Imagine starting an MBA program without that awkward first day of introductions or those moments when you aren’t sure where to sit or who to meet. Imagine your first interaction with your classmates being virtual — seeing a tiny picture on a screen — and having to form all of your personal, professional and academic relationships from this virtual reality. These are the real hurdles our Class of 2022 has had to face in starting their Full-Time MBA journey within the virtual space.
Now, take a second and remember those events that helped shape your standout MBA memories: perhaps tailgates, happy hours, game nights or an informal night out with classmates. These are all events that the MBA Association crafts to ensure that its students maintain a steady balance of professional, academic and personal relationship building. COVID-19 and the inability to meet in person has made this skill-building particularly challenging.
These are the cards that were dealt to the MBAA when Danielle Chatman-Moore ’21 took over the presidential reins in spring 2020. She shared, “During this time, it’s comforting to be a leader. That may be my innate nurturing instincts, but I find it gives me hope to think about our MBA community. I’m constantly thinking about how everyone is doing. How are they experiencing the year? What do they miss most?” This is the attitude and care she has taken to incentivize her current executive board to churn out an impressive 30+ events this semester.
Some of the MBAA events with the largest turnout each year are the company-sponsored tailgates. Because of COVID-19, the typical large tailgates were not feasible. Thinking outside the box, the organization created a drive-through tailgate experience. The MBAA partnered with a local restaurant to provide hot food for members to drive through and receive on a Sunday NFL game day.
Halloween also looked a little different this year. MBAA hosted a virtual showing of some spooky holiday favorites and helped the class sleuth out a “murderer” during its virtual murder mystery party. Throughout the semester, alum Lexi Lear (MBA ’20) and Lea Mavar ’21 gave back through their Zumba skills in hosting weekly virtual dance classes, helping current students shake out the tension and fatigue associated with online classes.
The Broad MBAA has gone the extra mile through its monthly career panels and chats with Broad MBA Alumni, in partnership with the Russell Palmer Career Management Center. Varun Garla ’21 has hosted three panels ranging in topic from networking to hiring in a recession and being hired in a recession. Current students heard stories and received advice from TZ Shen (MBA ’09), Brian Pease (MBA ’09), Paul Hobson (MBA ’09), Kirk Lee (MBA ’08), Abhinav Iyer (MBA ’19) and Anand Iyer (MBA ’09). These panels were held over lunch and were well attended by current students interested in learning from our incredible alumni.
Thanks to the MBAA and its initiatives, our current students have been able to connect outside the confines of the virtual classroom. As we look to the spring semester, the MBAA has already begun planning new, exciting virtual ventures that promote safety and relationship building for our students.
If you are interested in partnering with the Broad MBAA for future virtual events, please reach out to the organization via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.