Kandace Barker

At the age of 25, Kandace Barker was worried that most MBA programs would dismiss her application based solely on her youth and lack of experience. Kandace had already begun a successful career in marketing and advertising and wanted the business insights of Chicago Booth to take the next step into entrepreneurship. “Most MBA programs require that you have at least three to five years of work experience, and I knew this could be challenge for me,” she recalls. At an information session for the Evening MBA Program, however, Kandace learned about the Chicago Business Fellows (CBF) program.

The CBF program is a subset of the Evening MBA Program that is geared toward younger professionals who have demonstrated their potential and are ready to pursue an MBA earlier in their career. The two programs are identical, with the exception that CBF students are required to take an additional seminar. They also receive mentoring and support from the students and staff and have the advantage of the CBF community. “It has really allowed me to experience something that most people my age would not have been able to,” she explains. “I really appreciate that Booth looked at me holistically in terms of my goals and what I’ve already accomplished and took it all into account.”

Kandace soon found this commitment to support extended far beyond the CBF program. “I’ve had so many opportunities to meet with alumni; not a single person has ever said no. There have even been instances where an alumni reached out to me before I even had the opportunity to contact them because someone in the admissions office suggested we connect.”

She has already used the resources and skills she found at Chicago Booth to impressive effect, earning promotions, awards, and even starting her own nonprofit, Mosaic Alumni and Friends Association (MAFA) Chicago.


Chicago, Illinois

Undergraduate Degree

Howard University – Journalism

Before Booth

Omnicom Media Group – Digital Strategist

After Booth

Digitas – Media Planner


Entrepreneurship, Human Resources, Managerial and Organizational Behavior, Marketing

Student Groups

AAMBA, Graduate Women in Business

Kandace Barker
Diversity is a vital part of the classroom dynamic and our vibrant community
Kandace Barker
Reaching new levels of self-awareness through the LEAD Program
Kandace Barker
The Chicago Booth faculty are more than willing to help students with extracurricular endeavors
Kandace Barker
The value of being inquisitive versus being “right”