In September of 2017, I received an email from Booth inviting me to Diversity Day. Similar to most overly-eager MBA prospects, I registered the same day. I visited Chicago for the first time with an interest in learning more about Booth and seeing if the school and city were places I could see myself for two years. Luckily for me, Diversity Day developed into an important turning point in my journey towards business school and Booth.
The day was packed, but I specifically remember hearing from current members of AAMBAA (African American MBA Association), HABSA (Hispanic American Business Students Association), OUTReach, and the AFG (Armed Forces Group). Panel topics ranged from social life at Booth to recruiting and academic success. Each panel echoed the community of support and pay-it-forward culture that Booth is known for. I saw myself in so many current students who came to Booth for a change of career or for new opportunities and were now poised to enter their dream positions upon graduation.
As prospective students, we also had the opportunity to have lunch with current students based on industry interests. I vividly remember sitting with those interested in social impact and a lively discussion ranging from the Obama Foundation to financial inclusion in South Side Chicago communities. These important conversations made me feel assured in my resolve to attend business school as a non-traditional student.
The black community at Booth continued to show its strength long after the weekend. I had numerous calls with current students as I continued to identify the best school for me and craft my applications. With each success—submitting my application, receiving an invite to interview, and eventual being accepted—I felt the black community at Booth celebrating with me.
This year, I am excited to attend Diversity Day as a second year student. With three years of experience at Booth (as a prospective student, incoming student, and current student), I now understand the different emotions and thoughts at each phase. My goal is to assure each attendee that there is a place for you at Booth and a community ready to welcome you with open arms.
Looking back on my Diversity Day experience, I am amazed at how much it played into my Booth experience. The first year student who gave me a tour of Booth would end up being a friend and a fellow cohort member with whom I served on our student government, GBC (Graduate Business Council). And the other prospective students I met would become my Random Walk friends, interview coaches, and even next-door neighbors.
I’d like to personally encourage anyone who identifies as Black, Hispanic American, LGBTQ, or who is active military or a veteran to sign up for Diversity Day to join us October 25 here on campus. You’ll quickly connect with a full community of Boothies, but don’t be shy about bringing a friend—especially if you know someone who would benefit from attending the day. In fact, please share this post with them!