One of the first things prospective students notice on their visit to campus is that the Smeal MBA program a very small community. Class sizes around 80 people allow students to build a personal relationship with their peers and faculty, have one-on-one interactions with corporate recruiters, and have ample opportunity for leadership positions in the nine MBA student associations.
While the small program size has these advantages, some may wonder what the drawbacks are. Are there not enough opportunities from the existing associations? Will there be somebody that shares the same interests and hobbies I do? Will I have a chance to learn a new hobby? Is there a way I can stay in touch with my native culture?
These questions can all be answered by looking at Penn State University as a whole. With over 1000 student organizations, there is sure to be something for everybody! MBA students have access to these as part of the PSU student body. Despite having a schedule loaded with class, case-competitions, homework, and searching for a job, all students should take a look at what PSU has to offer to make the most of their two years on-campus.
Each year the program has teams participate in intramural sports like flag football, basketball, and wrestling. These IM sports bring together MBAs with the same hobby or passion and give a chance to build a closer friendship through competition. While most other teams are undergraduate students, MBAs have done quite well! MBAs won a championship in both basketball and wrestling.
If you enjoy participating in a native culture or come from an international background, there are over 70 cultural associations. From the Russian Student Society to the Indonesian Student Association, students from all over the globe can feel at-home in Happy Valley. These groups hold social events and likely organize celebrations around traditional holidays.
Even if you aren’t interested in sports or a specific culture, there are countless ways to participate in any hobby you have. There is an astronomy club, a brewing club, a cheese club (not to be confused with chess, but PSU has that too!), and a gaming association. The possibilities to learn something new are endless. Access to these activities is a wonderful part of going to Smeal, you just have to go find your favorite group!
-Scott Robbins, PSU Smeal MBA ’15