“After eight years in software, I started to think about what I really wanted to do. . . . Finance was my biggest hobby.”
In addition to the numerous professional, cultural, sports, and recreational groups at MIT Sloan, other clubs serve a variety of special interests. These clubs offer members the opportunity to share their enthusiasm for such diverse delights as wine, juggling, the arts, food, and flying. Below are a few examples of the many special-interest clubs constantly forming at MIT Sloan.
The MIT Sloan Vintners Club is a community of nearly 200 members dedicated to tasting and learning about fine wine. However, the Club does more than just offer wine tastings. Members strive to examine the culture and geography of various wine regions, study the effect of location on individual grape varietals, and understand the marketing and operations of the wine industry by hosting talks with viticulturists and wine collectors.
Founded by MIT Sloan students who shared a passion for performing live music, the cover band known as the Rolling Sloans plays “all the favorites” at MIT events, such as the annual pre-Follies reception. The band is made up of members of the current MIT Sloan class. Past performances of the Rolling Sloans may be found on YouTube.
Joie de Vivre Club
A relative newcomer to the club roster, the Joie de Vivre (JDV) Club gives members a chance to indulge all their senses, with past activities including a visit to a Russian banya or spa, a talent show, private movie screenings, chocolate tasting workshops, and a classmate’s exclusive rock music performance. During a recent Independent Activities Period (IAP), a Club member from Austria escorted 12 members to Vienna to celebrate the ballroom dancing season. The group participated in a ball, visited museums and the “Austrian White House,” had coffee and chocolate tastings, and skied in the countryside. The Club also strives to host speakers who are not typical business people, such as a recent presentation by an acclaimed conductor, to provide a nontraditional view on management issues. Recently, the JDV Club was honored with the Peer Recognition Award, which is a monthly award that MBA students give to deserving individuals or groups.
Happy Belly Club
The MIT Sloan Happy Belly Club is a social group that coordinates events where people can get to know each other over great food. The Club, which has been growing in popularity, offers a range of activities for those who are passionate about food. Outings have included visits to some of Greater Boston’s most popular restaurants, dinners hosted by students, and networking dinners. The Club developed these dinners to create a more casual environment for conversations with faculty, who are often invited to attend, and to facilitate meeting fellow Sloanies. It also hosts speakers such as chefs and restaurateurs, and co-sponsors events like chocolate tastings. Club members also enjoy opportunities to take group cooking classes.
“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.”
“You could talk about watershed management and conservation of energy all you want. But until you put numbers to it and financial analysis to it, you’re not going to get much done. I came to business school to speak that language, speak with people in terms of numbers, financial numbers so that I can get projects done.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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!”
“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.”
“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.”
“I can honestly say that when I was planning on coming to business school I never thought that witnessing the birth of a child would be included in the education. It was definitely an experience.”
“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 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."
“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.”
“Our mission, along with the mission of MIT Sloan, is to both develop leaders who make a difference in the world, and also to make a contribution to thinking about the topic of leadership.”
"After we gave our recommendations, the great part was that the very next day the CEO was in the boardroom implementing them with his top vice presidents."
“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.”
“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.”
“One of MIT Sloan’s strengths is that it combines research with teaching practices. It truly merges theory and practice — a feat that is possible due to its top-notch research faculty and the faculty’s interest in putting their ideas to work.”