Upon my acceptance to Booth in 2018, I received an outpouring of support from the Booth community. Both my email and snail mail were filled with notes, invitations and information about my new home for two years. One invitation was to the 2018 Dusable Conference. The DuSable Conference is the flagship event for Booth’s African American MBA Association. It aims to serve as the nexus for activity in Chicago’s Black Business Economy by delivering content to encourage collaboration between AAMBAA Students and Alumni, Chicago Black Business Owners, Chicago Black Professionals, and the broader University of Chicago Black constituency. While I was not able to attend the conference that year, I put it on my list of must-dos for my time at Booth.
The 2019 DuSable Conference focused on Next Generation Leadership and included several speakers who challenged the audience to think about how they envision leadership in our current society. We heard from Shundrawn A. Thomas, 99’, who serves as president of Northern Trust Asset Management. Shundrawn spoke about how he crafted his values and ethics into his leadership style as he moved up the ranks. Hearing from alumni about their journey after Booth is essential to me as I begin to imagine my life after Booth. Walter E. Massey, Ph.D., president emeritus of Morehouse College, was equally impactful as he spoke of the role of historically black colleges and universities in providing quality education and opportunities for black students in America and the role that education can play in providing opportunities for leadership.
One of the highlights of the conference was the opportunity to connect with fellow Booth students and alumni.
The strong Booth alumni network in Chicago means that conferences like DuSable has access to leaders across sectors in the city. As students who are involved in numerous activities, DuSable and similar landmark events also allow us an opportunity to reconnect and enjoy each other. Last year, DuSable was one of the last key events where I was able to enjoy second-year students before they graduated. I could reflect on the year and how everything had come full circle for me as a student. It also gave me an opportunity to see my classmates begin to assume their leadership positions as leaders of AAMBAA and continue the pay-it-forward culture.
I am excited for this year’s conference and the opportunity to, once again, have important and impactful discussions with fellow students and alumni about how to make a difference in the black community in Chicago and beyond. This year’s DuSable conference will take place on April 4th at Harper Center, home to Booth’s Full-Time MBA Program. Get more information on how to attend here. Hope to see you there!