When one thinks about MBA programs, sports is not likely the first thing that comes to mind. At many business schools, however, one sport in particular stands out: hockey. As a recent Bloomberg Businessweek article notes, hockey clubs are very popular at certain programs, such as the Yale School of Management (SOM) and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Approximately 20% of Yale’s MBA students are members of the school’s hockey club, while the number of applications for spots in a similar club at Wharton was so vast that 100 people were left on the waiting list.
Despite the popularity of the sport, most of the club members at both schools are actually hockey newbies. “It’s a great leveler,” says the co-president of Wharton’s hockey club, David Light, who estimates that merely holding a hockey stick was a new experience for nine out of ten members. The Yale SOM club captain, Lauren Cohen, has similar views: “Seeing your classmates struggle to stay upright is a nice reminder that we are all human.” Hockey clubs also exist at such schools as Harvard Business School, the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.