Throughout my time at Wharton, I have struggled with finding out how to be involved, how much to do and what different types of experiences I want to have before leaving school. After two years of signing up on Listservs, joining clubs and running for election, I have finally struck a good balance. I believe there are three ways to get involved with clubs at Penn and Wharton.
Skill Building and Development Clubs
It can be overwhelming to think about how skilled and knowledgeable all of your peers are, but the great thing about being at Wharton is that people are willing to share their skills. You can learn about almost any topic just by joining a club. If you want to learn about consulting or social impact, you can join Social Impact Consulting or become involved with the Small Business Development Center. If you are interested in marketing there is the Marketing Undergraduate Students Establishment (MUSE). Everyone is motivated to do meaningful work on projects that help develop the skills we learn in our classes. I wanted to learn more about investing before leaving college, so as a junior I joined the Wharton Investment and Trading Group.
Leadership Experience Clubs
Just like in high school, schools and future employers expect you have leadership experience, and it is important to step into leadership roles in order to challenge yourself. I have enjoyed working on my leadership skills by being involved in student government. The beauty of this category is that leadership can be fulfilled in any way because no club would exist without leaders moving the organization forward. The work leaders do is similar from one organization to the next, and while it’s good to test your leadership skills within different groups, you can’t lead everything all the time.
General Body Member Club
Just because you can’t be a leader in every club doesn’t mean you shouldn’t support the other clubs and take advantage of the events they work hard to sponsor. During my freshman year, I got on the Listserv for nearly every club at Penn, and I’m glad I did. I have had invaluable experiences just being an attendee of events put on by Wharton Women, the Finance Club, the Retail Club and the Management Club. I try to attend events put on by all of the clubs because you never know what you will learn or who you will meet.
Initially, I was driven to assert myself as a leader in the school by taking on traditional leadership positions, but now I have started to embrace other experiences. This has allowed me to take advantage of all of the resources Wharton has to offer, and to appreciate all the hard work my peers do to make Wharton an amazing place.
Editor’s note: For undergraduates, there are more than 40 Wharton clubs and over 300 Penn clubs to join. Find out more information at “Clubbing It.”