Why Chicago is the place for your MBA
“Where to get an MBA?” Talk about a big question! There is so much to consider when it comes to getting an MBA: program commitment and length; cost and location; curriculum and faculty and opportunities for hands-on experiential learning are among a few of the most important factors students consider when searching for an MBA program.
If you’re thinking about getting an MBA, you’re at the right spot. After all, U.S. News & World Report ranked Kellogg as the No. 2 best business school in the country for our Full-Time MBA Program. And, while we call the Midwest home, Kellogg attracts students from all parts of the world — 39 percent of this year’s class are international students, and we welcome students from all over the country year after year.
We know deciding where you will spend this exciting chapter of your life is not an easy choice, so let’s shed some light on the topic — and yes, even help change your perspective on Chicago winters. Here are some reasons why Chicago is a great place to accelerate your career.
Chicago is a commercial pillar
Chicago, also known as the Windy City, ranks as the third largest U.S. economic hub and sits in the top 25 global economies. What does this translate to? It means the city is home to more than 400 major corporations and global brands — including McDonald’s, AbbVie, PepsiCo, McKinsey and Morningstar. Chicago is also home to 30+ headquarters of Fortune 500 companies, higher than any other U.S. city except New York.
Making Chicago home to your MBA experience means you’ll benefit from having abundant corporate access, including company treks, conversations and events. The city's rich economy provides students with meaningful experiential learning opportunities and connections to industry leaders.
Chicago is also becoming one of the country’s fastest-growing tech hubs — with 18 percent growth in the last decade — and is also welcoming a healthy startup ecosystem for founders, one in which 30 percent of startup founders are women. Kellogg partners with a vast number of companies and startups, including 1871, a private, global innovation hub of technology startup founders, giving students direct access to establishing positive business relationships.
And while there are plenty of homegrown opportunities, Kellogg graduates are able to create opportunities outside of Chicago. In 2022, about 33 percent of our graduating class accepted roles on the West Coast and about 18 percent on the East Coast. And with nearly 70,000 graduates worldwide, and more than 30 international alumni clubs and 30 domestic clubs, the Kellogg MBA is your golden ticket to global opportunities.
Best of both worlds: Evanston and Chicago
A suburb of Chicago, Evanston is full of historic beauty. It has the right blend of college-town charm and more urban attractions to discover. It is also home to the Kellogg Global Hub and our Full-Time MBA Programs, where our premier faculty, motivated students and supportive alumni community have made us a leader in providing world-class business education.
So, if you’re considering an MBA in Chicago, Evanston is just a short train ride away from the city, making it the perfect backdrop to your time at Kellogg. "I love Evanston. It is the best of both worlds. One can enjoy being in a chill area where your friends live within a 15-minute walk and live next to Northwestern University's wonderful campus while having the opportunity to enjoy Chicago," says Ignacio Perez ’23 MBA.
And know that there are no dull moments in the city, especially not with 77 neighborhoods to explore and experience. Chicago offers arts, culture and programming year-round, inviting its residents to discover a vibrant culture in your community.
Chicago is one of the friendliest cities
Condé Nast Traveler got it right. Their readers ranked Chicago as one of the best large U.S. cities where people feel most welcomed. The publication has also named Chicago the best big city in the U.S. for seven straight years. Chicago indeed has some of the warmest people with plenty of good vibes. Oh, and one more thing: With no shortage of restaurants, it’s no surprise that the global media company also gave it a nod as one of the country’s best culinary destinations.
Chicago’s Midwest charm reflects our school’s tight-knit community. Our students are high impact and low ego. They want to learn, grow and improve their communities — all while supporting one another.
“Everyone talks about Kellogg being welcoming, but we are all still high achievers,” says Hope Kabel ’23 MBA. “I was happily surprised it has been such a supportive environment. If someone has an insight into something that will help us do well on a paper or test, people will share it. It’s not like if someone else gets an A, I can’t get an A. It’s a very collaborative culture where people care about others being successful in addition to themselves.”
Seasonal living has its benefits
You might be asking a question many Chicagoans are all too familiar with: "So, how cold does it get?” Unpopular opinion: Chicago winters aren’t that bad. Yes, temperatures get cold here, but the right gear will prepare you for the season: a winter coat, gloves, scarf, hat and boots. Sure, it might take more prep time in the morning, but our students say the trade-off of living in a community where friends abound nearby is more than worth it. “A natural function of living in Evanston is that all your friends live 10 minutes away,” says Kunaal Goel ’23 MBAi. Plus, the seasonal changes make for some stunning picturesque views.
With the number of museums, music venues, theatres and other attractions the city has to offer, there is enough to keep you entertained even when the snow starts falling. Transport yourself into an urban oasis and visit the Garfield Conservatory, home to one of the country’s largest botanical conservatories, catch a seasonal play like “A Christmas Carol” at The Goodman Theatre or see spaces like Navy Pier or Lincoln Park turn into a winter wonderland — there are endless options.
Advancing your skills and career
Chicago can be a launching pad for your success. No matter where you want to go, Kellogg is here for you. At Kellogg, you have choices. Check out our list of events and learn more about the Kellogg community including student life, courses and programs.