Beyond the MBA Classroom: Hit the Slopes at Kellogg

When you select an MBA program, you are not just choosing your learning environment, but are also committing to becoming part of a community. Each Thursday, we offer a window into life “beyond the MBA classroom” at a top business school.

True to Northwestern Kellogg’s reputation for fostering a robust community, the school’s annual ski trip is typically attended by a remarkable 775 first- and second-year students. According to a second year we interviewed, “Kellogg’s ski trip was the first and remains the biggest of its kind. Like everything else at Kellogg, the trip is student run … from logistics to marketing to sponsorship. … First- and second-year students work together to make it an unforgettable weeklong adventure.” For the 2011 trip, the participating students traveled to Telluride, Colorado, where they stayed in mountainside condos. Students who wish to ski can avail themselves of three-, four- or even five-day passes, while nonskiers can enjoy activities such as cooking classes, snowshoe lessons and spa treatments (at reduced prices). The evenings feature theme parties, such as an annual ’80s party. The 2012 trip was held in December at the Steamboat Resort in Colorado.

“The entire event is a phenomenon,” said the second year we interviewed. “It’s a great break for everyone … as first years blow off steam from their hectic initial quarter, while second years immerse themselves in their final ski trip.” Noting that all the spaces for the 2011 trip were claimed in just 20 minutes, a second year provided the following advice in a December 2011 personal blog post: “You have to know you want to go and sign up early before the trip sells out, which happens every year.” Although Evanston is quite a distance from the Rockies, we learned that skiing is nonetheless serious business at Kellogg.

For in-depth descriptions of social and community activities at Kellogg and 15 other top MBA programs, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.

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