For most Haas, Pre-Haas, and students interested in Business, the consulting club is the pinnacle of student culture and involvement. The pressure to join is immense, everyone and their mother seems to want to be a part of one. After weeks of tabling and being bombarded with flyers from fellow students asking you to join their club, recruitment season is finally coming to a close. By this time most students will have accepted their offers or are in the final stages of interviews. This can be a time of great success for those lucky enough to get selected, but for others, this can be a time of disappointment and stress about what to do next. If the latter sounds like you, or maybe you realized consulting is not for you, read on to find some creative ways to stay involved on campus while still developing your business skills.

1. If you have a passion for fashion, art, or other areas of the entertainment industry but consider yourself “artistically challenged” (aka me), consider joining the business side of an arts & culture magazine or entertainment organization! You will gain valuable knowledge about management and internal operations, finance and budgeting, and marketing through hands-on experience. In addition, you will be surrounded by cool, creative humans and likely learn something new while you start exploring your creative side.

2. Another option is to join an interest/demographic-focused Business club as a general member. These clubs often have a larger body of members than a typical consulting-focused organization, with many opportunities for new members to get involved. The application process can be less rigorous, and as a general member, you will have access to workshops, networking events, and socials that prepare you for navigating the Business world. Not only that, you will also be in a community with peers who share a common interest or background and will be an excellent resource and support network for your future goals.

3. Get a job! There is no better way to gain professional experience than to become employed. With a job, not only will you gain experience in a professional environment, but you will be getting paid, getting the bag, and gaining crucial professional and social skills.

4. Start or join your own special interest club, business-related or not. Berkeley can be stressful, especially if you are looking to get involved in Business, so it is definitely beneficial to have an outlet that brings you joy. Plus, if you start your own, you’re essentially gaining leadership and start-up experience while bringing together your own community of passionate people. It also gives you a unique talking point if you decide to apply to consulting clubs in the future.

Most of all, please remember to prioritize your mental health and well-being, and remember that a consulting club is not a make or break when it comes to starting a career in the Business world. It can be disappointing to go through all of the preparation and recruitment events without seeing anything come to fruition. Please remember that you can always take advantage of the opportunities you want to and meet the people you want to without a consulting club. And if it truly means that much to you, there is always time and there is always another semester to reapply.

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