I loved participating in extracurriculars in college. I think you’ll find, as I did, that most of your future classmates did too. And, you will have the opportunity to do the same when you arrive at Columbia Business School. The student-run clubs and organizations are a wonderful supplement to business school; in fact, some of you will find that they are the best part of your entire experience. Getting involved is one of the best ways to meet second-year students, make new friends outside of your cluster, and enjoy your time beyond the classroom. Additionally, the professional clubs and organizations are a great way to prepare for and be successful in your job search!
You might have imagined much of this already. However, there are a few things that I didn’t know before, and I pass them along to you as tips and tricks to help make you more successful.
Before you arrive on campus, you’ll be able to read about each of the clubs you can join online. Some of them have more information than others online, but at least familiarize yourself with the types of different clubs and the categories they fall into (professional, interest, affinity, athletic, etc.).
Association Day (the first day you meet all the clubs) is the first Friday after school begins. And, it is a very overwhelming day. You’ll indicate interest in way more clubs than you have time to participate in. So, make a list of those you know you want to join, and stay open-minded if you see something else that sounds interesting.
The most valuable tip I can give you is this: in my opinion, you are better off to join fewer clubs and try to get involved in the leadership of those clubs than you are to join 20 different clubs and not take leadership positions in any of them. Club leadership is a wonderful way to closely work with classmates to plan events and activities for your club members and the community. The leadership positions are competitive; you’ll be vying for limited spots against other talented classmates. You might not be selected for your first choice leadership position (I wasn’t! I survived! And I got involved in other ways!). But, know that serving in club leadership is an amazing experience that will test you and push you in a different way than class work will.
There is much more to learn about clubs and organizations. As you visit campus and speak with current students, I encourage you to ask them about the clubs and organizations they are a part of. Each student at CBS has insight from their own experiences of getting involved in clubs and organizations, and each will be a valuable resource to you. And, if you find me on campus, ask me about my role on the Silfen Leadership Series Board, as Columbia Women in Business VP of Professional Development, or Hermes Society VP of Columbia Connect!