One of the benefits of the Wharton experience is the opportunity to join clubs that allow you to hone skills, explore new interests, meet people in different classes, and practice leadership. Wharton has clubs that cater to student interests across cultural, athletic, personal, and professional interests.
Curious about impact investing? Join Social Impact! Never skated before but want to learn how to rip a knuckle puck? Join Hockey Club! There are over 100 student clubs at Wharton. But if you recognize a void on campus, Wharton encourages you to start your own club. That’s what my friends and I are doing with the Adam Smith Society.
Shortly after arriving in Philadelphia for Pre-Term, I developed a group of friends who shared an interest in discussing and debating the moral and philosophical underpinnings of capitalism. There was no club that provided an outlet focused on this sort of discourse, so we set about founding the Wharton chapter of the Adam Smith Society.
The Adam Smith Society is a national organization with chapters at two dozen business schools that aims to encourage debate about the nature, purpose, and direction of our economic system. We want to be the platform for engaging, intellectually serious discussions of big ideas that will play a part in our business careers long into the future.
This is not purely an academic exercise. We want to engage with the Ubers and AirBnBs of the world as these companies wrestle with the tension between entrepreneurship and regulation, between disruption and sensible consumer protections.
Getting Established on Campus
Just last week we held our first event in concert with Wharton Women In Business. We brought in Marilyn Fedak, former CIO of AllianceBernstein and founder of the Marilyn G. Fedak Capitalism Project, to speak about her career as a female executive on Wall Street and her philanthropic work in promoting capitalism at universities.
Upcoming events include a Q&A with Wharton Prof. Bulent Gultekin, who ran privatization programs in Turkey and Poland as those economies embraced the free market, and a lecture on economic mobility and income inequality by scholar Dr. David Azerrad.
Several members of WGA (Wharton Graduate Association) have been helpful and transparent in communicating the requirements for gaining official club status on campus. We must prove student demand, provide unique programming currently unavailable, and demonstrate the ability to sustain membership for years to come. In the coming weeks, my co-founder and I will make our pitch to WGA that the Adam Smith Society deserves official club recognition by the school. Fingers crossed!
Wharton gives its students the freedom to add value to the MBA experience in numerous ways. If you recognize an opportunity to create a club from which your fellow students will benefit, go for it — it’s a fantastic way to make an enduring impact.
Posted: November 2, 2015