The Varsity Club - A WPMBA's Golf Course/Boardroom

I’m a golfer and I was reading an article on *Golf Etiquette* just to brush up on making sure I was following some basic rules that I had either assumed or didn’t know but I was more intrigued on how the article talked about how the golf course had been transformed into an executive boardroom. I kind of knew this, but never really paid too much attention to it.

This should not be surprising, after all, a golf outing with friends, family, and/or colleagues can be time consuming (hopefully in a good way) and many important conversations and decisions can happen without even knowing about it. In fact, after the golf outing, actual work meetings on topics go by smoother because direction, strategy, or decision was already made. With this being said, I was thinking that the Varsity Club for WPMBA’s is similar to this golf course setting.

 Here, let me explain…

With the last class session of the week, it’s Thursday night and it’s getting late, we are all tired, we have been pushing our brains to the limit after working a full 8 hour day and sitting through 4 hours of class and yet we are all excited to meet up at this magical place called the Varsity Club. Yes, the Varsity Club, a place where projects get mapped out, homework questions get answered, tail gates and parties get planned and where WPMBA’s enjoy each other’s company with cold beverages in hand to close out another long week.

As a WPMBA it’s important to understand that our life is dominated by 40 hour work weeks, 8 hours of class time, at least 6 hours of outside the classroom prep work, family time, and leisure time. Needless to say, time spent with friends and class mates is important and we value every opportunity provided. It’s not only about hanging out with these folks but also to have each other’s backs when it comes to getting through the quarter in one piece.

For me personally, I value every chance to network with different people in the program. If you think about it, that’s one of the prime reasons why Fisher is as successful as it is with its enormous resources dedicated to student groups, seminars, career fairs, and guest speakers like Ben Bernanke and Jeffrey Immelt. It’s all about networking and that’s one of the big reasons I chose Fisher in the first place.

So, back to the Varsity Club. First off, it’s not a club per say but more of a bar setting. We usually head out of class to drop our books off in the car and cross the street to VC. Once there, we are usually in a pack. This is to say that group members from classes and previous classes combine to form this super group of individuals who know each other pretty well. Depending upon the weather, we either migrate to the patio and sit around tables or stand inside.

Our chats are typical to any other setting but will always come back to school work at some point. Here is the part that is so valuable to those that come out to VC on Thursday nights and I have listed some questions that get answered relevant to the MBA program and our course work: 

  • What did you get on homework problem 3? How did you do it?
  • You know, I’m thinking about the group project and I think if we focused more on marginal benefit to position our Economics paper it would…what do you guys think?
  • The exam is coming up next week, here is my strategy for answering questions on financial leverage and using these concepts and equations, does this make sense?
  • For our presentation next week for Marketing, who feels they can explain this topic better, do any of you guys have a preference?
  • What are you planning on taking next qtr? Oh, really? Cool, what classes are you taking first so that we can stick together again?

It shouldn’t be a surprise that these questions are brought up and get answered in other forms and in different settings like group meetings, email, and phone. But, a “free” group meeting at VC can help pave the way for the actual group meeting to go smoother. In addition, remember what I said about our strenuous lives with work, school, family, and leisure? Yeah, needless to say every opportunity we get to chat we capitalize on it.

On the flip side, I am very much aware that many of our colleagues simply don’t have the luxury to stop by at VC every Thursday night because of family commitments. After all, classes end at 10 pm and we usually are at VC till 11 pm. I also notice that the “usual” crowd are the ones that show up at VC and the majority of them do not have family commitments anyway. With this being said, I am not advocating one way or another but shedding light on how VC is our golf course and boardroom where we all have a good time and yet get some “work” done.

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