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Joining a University Club

By Julie Fishman
Quick Tips
  1. Go clubbin' – University clubs are great for meeting new people in a new city and for participating in free happy hours and wine tastings. They're also great places to find fellow college sports fans.
  2. Networking – These clubs also offer excellent opportunities for career network in a less intimidating environment. The connections you make here can be particularly valuable for those in business and finance.
  3. Discounts – Besides hotels, some university clubs offer great deals on everything from rental cars to clothing and test prep courses. You could also land sweet discounts on travel and at cultural venues.
  4. Get your game on – In addition to nice gyms, university clubs offer the opportunity to get involved with organized teams or informal pick-up games.
  5. College redux – Make up for all that time you spent clowning around at school by attending lectures, readings, and book club meetings.

In the movies, university clubs are full of good ol’ boys sitting around a fire in a moose-head-filled room, smoking cigars, drinking whiskey, and sharing quail hunting stories. In reality, they are far less stuffy and can be a resource as valuable to post-college kids as an alma mater beer koozie. Best of all, they are surprisingly cheap (for the most part). Recent grads usually get to skip out on the two to three hundred dollar initiation fee, and we only have to fork over the yearly charge (generally around $200). Though two C-notes ain’t much to a playa, you should still know what you’re getting before forking over the happy hour fund. (Note: a club membership is a great thing to ask for as a graduation gift, so tell Grandma to hold the cable-knit sweater and hook it up.)

Socializing in a New City

Though it may come as a surprise to some, you likely didn’t get a chance to meet (and judge) everyone at our alma mater. Always boasting a well stocked bar, and occasionally even a restaurant, university clubs are great for meeting new people in a new city. From mixers to happy hours to wine tastings, clubs offer sundry opportunities to catch a date. They’re also great places to find fellow sports fans, letting you reminisce about the days of 8AM kegs and eggs while watching the game with other Wolverines, Blue Devils, or Trojans.

Business Casual

Networking at company events can be more stress-inducing than the DMV. University clubs offer a way to make career connections in a less intimidating environment and could prove especially beneficial for those in business and finance. Though industry panel discussions and business forums may be the last thing you want to attend after a long day, they can help you make the move from cubicle to CEO…or maybe cubicle to corner cubicle. Studies show that only 5-10% of jobs are posted in classified ads or on the Internet—the rest are filled by word of mouth…so go use that mouth and do some talking.

Travel Perks

Most clubs have affiliate clubs in other cities that members can stay at for cheaper rates than local hotels. If you’re headed to Hicksville, Alabama, where finding an affiliate is about as likely as people having teeth, you may be able to get a discount on other Hicksville hotels through your club. If your parents visit as often as Randy Jackson says “dawg,” clubs will often offer a better deal than local rooms. Plus, it will make them feel better about dropping all that money on your tuition.

Further Education

Strange as it may sound, there may come a time when you yearn for some culture like you once yearned for spring break. University clubs host book clubs, readings, and lectures on everything from Austin to Autism. Some clubs offer discounted theater tickets or exclusive passes unavailable to the general public.

Maintain Your Student Body

Whether you were into intramural ultimate frisbee or Division I varsity basketball, athletes often miss the competition and camaraderie of college sports. University clubs can put you back out on the field, offering everything from organized teams that compete in local leagues to a bunch of dudes that meet for pick-up once a week. Some clubs hold golf outings and offer discounts at local tennis facilities. For fitness freaks, most clubs have gyms and charge members far less than the average haunt, typically $25/month as opposed to $75/month.

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