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You’ll often hear MBA programs boast about their geographic locations as an extension of your business school experience. We certainly love our “sweet home, Chicago” for its museums, Lakefront trail, dining scene, and more, but we also appreciate the blend of racial and ethnic backgrounds that make up the fabric of our city. That's why The University of Chicago has a long history of giving back and contributing to Chicago and the Hyde Park neighborhood. In fact, the city’s first leadership development program specifically for African American professionals was created in partnership with Chicago Booth. In honor of Black History Month, we want to help you explore the resources available to Black students, as well as the ways in which all Booth students can learn more and celebrate the diverse experiences that comprise this identity. We’ll start hyperlocal by familiarizing you with Booth-specific resources and work our way to the offerings across the city we call home.

Engaging through partnerships and Booth resources

In diversity recruitment, relationship building is key. Chicago Booth is closely affiliated with several national organizations—including multiple that support Black students—that work to improve the diversity of leaders in the business world. These third party partnerships allow Booth to engage with prospective students at the early stages of their MBA path. A few of our partnerships include: 

  • Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT), a national nonprofit organization that has made groundbreaking progress to correct the dramatic underrepresentation of minorities in leadership positions. MLT actively works with business schools to increase the presence of minorities in MBA programs as preparation for leadership roles in corporations, nonprofits, and entrepreneurial ventures.
  • Posse, a national organization whose model is rooted in the belief that a small, diverse group of talented students can serve as a catalyst for individual and community development. Posse’s Graduate + Fellowship Program works to ensure that Posse Scholars and alumni consider and pursue graduate studies, including MBAs, at top-tier institutions. As part of these efforts, Posse’s Graduate School Affiliates offer Posse Scholars and alumni a limited number of full-tuition fellowships each year.
  • The JumpStart Advisory Group (JSAG), specializes in identifying and developing highly skilled diverse professionals who possess the expertise, experience, and academic credentials for today’s competitive market. JSAG provides progressive opportunity building for students and professionals looking to earn an MBA, partnering with academic institutions, and engaging with employers.

Once you begin Chicago Booth’s application process, you’ll be introduced to the African American MBA Association (AAMBAA). This student-led group serves as a professional resource and peer network for Booth’s Black community. They help prospective students by providing application feedback, hosting mock interviews, and answering questions about our school culture. For current students, the group continues that support throughout all recruitment cycles as well as holds social activities and other ways to connect with other members of the Booth community.

Connecting with The University of Chicago

As part of the University of Chicago, Booth students have access to a plethora of resources that are housed in different offices across campus. The largest of these is The Center for Identity + Inclusion (CI+I), which is home to the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, LGBTQ Student Life, and Student Support Services. The CI+I seeks to create inclusive communities by improving intercultural communication across campus populations, and promoting student advocacy to enhance the university experience.

Exploring impact across the city of Chicago

In alignment with the National Office, the Chicago Chapter of the National Black MBA Association endeavors to bring the city of Chicago programming, networking, and professional development opportunities through five channels of engagement: education, career, leadership, entrepreneurship and lifestyles. Booth attends this event annually, supporting current Boothies who are in the process of connecting with/recruiting for summer internships. 

The Chicago Booth Black Alumni Association (CBAA) began as a steering committee in April 2004. The group quickly formed into a larger, more structured affinity organization with a vision of building a connected community (among Black Booth Alumni) that uses its knowledge, skills, relationships, and talents to maximize individual and collective success. They host an annual brunch in Chicago during Booth’s alumni Reconnect weekend, participate in service-based initiatives, and are dedicated to engaging with prospective students via pop-ups, Diversity Dinners, and corporate visits.

As you consider pursuing your MBA at Chicago Booth, we hope you’ll explore these resources and many more!