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by Ashton Clark, E&W 2018

A few days before I graduated from the Kellogg School of Management last spring, I received an email about winning the Dean’s Distinguished Service Award for my contribution to diversity at Kellogg. I was extremely excited to be nominated for this award. Before I started my journey to Kellogg, I promised myself and the administration that I would leave the school more diverse than when I started.

As the only black student in my class of 49 students, I knew I could be part of the change to increase diversity in the Evening & Weekend MBA Program. To do this, I partnered with the admissions team to plan diversity events throughout the year.

I remember one event in particular where we partnered with the Bronzeville Incubator on the southside of Chicago. The program was marketed to diverse candidates across the city. We had diverse alumni and current students who served on panels to answer questions from prospective students. We catered food from diverse restaurants on the southside and provided a space for prospective students to mix and mingle with administrators, alumni and current students. This was a phenomenal event and the prospective students appreciated seeing Kellogg in another light outside of campus.

I took this opportunity to speak to as many students as I could and share my journey. I live on the southside and wanted them to know that attending Kellogg is possible regardless of where you are from. My journey to Kellogg was in no way easy, but it was worth it. I am thankful for the platform Kellogg gave me as a student to share my story with prospective students. As a result, I helped recruit 20 black students to Kellogg during my time.

I firmly believe Kellogg is setting the bar on diversity within business schools and showing how important diverse classrooms are. I am proud to be an alumnus of Kellogg and will continue to be an advocate for diversity.