Reaching Out hosted its third class of Fellows this month at the LGBTQ MBA Fellowship Retreat in New York City over the weekend of July 21st. The Class of 2019 is comprised of 54 Fellows representing 36 schools around the world, and will collectively receive over $1.3M in scholarships for each of their two years as LGBTQ MBAs.
Friday morning was set aside for travel and sightseeing with Fellows coming from as far away as Indonesia and as close as the Bronx. The retreat officially started with the MBAs introducing themselves with the help of some prompts. Each introduction ended with a response to the question “Who are your people?”. Their answers drew from a wide range of areas, below is just a short list of who they mentioned:
- trans community
- people of color community
- comics/cos-play fans
- outdoor adventurers
- cat people
- dog people
- book fans
- military community
- arts and theater community
Friday wrapped up over dinner where the Fellows were able to spend more time getting to know each other and the Reaching Out staff.
Saturday’s agenda delved into specific fellowship content, leading with a panel of rising MBA2s to share their MBA1 experience. First day jitters, recruiting for internships, effective networking, and ways to manage life during an MBA were among the topics of discussion. Following the panel was a leadership workshop led by McKinsey & Company. Through a number of interactive exercises, the McKinsey staff were able to get the group to identify what leadership qualities they already possessed, areas where they could be further developed, and an understanding of what environments inhibit or engage their ability to lead. Over lunch, several LGBTQ MBA alumni sat down with the group for an informal Q&A about the evolution of their career and relationship with Reaching Out. A brief presentation on fellowship benefits and opportunities finished the day’s informational content.
Reaching Out is inherently an LGBTQ organization and to stress that importance the retreat always includes an LGBTQ tour which highlights the history of the local community. This year’s class was treated to a tour of the west village where much of the LGBTQ movement of the 20th century took place. The tour guides led the Fellows to the streets of the aids crisis, the site of the stonewall riots, the front door of an underground gay speakeasy, and other places of note for LGBTQ history and culture.
The retreat ended with a reception style dinner at a local restaurant known for its LGBTQ clientele where the Fellows continued the conversations and connections that will support them as they begin their MBAs.