Ask the AdCom: What are the Most Popular Student Clubs?

Hey everybody! We’re back with another installment of “Ask the AdCom,” where we share a wide range of tips and advice from admissions team members from a dozen top business schools. Since AdCom members are human, too, we know our readers will enjoy seeing  a different side of what makes these guys tick.

This fun space is not really about the application process but more about real-life topics, like what’s a good book to readbest place to study, where you can find a killer meal near campus, and all the fun stuff happening at b-school that creates those lifelong, cherished memories for MBA students.

We hope you become inspired, too!

Today’s Question is: What are some fun student clubs?

Kelly R. Wilson, Executive Director of Admissions at CMU Tepper School of Business, says the most popular student clubs are the Culinary Club, Brewmeisters Club, Poker Club, Robber Barons, Tepper Cares, and the Soccer Club.

Melissa Fogerty, Director of Admissions at Yale School of Management: The Design & Innovation Club, one of the largest clubs at the SOM, introduces students to design frameworks, ideation strategies, and the value of rapid prototyping and experimentation. Through workshops, club members put their D&I and integrated MBA curriculum into action by completing real world, hands-on client projects for organizations like SYPartners and IDEO.

Their fun social events include drink and draw, game nights, Closing Bell (Thursday night happy hour), and #openEVANS. They also facilitate relationships and career opportunities with design organizations and design thinking leaders through job treks, Mock Madness, career coaching, and visiting speakers from Disney Imagineering, Dalberg Design Impact Group, PepsiCo, Citi Ventures, and others.

One of SOM’s longest-running traditions is the Internship Fund, which has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in stipends to students interning in the nonprofit and public sectors and each year subsidizes approximately 10% of the class. In 2016, 96% of the Class of 2017 supported the Internship Fund by participating in the Internship Fund Auction, Fit for Thought (a student-run Evans Hall gym), and Student Fundraising Week.

The popular, themed Internship Fund Auction is attended by over 300 students, faculty, and staff, and past auction prizes have included skydiving with a professor, a trip to a Guatemalan coffee farm and nature preserve owned by SOM alumni, a week in the Virgin Islands, cooking lessons with a professional chef, golf with Dean Snyder, and a behind the scenes look at NBA Entertainment.

Allison Jamison, Admissions Director at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business: The Wine Club is a very popular student club that hosts an Around the World event every term.  Students say it’s a great way to meet and get to know other classmates through this event in which hundreds of students participate.

There is also Fuqua Vision, our version of “Saturday Night Live,” which hosts a spoof show each term, and the Culinary Club, that hosts potlucks for those who like to cook.  The Latin American Student Association (LASA) is famous for its barbeque parties, and the Improv Club is cited by our international students as being a great way to break through communication barriers and learn some good jokes.

Morgan Bernstein, Executive Director of Full-Time MBA Admissions at UC Berkeley-Haas School of Business: We have a number of industry-specific clubs that support students in their job searches. Some of our social- and community-focused clubs include Q@Haas for LGBT students and allies; the Haas Beer Club, the Wine Industry Club, and Culinary Club which take advantage of the Bay Area’s foodie community; an Investment Club & even a Golf Club. Women in Leadership offers a fantastic community, and the Haas Partners Club welcomes students with partners and families.

John Roeder, Assistant Dean Graduate Admissions  at SMU Cox School of Business: The Cox Wine club is a popular club at Cox.  It is an educational and social origination focused on increasing students’ knowledge, respect, and enthusiasm for wine, spirits & craft beers through formal tastings, education, and networking events alongside industry professionals. Most students will be involved in intramural sports as a way to de-stress on throughout the semester.

Judi Byers, Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at Cornell’s Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management polled students for their recommendations:

  • Peter Su, MBA ’17: Johnson on Tap, Greater China Business Club
  • Sydney Chernish, MBA ’16: As former club president, my vote is for the Wine Club. We meet bi-weekly for education about wine production, tasting and the industry.
  • Najeen Riazi,MBA ’17: Wine Club for the Luxury Champagne tastings, Johnson on Tap for the social aspect, and Hispanic American Business Leaders (HABLA).
  • Daniel Greenhaw, MBA ’16: Johnson on Tap

Rodrigo Malta, Director of Admissions at UT McCombs School of Business: Some of our most popular social clubs include the Graduate Wine Club, The MBA Brew Club, and one that is uniquely Austin – The MBA Live Music Association!


It seems like most of the recommended clubs included a “spirited” theme, right? Cheers to that! Look out for the #AskAdCom in our social media channels, and we’ll see you again next week when we check in to Ask the AdCom about popular annual activities on campus.


(323) 934-3936

Latest Blog Post

Breaking Down 5 MBA Admissions Myths

Business school hopefuls, particularly those targeting elite programs, often fall prey to certain admissions myths circulating the interwebs. Today, we’re going to do a little myth-busting of five common misconceptions about the MBA application ...