Hogfest: Weekend Full of Rugby

This past fall I got the opportunity to plan one of the biggest social events in the fall, Hogfest. This annual rugby tournament takes place in the fall and brings together MBA rugby teams from all of the globe. The men’s and women’s team spend all of first quarter practicing their skills in order to reign supreme on the field. Stayed tuned for a later post from our president, Ami Vora!

This year I was elected as Hogfest Coordinator for Wharton’s Women’s team, the Wildebeests. I have never really planned an event before, so arranging for ~15 teams to spend the weekend competing in Philadelphia was certainly a stretch experience for me.  We have many group projects here at Wharton, but this was the first time when other people were 100% relying on me.  Throughout September and October, the coordinators from the Wildebeests and the Wharthogs, the men’s rugby team, had to reserve fields, secure permits, hire a DJ, and plan food trucks.  Oh, and we had to make sure our competition could make it!  The Wharthogs had a great turnout, of over 10 teams, but unfortunately few MBA programs have a women’s team.  We reached out to all of the the schools within our network, but as usual, only Columbia could field a whole team.  We’re holding out hope that Yale and Cornell will be able to field teams next year.

Saturday, September 27 turned out to be a gorgeous day, helping us achieve a high turnout.  The women’s team competed against two teams from Columbia as well as a Wharton Alumni team that had returned for the weekend.  While I would love to say that the current Wharton team won that day, it was the Alumni team who swept us all.  After 5 grueling games, we were all ready for some off the field fun, and met the Wharthogs and their competitors out for a night of celebratory drinks.

One of the reasons I chose Wharton was because of all the outside-the-classroom learning opportunities it offered.  The hands-on experience of planning Hogfest was unlike anything I had done in my previous role at Goldman Sachs. Not only did I develop project management and event planning skills, I was also challenged to develop my public relations skills.  Hogfest is only considered a success if there is a great fan turnout from the Wharton population, which thankfully we secured.

If you come to Wharton, but don’t play rugby, you should still plan on coming to Hogfest as it provides an opportunity to see friends from other MBA programs.  Last year, I ran into a former coworker who was competing on another team.