Linked In: Broadening Access to the Game of Golf

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Working as an engineer in the oil and gas industry, Amara Aigbedion, MBA 13, received frequent invitations to golf with her (mostly) male co-workers. Not knowing the game, Aigbedion declined, but she noticed that missing a day on the links with clients meant missing out when “Others were out there making the lasting relationships important in business.”

So, when Aigbedion got to Berkeley-Haas last year and noticed Tilden Regional Park close by, she made the time to learn. She joined a large number of classmates in the “Tee It Up” lessons offered by the park’s golf course and says, “ I quickly got to know my fellow MBA teammates  and recognized the importance of being out there.”

“I had never had exposure to golf until those lessons,” Aigbedion adds. “And I have noticed that this is true for many women, minority, and international students.”

To remedy this, Aigbedion, VP of Diversity for the MBA Association, teamed with the Women in Leadership and Sports Management clubs to offer a Saturday morning golf clinic. The event quickly sold out, with more than 35 students signing up to learn the basics of putting and driving.

The outing was one in a series of “Beyond the Circles” events organized by Aigbedion. “These are designed to get people out of their comfort zone and regular social circles or cliques,” Aigbedion says.  Last year’s events included pottery and cooking lessons.

Due to demand, Aigbedion says that  she may offer another golf clinic. She timed this one so participants could sign up for the fall session of Tee It Up as follow-up and believes that several students will. Simply put, “It’s an important networking tool in the business world.”

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