Ask the AdCom: What’s a Popular Annual Activity?

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: Tell us about a popular annual activity on campus.

MBA student lifeVirginie Fougea, Associate Director of Admissions at INSEAD, says: National Weeks. With more than 70 nationalities represented on our campuses, everyone is a minority at INSEAD. National weeks are events that set the INSEAD MBA experience apart from other business schools; it is the celebration of diversity.

Ten times a year, students from various countries showcase their cultural traditions to the class during a week-long celebration (food, traditional costumes, music, etc.). National Weeks happen simultaneously in Fontainebleau and Singapore.

Judi Byers, Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management, asked her students to share their favorites:

  • Peter Su, MBA ’17: Spring Formal
  • Sydney Chernish, MBA ’16: Some of our most entertaining events include Diwali, a variety show put on by the South Asian Business Club. Another is the annual Charity Auction, which raises thousands of dollars for local charities and brings out donations and bids from faculty, staff, students, and partners.
  • Najeen Riazi, MBA ’17: SO MANY.  Carnivale. Holi. Slope Day and Battle of the Brands.G
  • Daniel Greenhaw, MBA ’16: Slope Day

Rodrigo Malta, Director of Admissions at UT McCombs School of Business, says: Texas MBA International NightEach year the International MBA Student Association (IMBASA) and the Texas MBA+ Leadership Program host the largest MBA event of the year, International Night.

With almost 1,000 attendees, this event gives MBAs from all over the world an opportunity to open the doors to their culture for their classmates with a night of food, dancing, traditional games and entertainment. The evening is a multicultural celebration featuring an exciting blend of representatives from more than 20 countries. The popular event gives MBAs an opportunity to take a break from their academic rigors and discover the diversity of McCombs.

Also, Texas MBA @ SXSW: Every year, McCombs hosts a booth at SXSW Interactive and our annual McCombs E-Ship Night at this great event.  This is just another way for our alumni, current students and the Austin/tech community to connect and learn more about start ups from McCombs alumni.

Shari Hubert, Associate Dean of MBA Admissions at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business, says:

  • International Student Festival – Our MBA students host an event that celebrates the many cultures found within our student body with a day of culture, dance, and food.
  • McDonough Cup – MBA cohorts compete against one another in a weeklong series of competitions, ranging from a scavenger hunt to a cookoff to sports. The winner earns their place on the coveted McDonough Cup trophy.
  • McDonough Sippy Cup – Launched last year, this event celebrates the many families with small children within our MBA program.

Morgan Bernstein, Executive Director of Full-Time MBA Admissions at UC Berkeley-Haas School of Business, says: Some of the most popular events among our students include the annual Haas Gala in San Francisco, the Haas Talent Show which showcases the musical talent of our Dean (as well as the hidden talents of our students!); and the Dean’s Scotch Tasting fundraiser, which calls on our favorite faculty and staff to guest bartend for the evening for a good cause. From an admissions perspective, we always look forward to Days at Haas, when we get to meet our newly-admitted students and their partners.

John Roeder, Assistant Dean Graduate Admissions at SMU Cox School of Business, says: Each spring, the Cox Business Leadership Center’s Nonprofit Consulting Program pairs 35 MBA students with one of four local nonprofit organizations. Student teams work over a six-week period researching and benchmarking, gathering and analyzing data, and ultimately generating plans to solve core business challenges. At the conclusion of the program, students present these plans to staff and board members at each of the organizations.

Kelly R. Wilson, Executive Director of Admissions at CMU Tepper School of Business, says: Student-lead Global Treks often provide social networking opportunities with students, local executives, alumni and faculty. Recent Global Trek regions include: China, Dubai, Japan, India, Israel, Peru, South Africa and Morocco.

Melissa Fogerty, Director of Admissions  at Yale School of Management, says:  At Yale SOM, we host an annual celebration of our community’s cultural diversity called International Week. During this week, students enjoy global food at International Food Fest, and participate in #OneSOM activities like Global Trivia, What Not to Do in a Business Setting, and Travel Etiquette.

Isser Gallogly, Assistant Dean of MBA Admissions at NYU Stern School of Business, says: Each spring, Stern’s student government hosts “International Passport Day” — students share their country’s unique heritage through cuisine, costumes and performances in a festival on Gould Plaza.


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 who are the “must meet” professors.

Image credit: Flickr user Elitatt, CC by 2.0


(323) 934-3936

Latest Blog Post

Career Switchers, Get Ready to Chart a New Path

“FRESH IDEAS FROM THE BLACKLIGHT” SBC’s Newsletter for Professionals How many people do you know who have worked for the same organization for more than five years? Granted, doing so is not unicorn-level rare. ...