LGBTQ BUSINESS STUDENT BLOG

LGBT MBA Blog

20

Nov 2017

Meet the LGBTQ MBA Fellows: Taylor Kunkel

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The Reaching Out LGBT MBA Fellowship is a scholarship and leadership development program for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and active ally MBAs in full-time programs. Each Fellows receives at least $10,000 funding per academic year (or $20,000 total for his/her/their two years) in addition free access to all Reaching Out programming (including the ROMBA Conference), LGBTQ mentors, digital programming, and a leadership summit exclusively for the Fellows.  Since the inception of the ROMBA Fellowship 129 students have received over US$6.2M in scholarship support from participating schools.

This fall Reaching Out welcomed the third class of the ROMBA Fellows. These 56 fellows come from 35 top business schools and over the next month we’ll introduce each of them to you.

41 MBA programs will be part of the Fellowship for the 2017-2018 application cycle. To learn about the Fellowship and let schools know of your interest here.



MEET TAYLOR KUNKEL (VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY, OWEN GRADUATE SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT)

I was born in Corpus Christi, TX and until leaving for college I lived in the same house in the small suburb of Portland, TX. I think this stationary beginning to my life is why I love traveling so much now. I have undertaken two one-month solo backpacking trips along with some additional smaller travel stints and I cannot get enough. After high school, I attended Texas A&M University in College Station, TX beginning my studies in Biomedical Engineering and later switching to Petroleum Engineering after talking with some people in the industry. I was very drawn to the idea of working in a non-conventional office in the field and witnessing the physical manifestation of technical and financial work done in the back office. I had the rare opportunity to work for ENI Petroleum as a Deepwater Drilling Engineer both in the office and on the rig in the Gulf of Mexico. As an Italian based company ENI introduced me to working with cross-cultural teams and when they sent me on business to the United Kingdom and Italy it was the first time I had been outside of the United States. I continued to work with and manage teams from around the world on the rig with additional experience ranging from day to day logistical operations to cost and risk analysis. I am an extremely curious individual so in my free time I like to explore by trying new cuisine, traveling to new destinations, or meeting new people.

What made you consider business school?
I invested in my first mutual fund of my own accord in seventh grade with money I had saved from birthdays and chores. So, I have had a long-standing fascination with business for some time now and while in engineering was drawn more towards the financial aspects of a project. MBA programs offer the opportunity to learn and improve with the added benefit of having an established real-world perspective. Business school is also an incredible opportunity to switch tracks and embark on a career path with high growth potential.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?
I am most excited about working and networking with other highly ambitious people who share the same passion for business that I do.

Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
Martine Rothblatt has such an incredible and inspiring story. She has consistently been at the top of her field pre and post transition. She fostered the creation of significant portions of the satellite communications industry and then completely switched gears and created a multi-billion dollar biotechnology company originally founded to help cure her daughter’s illness. She has not let being transgender define her or limit her aspirations in the slightest.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
Presidential debates are my equivalent to the Super Bowl. As a former debater, I hang on every word and love to think about the strategy used to come out on top.

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20

Nov 2017

Meet the LGBTQ MBA Fellows: Thea Le

Posted by / in LGBTQ BUSINESS STUDENT BLOG / No comments yet

The Reaching Out LGBT MBA Fellowship is a scholarship and leadership development program for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and active ally MBAs in full-time programs. Each Fellows receives at least $10,000 funding per academic year (or $20,000 total for his/her/their two years) in addition free access to all Reaching Out programming (including the ROMBA Conference), LGBTQ mentors, digital programming, and a leadership summit exclusively for the Fellows.  Since the inception of the ROMBA Fellowship 129 students have received over US$6.2M in scholarship support from participating schools.

This fall Reaching Out welcomed the third class of the ROMBA Fellows. These 56 fellows come from 35 top business schools and over the next month we’ll introduce each of them to you.

41 MBA programs will be part of the Fellowship for the 2017-2018 application cycle. To learn about the Fellowship and let schools know of your interest here.



MEET THEA LE (UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER, SIMON SCHOOL OF BUSINESS)

Thea (Thao) Le is a marketing professional (with over 6 years experience in brand management, project planning and execution), a fervent bookaholic (with a passion for heavy watermelon-size books), a part-time book translator/ editor (with 8 published works) and a huge fan of exotic food (with a unconcealed appetite). She pursuits her MBA at Simon Business School, University of Rochester, NY. She aspires to become a leader capable of balance the creativity and data-driven aspect of the new marketing era, to ultimately reach her goal of building a world-renown Vietnamese agency. When she’s not glued to her laptop screen/ her books/ her plate, she enjoys traveling, snorkeling, cooking and trying very hard to stick to her 5-year in a row new year’s resolution of exercising more.

What made you consider business school?
To step into a leading position and accomplish my long-term vision, I need an MBA to further enhance my strategic thinking and data analytic skills, and to gain more diversified global exposure to become an expert in marketing strategy.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?
The new relationships and networking opportunities. The new environment and life experiences.

Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
I really take a lot of inspiration from Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, author of the international best seller “Lean In”, and founder of Lean In Foundation. She embodies the vision of a leader with both business success and community impact that I always try to accomplish in the future.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
I appeared on National television 7 times so far: 4 times for the competitions/contest/ game shows I joined, 2 time for  interviews after I won championship of a business case contest, and 1 time for randomly walking through a celebrity prank show set up.

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17

Nov 2017

Meet the LGBTQ MBA Fellows: Tam Emerson

Posted by / in LGBTQ BUSINESS STUDENT BLOG / No comments yet

The Reaching Out LGBT MBA Fellowship is a scholarship and leadership development program for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and active ally MBAs in full-time programs. Each Fellows receives at least $10,000 funding per academic year (or $20,000 total for his/her/their two years) in addition free access to all Reaching Out programming (including the ROMBA Conference), LGBTQ mentors, digital programming, and a leadership summit exclusively for the Fellows.  Since the inception of the ROMBA Fellowship 129 students have received over US$6.2M in scholarship support from participating schools.

This fall Reaching Out welcomed the third class of the ROMBA Fellows. These 56 fellows come from 35 top business schools and over the next month we’ll introduce each of them to you.

41 MBA programs will be part of the Fellowship for the 2017-2018 application cycle. To learn about the Fellowship and let schools know of your interest here.



MEET TAM EMERSON (UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA BERKELEY, HAAS SCHOOL OF BUSINESS)

Tam Emerson is an MBA candidate at the University of California – Berkeley Haas Business School. Previously she was the Executive Director of the Eli J. & Phyllis N. Segal Citizen Leadership Program at Brandeis University. Tam is a 2008 Segal City Year Fellow and joined the Segal Program Team as a Management Fellow in 2012.   Prior to her work with the Segal Program, Tam served for two years at the AmeriCorps Program City Year Boston and was part of the start-up team for the City Year London site. Tam earned a B.S. in STEM elementary education focused in human growth and development with a minor in juvenile justice and youth advocacy from Wheelock College. Additionally, Tam completed a research fellowship through the American Cancer Society at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in the Pediatric Oncology Department. She was named as one of the 100 most influential people for the Latino community in 2016 by the prominent Boston Latino newspaper, El Planeta.

What made you consider business school?
There are many examples of current social structures becoming privatized. I believe that it is important for all sectors to work together to find innovative solutions. Moreover, I am dedicated to the hiring and retention of marginalized people. I want to take my nonprofit experience and actualize it in the for-profit sector.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?
Growing my understanding of self, the world and relationships with new people.

Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
I enjoy a great conversation!

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