Student clubs are a vibrant part of student life at Harvard Business School. There are over 70 active clubs on campus, and new clubs are being created each year. Clubs encompass a wide range of student interests, and are based on everything from industries, geographies, affinities, to extra-curricular activities.  

Clubs also sponsor a variety of events such as workshops, speakers, and conferences that provide distinct opportunities for learning, networking, and socializing outside of the classroom. As part of our MBA Voices blog we like to put the spotlight on different clubs around campus. We recently connected with the new leadership from the African-American Student Union (AASU) – here’s what they had to say about their club. 

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AASU strives to be an extended family for its members from the moment they decide to attend HBS, through the transition to EC year and beyond graduation. Our current membership includes over 130 first years, second years and partners who engage in social events, cultural activities and academic and professional development workshops.

New members are first welcomed to the AASU family at our annual fall retreat. From there, they are supported throughout the RC year with informative workshops, panels and alumni events. These events primarily focus on academic excellence, recruiting preparation and career advice. Several key on-campus events highlight the active role our members serve in the broader HBS community and within their respective sections, including the annual cultural show “Sankofa”, student led “MyTakes” and diversity-focused panels. 

The Naylor H. Fitzhugh Conference is the culminating event for AASU. It gives prospective and admitted students an opportunity to engage with the current AASU membership, facilitates networking between current students and alumni and provides a platform for the club to honor industry leaders — many of whom are AASU alumni. The 44th conference will be held on Feb 6, 2016 and is nicely positioned to kick off the club's Black History Month programming. 

“The social and cultural events hosted by AASU have allowed me to more easily engage members of my section in important conversations about diversity and has exposed me to a richer, nuanced perspective as a member of the African diaspora. AASU has been instrumental in shaping my HBS experience and I am truly grateful for the level of openness the club has received during my time here,” says Alterrell Mills, AASU Co-President. 

“AASU has been critical in shaping my experience at HBS. It has provided me with a platform through which I have received and given guidance on both personal and professional aspirations. In addition, it has challenged me to be thoughtful about what my responsibilities are as a leader who happens to be a woman of color,” notes AASU Co-President Franci Girard.  “AASU is an invaluable part of the HBS community and I’m thankful that I have the opportunity to shape the experience for future club members.”