on excelling both inside and outside the classroom. With over 100 clubs at the Philadelphia campus dedicated to professional interests, culture, hobby, community service or athletics, there is something to touch every student’s interests. You might find interest in the Wharton Wellness & Yoga Club, the Chocolate Club, Veterans Club or Fight Night. If there’s a slim chance that none of these meet your interests, each year’s clubs are formed based on student interests ¬— so if you can’t join it, create it!
Wharton has also catered many extracurriculars toward three main areas: leadership, social impact, and entrepreneurship. To exercise leadership, Wharton implemented the original and highly popular Wharton Leadership Ventures, which takes students on a journey into the outdoors for a hands-on learning experience to master teamwork and leadership abilities. Last year alone, nearly 1,000 Wharton MBA students participated. Certain leadership ventures are catered specifically to EMBA students.
For the entrepreneurial mind, there’s Wharton Venture Initiation Program (VIP), where students are given the resources to build their own startup venture. And finally, for those who value philanthropy and volunteerism, there’s the Social Impact Student Club or the Wharton International Volunteer Program, where students travel to developing countries to make a sustainable impact on local non-governmental organizations.
Columbia Business School at Columbia University
At Columbia, extracurricular activity is characterized by student leadership. Over 100 clubs at the Ithaca campus are student-led, including the Green Business Society, the Micro-Brew Society or the Columbia Finance Organization – all of which are open to any Columbia students.
Apart from the broad range of student clubs and the regular series of fun and educational events, Columbia executives thrive in leadership and community service. The Student Leadership and Ethics Board is composed of first- and second-year MBA and EMBA students who work with alumni, faculty and students to create programs focused on ethical decision making and just leadership. Such events can include film screenings, guest speakers or experiential learning activities.
In a similar vein focused on justice and ethics, the Honor Board is composed of representatives selected from each cluster to serve on a committee that works closely with the school to resolve any violations of the honor code.
Community service activities of popular note also include the Small Business Consulting Program, where businesses partner with students to receive guidance in problem solving, or Community Action Rewards Everyone (CARE), which teams students up throughout the year to serve on special community service projects.
Sloan School of Management at MIT
Sloan is unique in that its students lead some of the largest events of its kind in the United States. With EMBAs and MBAs on one campus, student-led clubs such as the Venture Capital Private Equity Club or the MIT Media & Entertainment Club attract a huge population of future business leaders who exercise their leadership by throwing conferences and local engagements. Still, even more events are led by the student government and academic departments. Last year, the student-led MIT Sloan Sports Analytics conference brought over 1,000 attendees. The MIT Gaming Conference represented one of Sloan’s biggest student-led events as well, attracting over 400 students and professionals in the gaming industry for a four-day event.
Aside from a broad range of events and clubs, Sloan’s competitions are equally as popular. The MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition is one of the most monumental competitions of the year. The experience takes a year from start to completion and allows students to bring their original ideas to fruition, resulting in a $100K payout for the winning team. To date, more than 130 companies have been created from the 100K Competition.
Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago
Competitions at Booth not only give executive students a leg up in adding to a repertoire of impressive accomplishments; it teaches executives to work as a team and use each person’s skill sets to pull together excellent results. Students have participated in many MBA events including the Venture Capital Investment Competition, IPO Challenge, and Social New Venture Challenge. However, one of the most popular competitions at booth is the New Venture Challenge, sponsored by Booth’s own Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship. Since 1996, the New Venture Challenge has helped launch over 90 companies through funding, including Braintree and Bump Technologies.
Aside from competitions, Booth offers clubs for every interest – from Christians in Business and the Warren Buffett Club to the Chicago Booth Basketball Club.
Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University
Whether at the Miami or Evanston campus, Kellogg EMBA students get a rich MBA experience from outside the classroom. From the Evanston campus, executive students are exposed to the rich variety of student-led clubs including the High-Tech Club, Net Impact Club and Consulting Club. Although the clubs are based on the Evanston campus, they and all resources are available to all Kellogg students.
Additionally, one of the key areas that sets Kellogg apart outside of the classroom is in philanthropy. Kellogg students highly value the concept of giving back. Kellogg Volunteers (KVOL) promotes volunteerism no matter where your home campus is based. The purpose of KVOL is to both identify and encourage outreach for volunteer opportunities for Kellogg students, as well as provide any support necessary to volunteers. As one of the top EMBA programs in the country, the opportunities explored inside the classroom only skim the amount of opportunities that can be found outside the classroom.
Dr. Shel (Shelly Watts)
President, MBA Admit.com