The recently founded Rice Business Society aims to unite all undergraduate students interested in business, according to Hanszen College sophomore Jeemin Sim and Wiess College sophomores Ashish Kulkarni and Jason Ye. Since its formation this January, the club has gained 75 members.
The organization is currently formulating a Masters of Business Administration mentorship program where undergraduate students will be paired with MBA students at the Jones Business School who will serve as mentors.
Marketing Director Brittany Lai said that the board hopes to launch this program starting in fall 2017.
"At the beginning of next semester, we're planning on releasing a survey to match students to MBA mentors, and next fall we plan to launch our mentorship program,” Lai said. “With this program, we ultimately hope to help bridge the gap and encourage interaction between MBA students and undergraduates at Rice who are interested in business.”
Rice Business Society also hosted a networking session in April with MBA students from a wide variety of industries within the Jones Business School.
According to Ye, although Rice has a business minor, not enough students on campus know about the business industries that recruit at Rice or know of the resources they need to best prepare themselves for future careers.
“We decided to form the organization when we noticed that there was a lack of support and recruiting resources for pre-business undergraduates on campus,” Ye said. “The lack of a centralized pre-business community made it harder to diffuse that knowledge, collaborate on business-oriented tasks, and connect each other to business opportunities.”
The organization includes several subcommittees: consulting, general business and investment banking. Lai said the subcommittees host events specific to their industry to educate undergraduates on the different facets of the business world.
Head of the consulting subcommittee Alex Quam, a Jones College junior, organized a joint event in February with the business consulting firm Bain and Company. The company hosted a workshop and information session on consulting that allowed students to learn more about the company and network with the employees who attended the event.
Lai said this semester is a test run to gauge the interests of the student body.
"The goals moving into next semester are to respond to the feedback that we've been given and improve upon our content and the resources we can provide to undergraduate students at Rice, as well as to promote further engagement within Rice's society,” Lai said.
According to Lai, advice within Rice Business Society also often comes from undergraduate students themselves can make the club feel more personable and make resources more accessible.
“The main goal here is to help Rice undergraduates connect with resources that’ll help them become successful business leaders in the future,” Lai said. “If students need any feedback or help, we want to provide them with a community they can turn to for advice.”