Booth offers LGBTQA fellowship

The fellowship is offered through Reaching Out MBA, a national nonprofit, at 8 top business schools.

By Alice Xiao

Booth School of Business has partnered with a national nonprofit to award a fellowship to an LGBTQ student or an ally.

Booth, along with seven other top business schools, will offer the fellowship through Reaching Out M.B.A., beginning with the Class of 2017. The fellow at Booth will get numerous benefits, according to Kurt Ahlm, associate dean of student recruitment and admissions for the full-time M.B.A. program at Booth.

“Fellows will receive a minimum funding award of $10,000 per academic year from Chicago Booth, as well as access to programming, mentorship, and leadership opportunities from Reaching Out M.B.A.,” he said.

The scholarship is meant to encourage LGBTQ M.B.A. students to feel more comfortable in their communities and be proud of their identification beyond campus and into the workplace. In addition to the benefits of the fellowship, recipients also commit to planning at least one initiative through Reaching Out during their time at business school.

The application occurs as students apply to the business schools themselves. Students apply to the schools and receive the fellowship along with their offer of admission. When the student accepts the offer, the business school notifies Reaching Out M.B.A. Students can identify as an LGBTQ M.B.A. fellowship candidate by self-identifying, showing LGBTQ leadership roles on the resume, expressing interest in the business schools’ LGBTQ clubs, or discussing LGBTQ leadership in application essays.

Nationally, the University of Chicago is ranked as LGBTQ-friendly. The Campus Pride Index, a nonprofit organization that annually ranks universities, included the University in its top 25 most LGBTQ schools in 2014, based on LGBTQ policies, student activity, and academic practices.

According to Carrie Lydon, senior associate director of admissions at Booth, the school strives to achieve a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students. Resources include the Office of Diversity Affairs and various student-led groups, most notably OUTreach, Chicago Booth’s most prominent LGBTQ and ally student group.

Booth is currently also rallying school-wide support for the LGBTQA community through competing in the M.B.A. Ally Challenge, a national competition among business schools to build welcoming environments. The Challenge judges participation, activities, and inclusiveness. In last year’s competition Booth won seventh place.