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B-school Clubs -- waste of time???

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B-school Clubs -- waste of time??? [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2007, 07:41
The people I've talked to in b-school all say the same thing: There's just so much going on between studying, guest speakers and presentations, there are clubs, social events, blah blah blah...there's not enough time for everything you want to do.

So here's my take on things: I really like to sleep. I'm not lazy, but I'm not someone who can function on four hours of sleep. I can do that for a few nights, but overall I need to average at least like seven hours.

So when I go to school I'll be totally psyched to get involved with clubs that involve my interests (consulting and healthcare) because my goal is to land a job after school. While joining the basketball and surfing and culinary delights clubs would be nice, I kind of feel like that would be wasting precious time. And I kind of feel like being the treasurer of the consulting club, or being the guy who organizes a trip to the Himalayas would be a big waste of time too.

Do you guys think employers care how involved you were with clubs and such? I feel like I'd rather spend my time going to corporate sponsored dinners and doing things like that so I have more interview opportunities.

I realize that something like the basketball club can be viewed as an opportunity to meet more classmates and expand your network, but I'm curious what you all think, how do you plan to spend your time? Is it a waste of time to show "leadership" potential by organizing trips and being involved in this type of stuff?

Hope this doesn't sound too cynical, just trying to be pragmatic about making the most of my time at school.
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Re: B-school Clubs -- waste of time??? [#permalink] New post 28 Jan 2009, 11:11
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Put it this way.

5-20 years from now, who are you likely going to remember more and who will cause your eyes to light up and for you to smile the moment you pick up the phone and realize it's them (or if you bump into them on the street, at a wedding/funeral, in a restaurant, on vacation, etc.):

(a) The guy/gal you did mock interviews with in the "consulting club" or "private equity club" or even your fellow officer in that club, OR

(b) The guy who helped you learn how to skate in the Ice Hockey Club as you fell on your ass over and over, or the group of people you learned skydiving with in the Mile High Club, or the guy who you played drunk basketball with in intermurals

Join the "professional/industry" clubs merely to get on their email lists where you can get job postings that are emailed directly to the club.

But spend most of your time on the "fun clubs" because that's where you will develop the long-lasting relationships (or should I say friendships).

You are more likely to help a friend than a "business contact". That's what networking and relationship-building really is about.

Why do you think so much business no matter where you are in the world is conducted over a meal? Or on the golf course, or sailing, or doing some sort of leisurely activity? Because it's that medium that allows you to really connect with the other person on a human level. It's harder to do that in the sterile environment of a conference room or office building.

It's these very human and so-called "lesiurely" or "social" activities where you really forge trust. In the west, it's usually sports - golf, seeing a basketball/baseball game, etc. In Asia, it's the karaoke bars and other "extracurricular" activities.

Developing a level of informality with the other person even if you're both "working on behalf of your respective companies" matters. It matters in geopolitical diplomacy, it matters in the corporate boardroom, and it matters in school.

"Having fun" is NOT a waste of time at all. If you're focusing only on formalities and functional things, you are missing out on what business is *really* about - not just in school, but in your career.
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 [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2007, 15:55
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I'm going to get an MBA for two reasons. 20% is to learn. 80% is to network. I can learn how to do things on my own time, and I'm far more likely to learn applicable skills in the workplace than by figuring out the probability of rolling dice. Moreover, I've seen it again and again and again - its not what you know, it's who you know. Connections have gotten me jobs, they've opened doors for friends, they've increased my salary, they got my fiance her job, etc etc etc. I'd rather walk out knowing a bit less finance but having thirty strong connections than walk out with a strong academic understanding of finance, and no connections.
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 [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2007, 10:20
Yeah, I'm concerned about this as well. I'm not a hermit, but I totally hate hanging around just for the sake of "socializing" - I'd rather do my studies, <strike>download porn</strike> surf the Web or whatever. There are so many interesting (and useful) things to do that wasting time for community stuff looks like a crime...

(I'm not talking about charity & social activities - that's other stuff. My rant is about the "clubbing" thing.)
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Re: B-school Clubs -- waste of time??? [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2007, 10:36
Ultimately, your classmates will remember "you" and not your grades. They will remember you by the things you organzied or the the "fun" they had having you around. Don't discount the importance of networking and building lifelong friendships while at school. The single biggest advice that alums from multiple schools gave me was to enjoy the b-school experience by involving myself in as many things I can. I wouldn't worry too much about the economy or landing a job. I graduated just when the tech bubble burst and most companies were laying off by the dozens. In spite of the gloom, I was able to secure jobs at tier-I companies in my industry. Don't stress too much on landing a job...you will get one. Most employers also look for well rounded people.


johnnyx9 wrote:
The people I've talked to in b-school all say the same thing: There's just so much going on between studying, guest speakers and presentations, there are clubs, social events, blah blah blah...there's not enough time for everything you want to do.

So here's my take on things: I really like to sleep. I'm not lazy, but I'm not someone who can function on four hours of sleep. I can do that for a few nights, but overall I need to average at least like seven hours.

So when I go to school I'll be totally psyched to get involved with clubs that involve my interests (consulting and healthcare) because my goal is to land a job after school. While joining the basketball and surfing and culinary delights clubs would be nice, I kind of feel like that would be wasting precious time. And I kind of feel like being the treasurer of the consulting club, or being the guy who organizes a trip to the Himalayas would be a big waste of time too.

Do you guys think employers care how involved you were with clubs and such? I feel like I'd rather spend my time going to corporate sponsored dinners and doing things like that so I have more interview opportunities.

I realize that something like the basketball club can be viewed as an opportunity to meet more classmates and expand your network, but I'm curious what you all think, how do you plan to spend your time? Is it a waste of time to show "leadership" potential by organizing trips and being involved in this type of stuff?

Hope this doesn't sound too cynical, just trying to be pragmatic about making the most of my time at school.
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 [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2007, 14:44
lhotseface,

While I understand the importance of socializing, I believe that not everyone can "afford" to spend a majority of their time socializing/partying/clubbing. For some people decisions such as whether or not to spend a Friday evening in the "Irish Pub" with classmates, or whether or not to go "hiking" on Saturday or whether or not to be part of the "Skiing" club could be a tough call to make. Some students from developing or third world countries have a lot at stake such as huge loans, responsibilities towards family (not just wife and children, in some cases parents as well) back home, other commitments etc. Since excessive socializing is not a given in many cultures, some might prefer to spend a Saturday afternoon simply reading journals, case books or anything that he/she might deem helpful.
The number of such clubs and activities that exist in the schools are truly overwhelming. One can't have a finger in every pie!
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 [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2007, 15:07
I am from a third world contry (BTW, what is the second world ?) and married. Heck, I came to this country armed with a few hundred dollars. Dang..that could have been good essay material ! Never thought about it that way.

Most events are extremely family friendly unless you are at an ultra urban campus such as Columbia where it is more of a commuter school. A lot of the events are sponsored and it won't cost a dime. Thinking about the MBA as merely education is a fallacy in my opinion. The technical skills acquired at most business schools can be easily picked up by spending a few months at a public library. I can know all about XYZ industry through my readings but If I can't make small talk and engage the other person in a meaningful conversation that knowledge won't help me establish any contacts to further my aspirations.

Popeye wrote:
lhotseface,

While I understand the importance of socializing, I believe that not everyone can "afford" to spend a majority of their time socializing/partying/clubbing. For some people decisions such as whether or not to spend a Friday evening in the "Irish Pub" with classmates, or whether or not to go "hiking" on Saturday or whether or not to be part of the "Skiing" club could be a tough call to make. Some students from developing or third world countries have a lot at stake such as huge loans, responsibilities towards family (not just wife and children, in some cases parents as well) back home, other commitments etc. Since excessive socializing is not a given in many cultures, some might prefer to spend a Saturday afternoon simply reading journals, case books or anything that he/she might deem helpful.
The number of such clubs and activities that exist in the schools are truly overwhelming. One can't have a finger in every pie!
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 [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2007, 16:39
Yes, technical skills could be learnt through umpteen resources but as a pottery maker even if I tell a Deloitte recruiter that I studied marketing from a helluva book like a Philip Kotler's, he won't give a damn. If I were to try and measure up to the other accounting (pre-experienced/educated) wizards in class I better get my skills together while I have all the resources in my hands reach.
So what I'm trying to say here is that not everyone would like to/could afford time to spend 5 hours a day in socializing. Ofcourse it's totally important but it's not the only thing!
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 [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2007, 18:41
Quote:
(BTW, what is the second world ?)


Back in the day, the "Second World" was the Soviet Union and those Communist countries under its influence.
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 [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2007, 22:41
I completely agree with lhotseface and Rhyme.

If my intentions was only to learn I could have stayed in my so called third world country. We all know how education is viewed in my country.

But as lhotseface puts it so nicely, if you are going to spend 100k for some information that you can learn from library, internet etc etc.. then my friend you would be wasting your time and money.

In my country getting jobs using connections is not considered good. But my friend, connections will only show you the door, opening it, is your responsibility.
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 [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2007, 01:23
jaynayak: india is getting there, that's for sure! (beeing there as 1st world economy), probably sooner than later.

if i get admited, i'll also club for a while that's for sure...
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 [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2007, 02:36
Well, I hope there is some flexibility, and my "anti-social" approach will not do me big harm. I do appreciate networking and of course it is quite an important part of what I want from an MBA, but I don't want it to be 80% of the process. Besides, I value connections made during some productive process much higher than casual chit-chat. If I work with a guy on a case, I know he's smart; but if we just share a bowling game - he might as well be a moron. (And vice versa: I don't want my bowling skills to affect my opportunities. I may be a killer at business but a total loser when it comes to recreation.)
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 [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2007, 02:39
As to "investing $100K in just getting knowledge you could pick up in a library" - I personally mostly want to invest into a "elite MBA" bumper sticker, that in itself is a great opportunity to make a job level leap and a possible ticket to work in U.S. If I don't have the sticker, my chance is next to null.
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 [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2007, 06:18
I guess the way I've been thinking about it is there are four main elements:

1. Class/studying/group-work
2. Guest speakers/corporate sponsored dinners/"hard" clubs like consulting club, finance club
3. "Soft" clubs like Running Club, Sailing Club, Wine Tasting Club
4. Bars, Parties
5. Sleep/Life outside of b-school

And I guess the consensus is that most of us are not going to be school primarily for number one, mostly for numbers two and four? What I was getting at with my original post is that I think number three seems like a big waste of time, while the others are opportunities to network and learn, and in the case of number five, a way to keep your sanity.
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 [#permalink] New post 26 Jan 2007, 20:12
We all need to decide what we need to do to meet our goals on the career front - going to recruiter events, joining the finance club, etc. On the more personal side, if I join the wine club, it's because I like my vino and want to meet people. Good lord, don't join the sailing club if you can't swim and hate boats!

I doubt there is a set of rules for this - balance your personal needs and your career needs. And don't be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone - that's why I am going to b-school in the first place.
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 [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2007, 07:56
Yeah some good advice. Since my "comfort zone" involves getting plenty of sleep I think I won't be joining any soft clubs.

Man, all this yakking about b-school life with you guys is really getting me pumped up for leaving the rat race behind (temporarily I guess). Ever since I finished my applications it's been hard to go into work, my bosses voice sounds like nails on a chalkboard.
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Re: B-school Clubs -- waste of time??? [#permalink] New post 28 Jan 2009, 10:07
Is anyone thinking about joining any clubs in bschool?

Does it help during recruiting on your resume?

If so, which ones are the best? Which ones aren't too time consuming?

I always thought joining finance, consulting etc clubs help you with mock interviews, etc...
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Re: B-school Clubs -- waste of time??? [#permalink] New post 28 Jan 2009, 10:14
I'm definitely joining Net Impact and would even be open to starting a new club for those interested in global social issues. All of this is mainly to connect with like-minded classmates and try to help each other with securing jobs post-graduation. Personally, acquiring a new skill set is a major goal of mine during business school, so I do plan to spend a good deal of time studying. I might hit the recruiting events for free food.
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Re: B-school Clubs -- waste of time??? [#permalink] New post 28 Jan 2009, 10:21
clubs are a big part of my Bschool search. A big reason I was turned on to Kellogg was because of how their Environmental Sustainability Business Club really fit my post-MBA goals compared to such clubs at other schools.

I've always been a huge believer in the 80/20 principle (aka, if you invest yourself into something 20% of the max, you'll get 80% of the benefit), and definitely want to diversify what I get out of Bschool aside from just the classroom. I definitely plan on getting my hand in several initiatives rather than just going gung-ho into one. So I definitely will be on my school's rugby team, its social/net impact chapter, and perhaps its Latin American business club.

Disclaimer: This is coming from someone who's undergrad GPA (3.2) was on the low side compared to others here, very much so because Im definitely the type whod rather study 1 day for a test, spending the other 6 days on other activities, and get a B instead of studying for a week to get an A.
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Re: [#permalink] New post 28 Jan 2009, 11:43
[quote="lhotseface"]I am from a third world contry (BTW, what is the second world ?) and married. Heck, I came to this country armed with a few hundred dollars. Dang..that could have been good essay material ! Never thought about it that way.


[quote="Popeye"]lhotseface,

1st world refers to Western countries (ie, the United States, Western Europe, etc...) 2nd world referred to the Soviet Union and their allies (eastern bloc countries). 3rd world refers to the poorer and/or non-aligned countries (Ghana, Burkina Faso, Thailand, Nicaragua, etc...)

You're welcome.
Re:   [#permalink] 28 Jan 2009, 11:43
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