Columbia Business School’s Student-Run Conferences

Columbia Business School (CBS) offers a series of student-run conferences throughout the year that give both first- and second-year students the opportunity to expand their knowledge across a variety of disciplines via panels and keynote speaker addresses, and to network with like-minded students, conference sponsors (who are often also big CBS recruiters), and even industry professionals.

During the popular Social Enterprise Conference, which typically takes place in the fall, speakers discuss the ways leaders and managers can use strategy as a tool to maximize social change and how organizations can incorporate a broader spectrum of social gains into their organizational strategies, among other issues. The 2021–2022 Social Enterprise Conference was hosted virtually as a digital event series between March and November, with the theme “Capital for Good.”

Like the Social Enterprise Conference, the Marketing Association of Columbia (MAC) Conference usually enjoys a packed house in the fall but was held online in 2020. The MAC Conference has focused on such topics as the elevation, enhancement, and personalization of the brand experience for today’s mindful consumer. The 2021 carried the theme “Navigating Marketing in a World in Flux” and welcomed such keynote speakers as the chief marketing officer of Samsung Electronics America, the head of marketing at Lyft, and the chief growth officer at Triller.

The annual CBS Healthcare Conference, which is held in February, has featured such panel discussions as “The Business of Cancer: Innovations, Trends and Challenges in Delivering Cures” and “Healthcare M&A: Is Bigger Always Better?” The 2022 conference took place virtually throughout two days and had the theme “Rebuilt to Last: Advancing a More Equitable and Sustainable Health Care Ecosystem.” Keynote speakers included the president and CEO of Northwell Health and the chief transformation and integration officer at Walgreen Boots Alliance.

The year-round conference season at CBS also includes the India Business Conference and the Columbia Women in Business Conference. CBS often touts its New York advantage—students have the business world right outside the school’s door, ripe for exploration. As you can see, however, this advantage does not mean that CBS neglects to bring the business world to its students.

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