MBAA: A Vibrant Community of Student Engagement

The MBA Association is more than just the sum of its clubs and committees.  The MBAA is a vehicle for communication, dialogue, networking and engagement.  It is a critical ‘junction box’ connecting students with business leaders, community professionals, career recruiters, valuable alumni and most importantly, each other.  Our clubs and committees offer students a way to join together through common interest to provide peer learning experiences and to provide a helping hand up into their desired career paths.

First, the components of the MBAA, our clubs and committees provide learning opportunities, engagement with distinguished guest speakers and alumni and networking opportunities into a great career.   We have clubs for every interest, including: finance, marketing, consulting, entrepreneurship, international students, luxury and retail, professional women, community net impact, operations, IT, media, healthcare, community relations and more.

Some club events help students network. For example, a recent meeting of the Net Impact Club featured MeadWestvaco Vice President Kathy Strawn.  Strawn spoke about her path to success, her experiences at MWV and the purpose and vision of the MWV Foundation.  Club members and other interested students enjoyed a focused, one-on-one networking experience.

Other club events help foster community ties and business relationships.  For example, our Operations/IT Club recently held their opening mixer at La Tienda in Williamsburg.  The mixer helped La Tienda showcase their unique retail store and ambience of their small artisan restaurant, along with learning about the rich history encased in some of their select Spanish and South American wines and foods.  Students could actually tour their facility, absorb the culture, and learn about their retail shipping operations all while sampling unique Spanish tapas.

Finally, there are some club activities designed simply to enhance the skillset and professional development of their members.  Recently, the Finance Club held a Bloomberg Aptitude Test designed to test multiple areas of financial aptitude.  The results allow a student to better understand their strengths, weaknesses, and fundamental knowledge of financial principals.  The score from the test can be used on resumes and Bloomberg network job searches for a unique advantage.

Sometimes, our clubs and committees help students simply unwind from the rigors of the MBA program through social events, intramural athletics or community service.  Coming up in November, students will be growing their moustaches for our annual “Stache for the Cash” campaign.  Proceeds will benefit The Prostate Cancer Foundation.  Check out the video from last year’s auction!

Finally, the overall MBA Association mission is to align the greater vision of the school with student interests, and vice versa.  Our Association provides opportunities for students to be leaders within our MBA community.   Our leadership works with the school leadership in supporting initiatives such as the recent and newly annual McGlothlin Leadership Forum, visits by major speakers such as Dan Akerson, CEO of General Motors, and upcoming events such as our Economy Forum, the annual Social Entrepreneurship Conference (SECON) and more.

The MBAA helps tie everything together to generate a truly integrated MBA Experience.  Keep checking back here to learn more about all of the progress that continues to be made by a vibrant and engaged student community.  Their passion, purpose and engagement are the lifeblood of the MBAA.  I encourage you to learn more about our Association.  I also encourage you to follow us on Facebook  and Twitter for further updates.

Finally, if you are a business leader or recruiter seeking some of the best MBA talent, take a closer look at our community here or feel free to reach out to me directly and I will happily connect you to our students and staff!

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Gavin Smith

Gavin P. Smith has over ten years experience in operations, on-air performance and programming of radio stations in the Southeast U.S. and the Caribbean. In 2007, he launched a solo venture, DRG Media, providing media consulting, web design and marketing for over 100 client websites and over 30 online e-commerce startups. Gavin is also Co-Founder and CTO of a Caribbean e-commerce clothing company, Co-Founder and VP of Technology & New Media for a recent internet radio network start-up, and board member for Mystery Florida, an annual mystery writer/author workshop and conference. With his BA from Wake Forest University and after earning his MBA from W&M, Gavin intends to further his education with a Master of Global Management from the Thunderbird School. For more information, visit

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