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As one of the largest metropolitan cities in the country, Chicago is home to over 2.6 million people. With Chicago ranked as having the third largest population in the U.S., one might wonder what it is about Chicago that keeps people coming back for more. Well, we’re going to tell you as we highlight five advantages associated with pursuing your MBA in Chicago.

From the captivating skyline, wide selection of delicious cuisines, and endless events year-round, to the booming business scene and intertwined public transportation system—Chicago has it all.

1. Access to Global Corporations and Strong Business Network

Chicago’s established metropolis provides exposure to international markets, making it an ideal location for people interested in learning about global business trends and strategies. With many Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Chicago, like United Airlines, Hyatt Hotels, and Abbott Laboratories, individuals in Chicago also have easy access to potential employers for internships, projects, networking opportunities, post-MBA roles, and more.

Chicago is also a major hub for those interested in pursuing a career in fields like finance, consulting, manufacturing, healthcare, and technology, to name a few. Access to opportunities within these industries offers MBA students ample possibilities to connect with influential professionals and build a strong, valuable network.

2. Prime Location for Travel

Chicago is the third largest city in the United States, behind New York and Los Angeles, and is conveniently located in the Midwest. Chicago’s central setting with two international airports is a great benefit to those living in the city. Traveling to any part of the country from Chicago is a relatively short commute (around 2.5 hours to NYC), oftentimes with nonstop flight options available. This is especially advantageous for people who either plan to travel during their MBA or commute for our Weekend MBA Program.

3. Diverse Neighborhoods and Impeccable Food Scene

Chicago’s eye-catching architecture and diverse neighborhood scene makes it a great place for anyone to call home. There are 77 distinct neighborhoods in Chicago—each one brings the city to life with its own unique character and history. Hyde Park, the established home of the University of Chicago campus and the Charles M. Harper Center (where our Full-Time MBA Program is housed), is known for its contemporary art and delectable food selections. Medici on 57th, Native Foods Café, Salonica, Virtue, and Pizza Capri are a few of the many delicious culinary options available near our Hyde Park campus.

Chicago Booth’s Gleacher Center is located in what’s known as the central business district of Chicago: The Loop. With many major corporations and local companies situated in The Loop, our downtown location is a great place to immerse yourself in the businessworld, while also soaking up the beautiful scenery of the Chicago skyline.

4. Widespread Transportation

Chicago’s well-developed public transit system offers many benefits for residents and visitors alike: from cost effectiveness to accessibility and time efficiency, there’s a mode of preferred transportation available for everyone. If you are someone who would prefer not to own a vehicle, you would find yourself right at home in Chicago. Chicago’s public transportation system is extensive, as it covers a wide array of the city and connects to bordering neighborhoods outside of the city as well. The intersecting bus, train, and Metra systems make it easy to get around the city without having to worry about driving or finding parking. There is also the option to rent a bike or a scooter and even take a water taxi, if you’re near the Chicago River, to get to your destination.

5. Enjoyable City-Life Experience

Living in Chicago can be a lot of fun and there’s truly something for everyone to enjoy. Chicago is known for its vibrant cultural scene, including world-class museums like the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as other avenues to explore and appreciate the arts at different theaters, music venues, and galleries across the city. Throughout the year, Chicago hosts a variety of festivals and events, including Lollapalooza, Taste of Chicago, and the Chicago Air and Water Show. With athletic teams represented in almost every pro-sporting arena, Chicago is also an exciting place to experience a sports game.

Lastly, we cannot end without mentioning the city’s picturesque lakefront along Lake Michigan that spans 30 miles. Chicago’s waterfront is a great place to relax and enjoy the stunning views. People also like to bike and jog along the lakefront trail throughout the year, day and night. It's safe to say with so much to do in Chicago, MBA students have access to many activities you can participate in outside of the classroom during your MBA experience and after.

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These are just a few of the many advantages associated with coming to Chicago, more specifically to Chicago Booth, for your MBA experience. As you continue researching business schools, we encourage you to look at our MBA Program offerings and attend an upcoming Full-Time or Part-Time admissions event to get a sense of what life in Chicago is like for our MBA students.