“I wanted a program where I could apply my engineering background to finance. But, I also wanted a program with the freedom to learn what I wanted to learn, that didn’t pigeonhole me.”
Cultural, Regional, Religious, and Personal Affiliation Clubs
The sheer diversity of students at MIT translates to an abundance of choices when it comes to cultural club options at MIT Sloan. Whether students come from a similar regional background or simply share a passion for a particular part of the world, numerous groups supply exciting opportunities to immerse yourself in the social, business, economic, and political aspects of a number of geographic regions worldwide. In addition, clubs have formed at MIT Sloan to meet the needs of minorities, significant others, the LGBT communities, veterans, and those of various religious affiliations. Following are descriptions of just a few of the cultural and personal affiliation clubs found at MIT Sloan:
Africa Business Club
The MIT Sloan Africa Business Club (ABC) strives to build awareness of Africa’s future promise, while increasing investment in Africa’s consumer, agricultural, natural resource, and infrastructure sectors. The ABC also works to spread information about MIT locally in Africa, and to act as a resource for prospective graduate business students who may be interested in attending MIT Sloan. Through their objectives and activities, the ABC serves as a catalyst in uniting MIT Sloan alumni who are in Africa, or who are of African descent. In 2011, the Club organized the inaugural MIT Sloan Africa Conference with the theme “Africa 2.0: Achieving Growth through Innovation.” The conference attracted nearly 300 attendees and brought together a mix of speakers and panel sessions, covering areas of innovation in Africa such as Technology, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Media & Entertainment, Energy, and Mobile/Telecoms. The conference also featured the Africa Innovate Business Plan Competition, aimed at spotlighting and rewarding innovative business ideas with the potential to change the face of the continent. The ABC also sponsors treks to Africa, runs a bimonthly speaker series, and hosts C-Functions, which are hugely popular events organized to promote cultural sharing, often through dance, food, and fun.
MIT Sloan Latin Business Club
The MIT Sloan Latin Business Club has members from Mexico, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Chile, Peru, Argentina, Uruguay, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, and the United States. The Club sponsors the annual Latin American Conference, the oldest conference of its kind among U.S. universities. Past conferences have attracted influential Latin American business leaders, government figures, and academics. Attendees address and debate the unique opportunities and challenges Latin American countries face to develop clean, diversified sources of energy; leverage natural resources sustainably; and initiate development and integration to shape the future of the region. The Club also helps students forge relationships with Latin American alumni, recruiters, and organizations through its speaker series, recruiting events, and its many networking and social gatherings, such as the Latin Mixer co-hosted with Harvard Business School and Wharton.
Significant Others of Sloan
The Significant Others of Sloan (SOS) Club is an organization dedicated to providing events and activities for all significant others (SOs) and family members of MIT Sloan students. Club members enjoy numerous networking events — such as jazz nights, wine tastings, museum tours, art shows, weekend trips, athletic events, happy hours, and cuisine nights — designed to forge connections with other MIT Sloan SOs, the broader MIT community, and others in the Greater Boston area. The Club holds both daytime and nighttime activities, and strives to offer something to meet everyone’s busy schedules. Club members also help each other connect to a wide array of professional, academic, travel, and volunteer opportunities. Links found on the Club’s website cover everything from information about moving to Boston to options for health insurance, housing, transportation, education, and leisure-time activities. The SOS Club also spawns special-interest subgroups, such as children’s gatherings, book clubs, and groups with interests in everything from dogs to movies to weekend outings.
Sloan Women in Management
Sloan Women in Management (SWIM) works to build a vibrant community that supports and celebrates women as they progress toward their career and personal goals. SWIM held its inaugural MIT Sloan Women in Management Conference in March 2011, featuring professional panels covering a comprehensive slate of topics, including leadership styles, professional mentorship, launching a business, energy and sustainability, social enterprise and nonprofit ventures, power couples, and philanthropy. SWIM also displays a more playful side by hosting themed events for students, significant others, and their children, such as the Awesome '80s Prom C-Function held in 2010 — replete with an '80s cover band and lots of shoulder pads! SWIM also organizes Fashion Forward, a fashion show featuring the women of MIT Sloan, which has included presentations on the importance of cultivating a professional image. In addition, SWIM organizes and hosts the annual Celebration Brunch to recognize the achievements of women at MIT Sloan. Past keynote speakers have included Andrea Jung, chairman and chief executive officer of Avon Products, and Ellyn McColgan, senior executive in the financial services industry. Members of SWIM also have access to mentors, and can attend workshops offered throughout the year on topics such as negotiation, wellness, and networking. Download the Women of MIT Sloan Brochure for more information.
“I knew about American business, but not enough about what’s really become a global economy. … You can read about it all you want, but there’s no substitute for being there and seeing the context and seeing how completely different these [other countries] are.”
“Because of the diversity of our backgrounds, when we hit the ground in Tanzania it almost was a natural play where different people assume different roles.”
“The conditions in the neighborhoods we were visiting were different than what we realized before getting there. Beyond that, what was surprising was that there weren’t surprises!”
“The assistant to the CEO was like our host mom while we were there. She arranged our housing for us, she took us out to her friend’s game farm, and we got driven around in 4x4s. She was just wonderful to meet, and we developed a personal as well as professional relationship with her.”
“For 35 years, we’ve been studying how companies get value from information. … We try to help organizations take a more holistic view of what they are trying to do.”
“We are very much an action-learning environment. The way to learn leadership is not only through reading cases, not only through learning theory — in fact we don’t want people to regurgitate the theory. We want people to take theory and to live it, use it.”
“I love being in a place that is such a nexus of people and ideas — people coming to learn something new and to define themselves. Being a part of that process is a real honor and a real gift.”
“We’re very interdisciplinary. Among the faculty in the group are an economist, a political scientist, a sociologist, and an industrial relations specialist. We’ve always made a big effort to be open to a variety of perspectives, but also to go beyond being open to them, to want to bring them in, because it makes for a richer environment.”
“These companies are really excited to work with MIT students.They reach out to the community to set up these projects and are great to work with. They give us access to all their resources and are very open to us.”
“It was really rewarding that they wanted to know what we thought. We left there being fairly certain that they will do some of the things that we suggested.”
"The classroom itself is filled with so much collective brain power . . . it's obvious that I'm caught up in a room full of 124 of the brightest, most curious people from around the world."
"The relationships that we forged helped us to turn out a better project. We were able to test our hypotheses with the people that we spoke with every single day. And really, I think the friendships that you develop really propel the work that you’re doing."
“At MIT Sloan you have a lot of opportunities to explore entrepreneurship. Especially in a place like Kampala where you have a lot of development, entrepreneurship can be very exciting.”
“One of the reasons I came to Sloan was because I wanted to be at a top MBA institution worldwide. But I also wanted access to working with the latest innovations and the highest technology that was coming out of the MIT labs.”
“I came to Sloan because of its high rankings within the sustainability community, specifically the professors. The S-Lab class itself is part of what drew me to Sloan. And the reason I came to business school was to learn the business speak that really is what connects with people."
“To overcome the economic challenges we face, we need a new generation of financial industry leaders, policymakers, and regulators who have a deep understanding of how technology drives the financial system. At MIT Sloan, I'm surrounded by an exceptionally smart group of colleagues committed to training this new generation, and by talented, passionate students eager to make a difference.”