As a Wisconsin MBA student, you join a close-knit community. The first and most important community you join will be your classmates—within your specialization and across your cohort.

In your first semester, you will get to know students throughout the program, taking the core curriculum in a cohort with students from a variety of areas. At the same time, through your career specialization, you will interact with classmates who share your passion for your chosen field through specialized coursework and a wide range of center-based activities.

There is much more to being a Wisconsin MBA student than just attending classes. Almost two-dozen student organizations offer opportunities for learning, leadership, and networking. Some relate to specific industries, while others are based on common interests, and still others are simply a way for students to enjoy their time together.

The Graduate Business Association (GBA) represents all Wisconsin MBA students. It coordinates a popular golf outing and annual Spring Ball. It hosts talks by noted business leaders and sponsors student-led community service projects. GBA organizes teams of Wisconsin MBA students who compete in everything from local marathons to the infamous “Polar Plunge” on behalf of Special Olympics. GBA holds a special place in the heart of students by hosting TAPS, (also known as Thursday After Professional Services) a long-time Thursday night tradition, in which Wisconsin MBA students relax and unwind together at a variety of downtown clubs.

Community building begins before your first class. All entering students attend a week-long orientation program called the Wisconsin MBA Experience. You will have the chance to meet your classmates at a variety of social events and team-building exercises.

The Wisconsin MBA Experience aims to sharpen your skills in important areas such as business communication, strategy, and teamwork prior to the start of classes. Optional sessions on mathematics are highly valued by those wishing to strengthen their quantitative skills.

As important as the learning opportunities during the Wisconsin MBA Experience are, many students recall it most as the starting point of strong friendships with classmates that last long past graduation.

Joint Venture Club

The Wisconsin School of Business has established the Joint Venture Club to provide graduate students, and their spouses, partners, significant others, and/or children a social network of support. Because family and partners are an integral part of a student's experience in Madison, the club works to foster community and help ease the transition to Madison.

The club's board currently sends out a weekly email outlining the variety of activities that are open to significant others and families. In addition, the club hosts several events each semester, such as happy hour/mixer events, a visit to the New Glarus Brewery, and a tailgate for the Spring Football game (these are examples from the Spring 2011 semester).