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Carole Brown ’89 will be the keynote speaker at the Black Management Association Conference on Nov. 10.

Carole Brown ’89 will be the keynote speaker at the Black Management Association Conference on Nov. 10.

Coming soon: Black Management Association Conference

Keynote speaker Carole Brown ’89 to offer ‘empowering’ career advice

By Cheryl SooHoo

11/2/2012 - First get the tools. Then learn how to use them well to build the career you envision.

“One of the biggest mistakes people make is not having a plan for getting the building blocks they need for what they want to do,” says Carole Brown, ’89, who will be the keynote speaker at the 26th Black Management Association (BMA) Conference Nov. 10 at the James L. Allen Center.

A lasting impact
The upcoming symposium “Empowering You to Make a Lasting Impact” will be the main event of the first Kellogg Diversity Weekend. Open to students, alumni, prospective students, faculty, administrators, and professionals from near and far, the conference will feature guest speakers and panelists from business, government, media and entertainment.

Managing Director of Barclays Capital and head of the firm’s Midwest municipal practice, Kellogg alumna Brown will share her insights as a successful African-American business leader. While she can’t point to one specific tool she used to empower herself to the top of her field, she says it’s impossible to overstate the importance of “getting the basics down.”

“Know your craft, stay current in your knowledge and training, and make sure you have the right people to support you,” she says. “Be flexible enough to adapt to changes that will occur over time. In order to succeed, it’s OK to fail. All of these things empower you.”

Learning from experience
Experiences — good and bad — empower as well, Brown says. She saw firsthand Lehman Brothers’ collapse during her 10-year stint as a managing director at the firm. She plans to share her insider view during her keynote address. Says Brown, “It was the one singular experience that changed my professional career but it helped me get to where I am today.”

The recipient of many professional accolades, Brown was named one of Crain’s Chicago Business’ 40 under 40 in 2003 and one of the “25 Women to Watch” by that same publication in 2007. In 2005, Chicago United, an advocacy organization that promotes multiracial business leadership, named her a “Business Leader of Color,” and Black MBA Magazine selected Brown as one of the “Top 50 Under 50.” In 2007, Brown was selected by Working Mother to receive the Legacy Award at its Chicago Multicultural Women’s Town Hall.

Further reading:
The 26th Black Management Association Conference
A ‘never-ending ripple’ of influence