My family is originally from Sudan, we moved to the US when I was a toddler and I grew up in the D.C. area. I have a bachelor’s in economics from Wharton and I also minored in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations—Arabic and Islamic Studies. After graduating, I moved to Dubai and worked for Citi’s Investment Banking team for two years, followed by three years in growth equity at Standard Chartered Private Equity. I came to Booth to gain additional skills, expand my network, and recruit back into private equity in the US.
As I’m wrapping up my last quarter here at Chicago Booth, my mind is running through a whirlwind of what seems like far-off memories. The drive from Colorado, first day of classes, investment banking recruiting, trips across the world, and the list goes on. Contemplating what I imagine will eventually seem like a small glimpse in time, I find myself reflecting on one aspect of this experience that I feel is illustrative of the whole.
My first year at Business School was tough. Awash with a number of competing tasks—moving to a new city, navigating the waters of recruiting, maintaining a family, nurturing lifelong friendships—it was critical that I had the right network in place to help alleviate some of the stress, so that I may successfully emerge from this experience. More often than not, I came to find that members of the African American MBA Association (AAMBAA) were more than willing to fill this gap. AAMBAA has served as more than just a professional resource, it has been my family.
In honor of Black History Month, the African American MBA Association (AAMBAA) organized a Black Out Day — dedicated to dressing in all black to call attention to the continued struggle for equality for ALL in America. In addition to addressing the fight for justice within Black communities, students wanted to promote awareness of social inequities, and empower those from marginalized communities.
Chicago Booth, in conjunction with several business schools around the country, honored the Black Lives Matter movement this past week. Students and faculty gathered and dressed in black as a sign of solidarity and a desire to engage in dialogue about race relations in today’s United States. These are my thoughts on a topic far too complex to fit an 800-word essay.