The world around us is constantly changing and so are we. Throughout our lives, we adopt new hobbies and interests that reflect who we are. Chicago Booth gets it, and encourages students to optimize their MBA experiences to fit their personalities and passions like a glove. For example, this year, the Booth curriculum boasted 18 new courses for students to choose from – more than any other business school.

The spirit of new does not stop there; every year, Boothies enjoy fresh extracurricular programming and opportunities to explore existing hobbies or develop new ones. In this blog, we will cover two new clubs that were just launched by Booth students for Booth students – one official and one unofficial – the Veg and Draft Beer Clubs.

Started in summer of 2017, the Veg Club strives to answer a community interest in plant-based lifestyle and food options in Chicago. The co-chairs felt this club was a necessary addition to the Booth community after organizing some informal group dinners that continued to grow in popularity. The demand has been validated based on the influx of group members already seen. Plus, Veg Club welcomes students with any dietary preferences.

On the theoretical side, Veg Club provides access to resources and research about nutrition, health, and environment. On the practical side, it facilitates cooking workshops, restaurant events, and potlucks. Veg Club’s kickoff event, the Fall Social, was a huge success! The club also hosted two small group cooking classes.

Next up: Veg Club plans to explore Chicago’s restaurant scene, make a visit to “Plant Chicago,” take a grocery shopping trip together, and host documentary screenings. Chicago fun fact: Veg Club is in for a treat… Chicago was just named the “best restaurant city” in the U.S. by Bon Appétit magazine and it offers plenty of vegetarian and vegan dining options.

Students love startups, and let’s face it – students don’t hate beer, so why not combine the two?  A couple of Booth students from Class of 2019 (John Chiulli and Olivia Korostelina) pondered this question, one evening after downing a few locally-brewed craft beers on the Chicago river walk. This is how the Unofficial Booth Craft Beer Club was born. Talk about making an impact at your first quarter in business school!

Since its inception, the club has participated in several beer festivals and tastings, and recently celebrated the end of midterms by heading to Haymarket Brewery and Cruz Blanca Brewery in the chic West Loop neighborhood. Chicago fun fact: The Unofficial Craft Beer Club has plenty of local legacy to dive into in its programming – Chicago’s rich history in craft beer goes back to 1833 and the city is home to Siebel, the oldest U.S. brewing school, which has been in operation since its founding in 1868.

There you have it! Two different student-driven clubs that encourage Boothies to explore their passions together, within the backdrop of the #1 city (Haven’t you heard? Travel magazine Conde Nast has named Chicago the best city in the U.S. based on reader votes).

And, in case you’re interested in those 18 new courses, take a look at the list here.

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