COVID-19: Need I say more? Everyone’s talking about. It’s all over the news. People are doing what they can to fight the coronavirus by wearing masks, face shields, and following the not-so-sacred rite of social distancing.
However, with or without the pandemic, one thing in life remains the same: clubs and societies at Hult still go on.
Goodbye to saying goodbye
Life goes on—yet not everything can, unfortunately. Every year, the annual award ceremony, graduation ceremony, and Winter Ball are held for current and graduating students. However, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, it would not be possible this year. Sadly, this meant that students and teachers were not able to say goodbye to each other. Over 100 people attended one Saturday in April for the online annual award ceremony this year, but the Winter Ball this December was canceled. The graduation ceremony, held every summer, had to be canceled, and although it’s possible to conduct it next year, the chances are slim given that most of the students will be busy either in their new jobs or in higher education.
Not all was negative though. With the advent of Covid-19 came a chance to boost Hult’s online presence. This year saw a sharp increase in the use of Instagram and LinkedIn, as well as a focus on online engagement and events via Zoom. Also, thanks to the use of online platforms, new creative ways to host events have emerged, including webinars.
Greeting the new normal
Clubs and societies have stayed strong during these troubling times. The pandemic caused a restructuring of the clubs and societies “market”: a sharp decrease in social and sports clubs was coupled with a dominant resurgence from new and old professional clubs. Clubs and societies such as JV Men’s Football UG were hard hit – but they kept fighting. JV Men’s Football UG is a football junior varsity football club at Hult. Sports clubs were unable to continue in light of social distancing rules and government guidelines and had to postpone practices and matches. Despite the challenges, JV Men’s Football UG was able to find a way to practice at an empty park just before the full lockdowns were imposed. Showing us all what a positive, growth mindset and can-do attitude can help us accomplish even in the most troubling of times.
Others, such as TEDxHultLondon and the Africa Business and Cultural Society, adapted to the pandemic; maybe even got better because of it. And some clubs were born or resurrected from the pandemic, such as the Creativity Club and Trading and Investing UG Club.
TEDxHultLondon and augmented reality
TEDxHultLondon hosts events and is run by students from both the undergraduate and postgraduate campuses. With the onset of the pandemic, the complexities of running the event skyrocketed: social distancing, sanitation, and uncertainty of government-mandated lockdowns. It was due to these reasons that the event will now be hosted online. In one sense it was a challenge; on the other hand, it was an opportunity. Usually, there is a maximum capacity of 100 seats and tickets need to be booked in advance. With the event taking place online, there is no limit: there can be infinite people attending via Zoom. TEDxHutlLondon has been able to partner with HoloME and will be the first TEDxHultLondon event powered by Augmented Reality (AR) in the world. This AR will take the video presentation from the speakers and convert them into human holograms creating a more immersive communicative experience.
The African Business and Cultural Society: Digital Journals and Webinars
The African Business and Cultural Society is a club focused on cultural promotion, business and social impact, balancing entertainment with professionalism. Bites from Africa, a food tasting and dinner event for African cuisine, was due to take place on November 14, 2020, but was cancelled as the rumours of further lockdowns loomed. Yet despite this setback, the club remains strong, focusing on another project: a digital journal on Instagram which will document information on exotic African countries. The journal is live and can be found on the Instagram page @aware.abcs. On November 25th, two guest speakers from Colgate also gave an online webinar on marketing in African countries.
BCA and finding courage in a volatile time
BCA is a club where people learn that every decision will impact society globally. When the pandemic started, BCA was pushed to facilitate everything virtually until the end of the academic year 2019-2020.
To discover more and make people aware of the pandemic, two events were launched. “BCA Everyday” is a month-long daily post with people discussing Covid-19 updates from their respective countries. Another, “Ask an Expert”, was launched to decipher the global condition (go have a look at @bcathinktank to see both of the events).
BCA London is also creating events through Zoom. The first event was called “How to Speak?”. This was created to help unleash people’s confidence in speaking and to give everyone a format to practice their advocacy skills.
Since BCA is an international club at Hult, it is present on all campuses. BCA London was able to participate at BCA Boston’s US presidential debate, and at BCA San Francisco’s talk about mental health and positivity. This January, podcasts and newsletter projects are going to be launched.
Creativity, trading challenges, and so much more
Irrespective of the pandemic, new clubs bloomed and grew out of 2020. Clubs such as the Creativity Club, and the Trading and Investing UG Club started making a mark in 2020. For example, in November, the Trading and Investing UG Club launched a trading challenge for members in which they could create a virtual account and strive to achieve the highest absolute return on their portfolio. Applying what they learn in class to a simulated scenario from valuing a company, building a diversified portfolio and even commercial awareness, as well as diligence and the importance of critically thinking about the world around you.
Welcoming the future
One thing I love about Hult is the encouragement we get to stand out and grow. Student services, the deans, the professors, even our classmates help each other to achieve their goals.
Even in the face of a global health crisis the clubs and societies at Hult were able to face the challenges with positivity, resilience and passion. The clubs and societies at Hult are a true embodiment of the growth mindset – finding solutions no matter the circumstances.
Trading and Investing UG Club: +44 744 048 5022 or firstname.lastname@example.org
BCA Think Tank: @bcathinktank
TEDxHultLondon: @tedxhultlondon or email@example.com
JV Men’s Football UG: @jvwolvesfc or firstname.lastname@example.org
African, Business, and Cultural Society: @hult.abcs or email@example.com
Creativity Club: @thecreativeclub_hult