Two Great Diversity Conferences

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One of the great parts of my job is the opportunity to go on the road and meet strong candidates for our full time MBA program. Each year we attend many MBA fairs and conferences where we meet prospective students who are interested in finding out more about the value of an MBA and discovering what sets Chicago Booth apart from the other programs.

Each year I am honored to be part of two exceptional conferences, The National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) Annual Conference and Exhibition and the National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA) Conference and Career Expo. Both of these conferences provide a good arena for diversity talent to shine and they also support the next generation of movers and shakers.

The NBMBAA was started in 1970 by students from Chicago Booth and just recently held its 34th annual conference in Indianapolis. This conference pulls together top companies from a variety of industries that are interested in hiring minority candidates. Most of the attendees have earned MBAs from some of the top programs throughout the US and are prepared to take the next step in their careers. Attendees have a chance to attend many general sessions that help you recognize the impact an MBA can have on your life as well as meet representatives from companies in the field of marketing, technology, energy and banking, just to name a few, and gain valuable insights into what employment opportunities are available. There are many networking events where attendees can catch up with old colleagues and make new connections. Several companies also conduct on site interviews which can lead to internships or a full time position. Each year Admissions accompanies members of the Booth Career Services and Diversity Affairs offices to give support to our first and second year students as they conduct research on companies and prepare for interviews. Since many of our alumni are leaders at several of these companies an introduction can provide that extra layer of support and insight needed. The Career Services office also utilizes this conference as a way of building and maintaining relationships with companies who are looking to meet our students. Our Office of Diversity Affairs (ODA) also hosts a reception for our current students and alumni giving them a chance to relax in a more casual environment but still make those valuable connections.

Last week I also attended the 23rd Annual NSHMBA Conference held in Orlando, FL. Companies here are looking for the best talent in order to take their organizations to the next level and having a degree in higher education is usually the key. NSHMBA also gives pre-MBA attendees exposure to top MBA programs where they can speak with admissions officers to learn about their programs. I met several impressive candidates who were looking to do just that and will be applying to Chicago Booth this year!

If you are a diversity candidate and haven’t had a chance to attend either of these conferences you should consider it. Having these resources available to you can be the push you need to make the right decision about your future. The 35th Annual NBMBAA conference will be held in Houston from September 10-14, 2013 and NSHMBA's Conference will be celebrating their 25th anniversary! Their conference will be held in San Antonio from October 9-12, 2013. Please make sure you check their websites for any updates. I hope to see you there!