MBA students flock to Yacht Week every summer to party and hop with potential future employers and colleagues.
The annual event has grown significantly since it started in 2007 and now hosts hundreds of participants.
The trip doesn’t come cheap, at over $1,000 for the yacht experience itself, with no flights, food or drinks.
Alongside the lavish cocktail parties and industry nights, another luxurious networking experience for elite MBA students is quickly emerging as a popular event of the year: Yacht Week.
Students from the country’s top business schools flock to Croatia every summer to party and socialize with potential future employers and colleagues while sailing the Adriatic, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Yacht Week was founded in 2006 by Swedish company Day 8 AB and has continued to grow every year since, according to the website. Today, it hosts more than 500 MBA students—usually from top US programs at schools like Harvard, Duke, Dartmouth, and Northwestern—for week-long trips every summer.
While the traditional route starts in Trogir and ends in Split, students can also choose more expensive routes, sailing around the coasts of Greece, Turkey or French Polynesia, among others. The original Croatian route costs between $566 and almost $1,000 per person, depending on the week, excluding flights, food and drinks.
According to the Wall Street Journal, housing these business students has become big business – from 2007 to 2022 the number of yachts has increased from a total of 95 to nearly 1,000 in 2022.
“The friends I went on the journey with, maybe one day we’ll be co-founders,” Hannah Bae, a student at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, told WSJ. “I know that we will definitely be successful.”
Yacht Week is usually a big celebration, with boats often mooring in circles to create an area where attendees can sip cocktails and lounge on floaties while cavorting with students on other boats. The average age of a Yacht Week attendee is between 21 and 40, WSJ reported.
A 2015 review of Yacht Week in GQ described the event and its parties as “loud” and its attendees as largely wealthy.
“Almost everyone is beautiful, single, uninhibited and rich in bottle service,” wrote GQ’s Stuart McGurk. “Several have been on reality TV shows. It’s the only vacation you can go on, I find out, that includes two permanent photographers photographing everything you, the die-hard customer, is doing at all times.
Whether the week-long party will actually result in jobs for these students remains uncertain, but it’s clear that attendees are having a good time and at least believe in the possibility of making meaningful connections.
“Someone from Yacht Week is going to be a really important part of my life one day,” Jaron Wright, an MBA student at Harvard University, told WSJ. “I have a feeling that’s going to happen.”
Read the original article on Business Insider