We’ve only been in the Smith full-time MBA program for 9 months, and already the torch is being passed from the second years to our class. Before Spring Break, we elected a new MBA Association President and set of Vice Presidents. Now the leadership of the various clubs and associations is also in transition.
While I recognize that student elections conjure up images of study body campaigns in high school and undergrad, these positions are serious business. Firstly, the MBAA serves as the voice of the full-time program (there are also associations for the part-time programs and the MS population.) This includes providing the Dean of the Smith School and his executive leadership with feedback about the student experience, and participating in the process of continual improvement. One of the things that I like most about Smith is that this contribution is taken very seriously. The full-time MBA program at Smith is a small, but strong community – in part because of the tone set by the administration.
Clubs and associations also provide a vital role for MBAs. While you can learn an incredible amount in the classroom, clubs provide a link to the various industries that we speak of every day. They provide an opportunity for self-improvement, learning and exploration. The effort that club leaders put in is directly correlated with the benefits that the students in the community receive. It’s a system of reciprocity that makes the community engaging, and the experience a lot of fun! I’m very glad to play a small part of it as the incoming President of the Emerging Markets Association. There are many other students, if not all, that contribute. And that’s why the passing of the torch is so important: it’s passing on the responsibility to grow and foster the MBA community at Smith that we know, appreciate, and wish for in the future.