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Student Partnership Program

The Choose Chicago Student Partnership Program aims to connect local tourism and hospitality students with the broader tourism industry.

Students will increase their knowledge and experience by engaging in opportunities uniquely designed for their professional growth.

The Choose Chicago Student Partnership Program is a bridge that connects students to one of the most dynamic, multi-faceted, and evolving industries and helps grow a strong group of future industry leaders.

Become a Choose Chicago Student Partner today to receive the following benefits:

  • Networking and educational opportunities with industry professionals
  • Eligible to apply for the annual Choose Chicago Future Leader Award ($5,000)
  • Industry-related volunteer opportunities
  • Access to Choose Chicago industry news, events, and exclusive research

Join now for only $15

What is Choose Chicago?

Choose Chicago is the official destination sales and marketing organization for Chicago. Our mission is to attract regional, national and international meetings, conventions, tradeshows and leisure visitors to Chicago for the economic benefit of the city, the community and our partners. 

Annually the Chicago tourism industry is responsible for over:

  • 57M visitors
  • $16B in direct spending
  • $1B in state and local taxes
  • 150,000 industry jobs 

Choose Chicago’s reach extends to over 1,600 local organizations that are directly impacted by the visitor experience, including:

  • Cultural and entertainment institutions
  • Tours and attractions
  • Hotels and restaurants
  • Meeting/event suppliers
  • And more


Why Should I Join as a Choose Chicago Student Partner?

  • Invitations to attend networking and education events specifically designed for students 
  • Access to industry professionals and organizations
  • Industry related volunteer opportunities
  • The Destination Newsletter – distributed monthly
  • Exclusive access to Choose Chicago research, analysis, reports, and presentations 
  • Access to Choose Chicago’s online convention calendar
  • Eligible to apply for the annual Choose Chicago Future Leader Award 

Can I attend non-Student Partner Choose Chicago Events?
Student partners are welcomed at select Choose Chicago Professional Partner Events. These events include the Annual Meeting of Partnership and morning Partner Engagement Events. If you are interested in attending another event please email

What types of businesses are part of the hospitality and tourism industry?

  • Airlines/Airports
  • Audio/Visual
  • Conference and Convention Centers
  • Convention/Event Management and Production
  • Catering
  • Decorators
  • Destination Management Companies
  • Entertainment, Talent, Speakers
  • Food & Beverage Purveyors
  • Hotels
  • Music/Nightlife
  • Museums, Galleries, & Exhibitions
  • Rentals
  • Restaurants
  • Retail
  • Sports & Recreation
  • Special Event Venues
  • Staffing Services
  • Transportation
  • Theater & Performing Arts
  • Tours & Attractions
  • Visitor Resources
  • And So Much More!

How much does a Student Partnership cost?
The Student Partnership costs $15 annually.

How do I join?
Click here to enroll online as a new Choose Chicago Student Partner.

Will there be students from other schools in the Student Partnership Program? 
Yes. Our student partnership program is open to tourism and hospitality students in the Chicago-land area. Schools in our program include but are not limited to:

  • DePaul University
  • Kennedy King
  • National Louis University/Kendall College
  • Roosevelt University
  • Washburne Culinary & Hospitality Institute

What is the Choose Chicago Future Leader Award?
Choose Chicago recognizes outstanding students in the hospitality and tourism industry with the annual Choose Chicago Future Leader Award.  Choose Chicago Future Leader Award winners will receive $5,000 to apply to their educational costs (tuition, room & board, and other associated expenses). Under the direction of Choose Chicago, the Award Committee comprised of six industry professionals will carefully review each application based on the criteria below and select the four most deserving winners. The Choose Chicago Foundation funds the Choose Chicago Future Leader Award(s).

Learn more

Do I have to be a tourism/hospitality major to join?
The Choose Chicago Student Partnership Program was created for Tourism and Hospitality majors but we recognize that students of other majors may be interested in pursuing a career in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry. Email to find out if a Choose Chicago Student Partnership is a good fit for you.

How often are there events or activities for student partners? 
Choose Chicago will host at least one educational and one networking event for students each semester.

Who will I meet at the networking events? 

  • Student partners from other Chicago-area Colleges and Universities
  • Choose Chicago Staff
  • Choose Chicago’s professional partners from local organizations including:
    • cultural institutions
    • dining 
    • entertainment 
    • hotels
    • meeting/event suppliers
    • retail 
    • tour & attractions
    • and more

Do I have to be a partner to attend events? 

How much do student partner events cost?
Events are complementary to Choose Chicago Student Partners.

What type of volunteer opportunities are available?
Choose Chicago frequently seeks volunteers to assist the organization in supporting our meeting and convention clients at McCormick Place, partner and industry events, and various high-profile amateur and professional sporting events.

Can I continue my Student Partnership after I graduate?
You will continue to have access to your Choose Chicago Student Partnership for 6 months past your graduation date. After this date you are no longer eligible for a Student Partnership but we hope that the company lucky enough to hire you is a proud Choose Chicago Partner and can offer you a professional partnership.

What is the cancellation/refund policy?
Refunds for your Choose Chicago Student Partnership are not guaranteed and will be judged case by case. Email with questions regarding cancellations and refunds.

Have Questions?

(312) 567-8461

Choose Chicago Office Hours

Drop by and see us! Choose Chicago offers one-on-one walk-in hours for our partner organizations in our downtown office (72 E. Randolph).