REACHING OUT FELLOWS, CLASS OF 2019

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Please note: We have excluded public listings of several of our international recipients for their safety.

Aaron Lai

Johns Hopkins University, Carey Business School

  • About Aaron

    Aaron is a first year MBA candidate at Johns Hopkins University, Carey Business School. Previously, Aaron was a senior auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers where he worked with more 20+ companies throughout Asia. He has extensive experience in fields such as accounting, auditing, internal control, risk management, legal compliance, etc. Aaron graduated from National Taipei University in Taiwan, where he majored in accounting and minored in financial management. He grew up in South Africa and later spent his life living in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Taiwan. Outside of his professional life, Aaron is a financial advisor for the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights, the main NPO in Taiwan advocating for equal marriage rights which also trail blazed Taiwan to become the first country in Asia to recognize same-sex marriage. Aaron is also a fervent soccer fan and avid reader of fantasy novels.

    What made you consider business school?
    After working in the accounting/finance industry for 5 years, I realized that I wasn’t satisfied with my ability to resolve some of the issues that I encountered. As I had the opportunity to talk with management with a lot of different companies, I realized that a lot of the issues that management encountered on a day to day basis required a variety of skill sets. As I started to research on what skill sets were required to resolve these complex issues, I spent a lot of time reflecting also on what I wanted in life. In the end, I realized B-school was the perfect pathway for a lot of my aspirations.

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school? I’m mostly excited about finally going back to school. This time around, after having worked in the industry, I’m really looking forward to how my perspective has changed towards learning about business knowledge in the classroom. I’m also looking forward to JHU GMBA’s flagship program called Innovation for Humanity, where students are divided into groups, based on their skill sets, and travel to developing countries to solve real world issues by applying what they learned throughout the semester. It’s exciting because not only do you get the opportunity to “get your hands dirty” but also you also get the opportunity to really impact the lives of people locally.

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    I’m always inspired by people who are willing to do things differently. Some of the leaders that I look most up to are Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Marilyn Manson, and Hans Zimmer. These people have inspired me by the way they approach their respective fields—often swimming against the stream and not with it because they believed in what they were doing.  

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    I am the epitome of a global citizen. I grew up in South Africa and later spent my years living in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Taiwan. Later in life, as an auditor working for PwC, I had the opportunity to travel throughout Asia. Now that I am pursuing my MBA in the US, I’m eager to travel to as many locations in the US as possible to see what exciting things await me. The funny thing is that I never deliberately devised a checklist or anything like that to specifically aim to travel to as many countries as I can, but I guess since my childhood, my life was always destined to be one that was mobile. But hey, I’m surely not complaining!

Adam Macie

Emory University, Goizueta Business School

  • About Adam

    Adam is a current MBA student at the Goizueta School of Business at Emory University. Adam was born in Buffalo NY, raised in Atlanta, GA, and attended the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he majored in Business Administration. After graduating in 2012, Adam joined the Huron Consulting Group as an analyst working to implement business process improvements and net revenue enhancement strategies at nationally recognized healthcare systems. In 2014, Adam joined Apple Inc. as a business analyst responsible for the forecasting, implementation, and oversight of global repair-related initiatives, confidential repair programs, and operational procedures. Outside of work, Adam has been involved with the Communities in Schools organization, serving as a volunteer math/science tutor for middle school students, Net Impact, and local running clubs in Austin and Atlanta.  

    What made you consider business school?
    Through my experience at Apple and Huron, I have learned where I want to go in my career. Business school will provide me with the necessary breadth of knowledge and leadership skillset to draw from to ultimately make a larger, positive impact on society.

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school? I'm most excited to learn from the diverse experiences of my classmates, who will also become lifelong friends.  

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    Tim Cook, Lisa Jackson, Al Gore, Rose Marcario.

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    I have never met a person I didn't want to talk to or a dog I did not want to pet.

Alberto Fabian

New York University, Stern School of Business

  • About Alberto

    Born and raised in Chicago, Alberto received a Bachelor of Arts in Advertising & Public Relations at Loyola University Chicago in 2012. After graduation, he spent four years working in digital analytics at two of the largest global public relations agencies: Edelman and Weber Shandwick. Most recently, he worked as a data quality analyst at Google as part of the rebuild of Google Attribution 360 (formerly known as Adometry). While at Google he managed product integration and data management across 13 clients. Alberto is now a first-year MBA candidate at the NYU Stern School of Business, specializing in Business Analytics & Strategy. In addition to being a ROMBA Fellow, he is also a fellowship recipient of the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management. In his spare time, Alberto is likely to be found reading a book or going for a run. In November 2017, Alberto will race in his third marathon in support of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

    What made you consider business school?
    As a communication professional turned analyst, I knew I needed to sharpen my quantitative and technical skills. I decided on an MBA specifically because I believe that analytics is about business problems, not just data or technology challenges. I believe that an MBA will help me better understand and navigate the business landscape to deliver true impact.

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school? I am most excited to engage with my new classmates. With approximately 400 students in my incoming class, there is naturally a lot of diverse talent and interests. I am thrilled to meet everyone, collaborate, and help shape each other over the next two academic years and beyond. As a life-long Chicagoan, I'm also excited to do that in a new city.

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    Howard Schultz, Larry Page and Jeff Weiner are among the most inspiring leaders to me. They each represent a range of admirable qualities, pioneering initiatives around sustainability, diversity, community outreach, STEM education, and more. The principles upon which they've built their companies I think have contributed immensely to their success.

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    I am often the first one on the dance floor.

Alex Masica

Ohio State University, Fisher College of Business

  • About Alex

    I am passionate about solving problems for the modern consumer and want to create products and experiences that change peoples’ lives. I enjoy working at the intersection of technology, creativity, and communication. I believe design today is about solving problems and is a critical process to go through in order to make sense of complexity and help humanize technology. As a child, I was always interested in how things were made. As a professional, that has transcended into loving the product development lifecycle in its many forms. I appreciate and value how one-on-one market research mixed with the right data can be the catalyst for driving many new product decisions. I believe in the lean startup and product management models combined with human-centered design, and use them to nimbly learn, produce, fail, and iterate. Working on smaller marketing and product teams has given me the luxury of learning new skills at rapid pace and the chance to make many decisions that affect various channels. From reimagining email marketing programs to developing digital media strategies, my creativity and knowledge of digital marketing are always being put to the test. Outside of work, I enjoy staying active outside by cycling, running, and hiking. I also like to get together with friends for brunch, practice photography, and develop websites.

    What made you consider business school?
    I chose to attend business school because I wanted to elevate my career, learn the necessary skills for the next stage of my career, and to build a wider network of next-generation leaders.  What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school? Honestly, I am most excited about being a full-time student again. I love being in the classroom and learning. Outside of that, I am ready to get involved with various student organizations and learn from my peers. What I think is great about business school is that there is a wide variety of backgrounds, cultures, and career paths that lead everyone to this point—there is so much to learn from everyone.

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBT community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    I’d like to share two. One is local to Minneapolis and one is globally recognized.     The first is Nancy Lyons, who is the CEO of Clockwork, a digital interactive agency in Minneapolis. I admire Nancy because of how she runs her business. She begins with hiring smart people who are also really nice (one of the requirements on every job description), trains them well, and then lets them go create great work that clients love. She is also a huge advocate for treating employees well and how businesses can adapt their policies based on employee input. Based on the people I’ve talked with who work for her, this is a huge morale booster for them because they know their leader trusts and respects them. She's built a people-first culture and I admire her for that. She also sits on a number of boards, including the Family Equality Counsel. If I can be half the leader that Nancy is, I'll be happy. The global business leader I admire is Sheryl Sandberg. Before reading Lean In, I didn’t know a lot about her. After reading it, I sought out as much information about her as I could find and now try to keep up with speaking appearances on YouTube and other pieces she authors. I admire Sheryl for her compassion and ambition, two traits required to do well in the technology sector. Her compassion shows through all of the work she’s done to shed light on issues women face in the workplace and also in how much pride she has for her own employees. Her ambition has allowed her to chase and fulfill her goals while also empowering other people to chase after their own.  

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    I'm a big advocate of giving back and helping mentor and mold the younger generation. I've spent nearly 10 years volunteering with a youth leadership camp in Wisconsin called Badger Boys State, where 17-year-old men learn about the US political system and what it means to be a servant leader among their peers and in their community. I started as a counselor and now lead their media production team.

Alexandra Tapley

Babson College, F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business

  • About Alexandra

    Alexandra Tapley is an MBA candidate at Babson College in Massachusetts. Alexandra graduated from the University of Southern California with a B.A. in International Relations with minors in marketing and conflict resolution studies. During her time at USC, Alexandra was an award-winning member of the women's Varsity rowing team, winning a PAC-10 Championship and competing at NCAA Championships. Alexandra's experience in international relations, social responsibility and working with street artists from local youth community centres and the surrounding neighbourhoods of South Central, Los Angeles led her to pursue a career in documentary filmmaking. Following her time at USC, Alexandra worked as an Associate Producer for the acclaimed documentary filmmaker and author, Jon Reiss and his company Hybrid Cinema. During her five years at Hybrid, Alexandra worked on the sequel to the internationally acclaimed film, "Bomb It", which featured street-artists from 12 different countries. Alexandra also served as an outreach and distribution consultant for the film "Fambul Tok", produced by Rory Kennedy. For the past three years, Alexandra has been based in Boston, streamlining her family's business, The Children's Spoon Inc. - an international social education program for children into an online platform and mobile app. In addition to The Children's Spoon, Alexandra, with 25 years of equestrian experience, has been working in nonprofit development for equine therapy centres in addition to instructing children with special-needs and veterans. Alexandra was born and raised in London, England, and holds dual-citizenship with the United States.

    What made you consider business school?
    I first considered business school when I took on re-booting a family business, that focuses on social education for children, into an app/online program. 

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?Having worked with top gaming developers and child education specialists in both Boston and San Francisco over the last few years during pre-production of my app, I am excited to take the company and development to the next stage and complete production during my MBA. I can't wait to work with and learn from people with vastly diverse backgrounds and experiences from myself and discover new areas and opportunities. Maybe in business school, there are more than just 24 hours in a day? 

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    My inspirational leaders have a varied range. Growing up in England, I looked up to Winston Churchill, not because of his victories but because of his humility as a leader. He acknowledged his shortcomings as a leader, and always reminded people that we are all just human. But first and foremost his decree was never to give up - always persist! I find Richard Branson's business and entrepreneurial spirit inspirational. I would be remiss not to include an athlete, being a former coach and DI college athlete For me, Chris Ernst, an Olympic rower, who along with her Yale teammates back in 1976 paved the way to create the opportunities that female athletes enjoy today. She is the Billie Jean King of rowers! 

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    I love a good adventure into the unknown. 

Andrew Foster

MIT, Sloan School of Management

  • About Andrew

    Raised in Connecticut, Andrew moved out to Los Angeles to study mathematics and international relations at Pomona College. Post-graduation, he joined GE’s Financial Management Program (FMP). At GE, he worked in Ohio and the Czech Republic and served on the board of GE Aviation’s LGBT affinity group. He then moved back west to join a B2B e-commerce company (McMaster-Carr) as an operations manager. He is excited to be pursuing an MBA and Masters in Civil Engineering at MIT. Outside of work, Andrew enjoys playing the bass guitar, sailboat racing, and hiking.

    What made you consider business school?
    In my last role, I was leading a team of 25 people, and since I did not have much formal leadership training or experience in e-commerce, I was improvising a lot. Thankfully I got a lot of tips from colleagues and read some helpful books, and this guidance helped me improve. However, I knew I could get even better given more knowledge, practice, and reflection. I saw business school as the best opportunity to get all three of these experiences in a short timeframe.  

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?I am most excited about connecting with and learning from my peers. MIT does an excellent job of attracting students from so many interesting and diverse backgrounds. During admitted students weekend, I met peers with incredibly diverse accomplishments. One had started an e-commerce company in Nigeria, and another had improved water utility operations across North America. These experiences are humbling and inspiring and I can’t wait to learn more from my peers.

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    Tim Cook comes to mind right away – I have so much admiration for his courage and leadership. Also, Laszlo Bock (former SVP of People Operations at Google) is inspiring for his work in increasing awareness of unconscious bias both at his company and around the world. His work is an interesting example of how companies can benefit society through communicating ideas in addition to providing goods and services.

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    My first job was playing bass guitar for a production of the musical Thoroughly Modern Millie. I love musicals and have played in and watched many shows. 

Andrew Kwan

New York University, Stern School of Business

  • About Andrew

    I was born in the United Kingdom, but grew up mostly in New Jersey.  I graduated from the University of Southern California in 2012 with a triple major in Accounting, Business Administration, and Sociology. Upon graduation, I started in Citi's Los Angeles offices, as an analyst in it's Private Banking division. I eventually transferred up to San Francisco and became an Investment Associate, where I worked with our ultra-high net worth clients in managing their investment portfolios. At Citi, I was one of the first members of the Citi Pride Network in San Francisco, the firm's LGBT ERG. I eventually became President and partnered with colleagues and external organizations to drive the group's mission.  I am an avid supporter of the arts and currently perform as a member of the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus.

    What made you consider business school?
    Having only worked in wealth management, I was ready to explore different fields. I wanted to use business school as an opportunity to expand my business and leadership experience as well as to broaden my network.

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?Learning about the experiences of all of my classmates. Coming from a typical pre-MBA background, I believe that my future Sternies will be the biggest part of my education.

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    Marc Benioff, Bono, Sheryl Sandberg

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    I love musicals.

     

Ballard Metcalfe

University of California, Los Angeles, Anderson School of Management

  • About Ballard

    I grew up in rural Kentucky. I went to Princeton for undergrad, where I was very involved in music, the band, and LGBT life. I received my B.S.E. in civil engineering, and since graduating, I have been working for 3 years in San Diego for T.Y. Lin International, which is a global infrastructure design company. I have worked on a wide variety of projects in multiple roles, including researching for feasibility studies, writing environmental reports, performing road and bridge design, providing marketing support for proposals and pursuits, and managing subconsultants and technicians. Outside of work, I love to travel, and I love trying new restaurants and new recipes.

    What made you consider business school?
    I had always loved engineering, and so after graduation I really embraced my field in earnest. After several years of gaining of exposure to many different aspects of engineering, I felt that I had many other skills that were being underutilized. I am hoping that business school will give me the platform to me develop these skills that I can then meld with the enjoyable problem-solving aspects of engineering to solve complex business challenges. I also wanted to connect with other peers who could help me in this journey.

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?I am really looking forward to getting to learn from a very diverse group of classmates.

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    Pope Francis for his willingness to be on the streets, listen to diverse voices, and challenge the status quo. Warren Buffett for his honesty, transparency, wisdom, and humility. Shirley Tilghman - the past president of Princeton - for her thoughtful, inclusive leadership of the university. Ellen DeGeneres for her bravery to be an LGBT trailblazer, even in the face of serious professional adversity. Anderson Cooper for his courage and sincerity.

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    I am an avid baker and brunch maker.

     

Blanca Aguado

 MIT, Sloan School of Management

  • About Blanca

    For the past three years, Blanca has worked in the aerospace/aviation sector, advising high level executives and bridging the gap between industry and government with the goal of successfully implementing new technologies that benefit all users. During her time at a Federal Advisory Body in Washington DC, she engaged with foreign governments to work with the US in implementing new tech systems. Most recently, Blanca worked as a consultant for an inter-governmental organization in Brussels, Belgium, leading the expansion of the organization’s ties with regions across the world.  For the past six years, Blanca has served as an advocate and volunteer for air crash victims and their families around the world, helping to create an international federation and advising them throughout their meetings with world government leaders and United Nations’ officials.   A native of Madrid, Spain and a graduate of McGill University with a BA in Political Science and Psychology, you are most likely going to find Blanca discovering new places, drinking coffee (cortados!) and extensively explaining the benefits of siestas.  

    What made you consider business school?
    For the past three years I worked in teams where I was the only non-engineer. By steering away from a purely technical approach, I gained insight into the important mechanics of the decision-making process that allows technology to foster social change. Working with governments, industry and civil society made me aware of the stark difference between good and excellent leaders, as well as how that can impact individuals and results. I soon understood that an MBA would significantly add to my background, allowing me to broaden my perspective of problems as well as my ability to formulate sensible solutions. For me, it all boiled down to one thing: in order to understand the world, I need to understand business.   

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?Without a doubt - the people. People with different backgrounds and curiosities with whom I will be able to share the common goal of always striving to make things better.   

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    I’m inspired by leaders who are able to unite a large group of different stakeholders around a table and get results. Adolfo Suarez, Spain’s first democratic Prime Minister after 40 years of dictatorship who forged an exemplary political transition, is an example of that.  

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    Don’t ask me how, but I can fit everything I own in a medium sized suitcase.   

     

Carlton Forbes

Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Management

  • About Carlton

    My name is Carlton Forbes, and I am a Class of 2019 MBA Candidate at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University.  In addition to the ROMBA Fellowship, I am also a Consortium Fellow and have been selected to receive the David A. Tepper and Wallace L. Jones Scholarships. My areas of concentration will be Strategy, Organizational Behavior and Operations Management. Prior to business school, I worked for 12 years in the legal industry and most recently at Goldman Sachs.

    What made you consider business school?
    I decided to attend business school as a means to accelerate my career trajectory by expanding my network and enhancing my analytical skills.

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?I am excited to learn new things, meet new people, and work towards making myself a better person outside of the realm of academics and recruiting.

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    I am inspired by the next generation of leaders (young people I have met formally through mentoring relationships and informally through the normal course of life). I want to not only set a great example for them to follow, but also position myself to stay on the cutting edge as society moves forward.

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    Although I tend to be introverted at times, I derive a great deal of energy from my interactions with people. Whether we are commiserating or collaborating, I am happiest when immersed in group settings.

Chad Johnson

Indiana University, Kelley School of Business

  • About Chad

    Chad is an MBA candidate at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. Originally from Phoenix, Arizona he graduated with an engineering degree from Santa Clara University and began his career as an Account Manager at NetSuite where he worked with leaders of technology companies to position tools that helped them exceed aggressive growth targets. After 6 years in various sales, leadership, and enablement roles he joined Salesforce where he found a passion for the intersection of social responsibility and the role that technology is playing in the evolution of healthcare and consumer goods companies. He is looking to leverage his business school experience to develop the skills necessary to tackle the challenges of modern business and the changing nature of customer demand. Chad was a varsity member of the Santa Clara rowing team. In his free time, he can usually be found cycling, exploring the outdoors, or enjoying great food with friends.  

    What made you consider business school?
    Business school is an opportunity to gain a wholistic understanding of business from both classroom and experiential perspectives.  Kelley specifically brings together an incredibly diverse and impressive group of students and professors that create a unique environment to learn from one another.

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?I am really looking forward to learning from my peers and stepping out of my comfort zone to take on complex projects and to grow as much as possible both personally as well as professionally. 

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    I am really inspired by Harvey Milk.  He taught us that we can do our best work when we are out and true to ourselves. 

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    I really enjoy giving back and helping to raise money for important causes, in fact, over the summer I participated in the AIDS/LifeCycle ride.  This 545 mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles takes place over 7-days every summer and raises millions of dollars every year for critical HIV/AIDS support services. It was a life changing experience and I can't wait to do it again!

Darren Le

University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business

  • About Darren

    Hello all, I’m Darren and I have grown up in three countries with different degrees of LGBT rights: Vietnam – once conservative but opening-up country, Sweden – the flagship in LGBT rights, and Singapore – economically developed but socially religious and conservative society. Born in a small town in Vietnam, I responded to the struggle of my identity with renewed determination to win the scholarship to National University of Singapore in Economics major. While the school cultivated a fair environment for everyone, life outside in Singapore was much more challenging for “people-like-us”.  I continued searching for inspiration while attending the Engineering Management program at Swedish Royal Institute of Technology. There in Sweden, I joined the LGBT rugby team ‘Stockholm Berserker’ – the experience that changed my life. From my captain, a proud married entrepreneur, I drew real courage and inspiration to have pride in my identity and develop a positive outlook. Coming back to Singapore, I joined LGBT dragon-boat team Utama, volunteered for Publicity team in Pink-Dot movement, and were advocating for better understanding of LGBT community at my company – Garena. the unicorn tech start-up of South East Asia. Throughout that life-defining journey, I learned a hard lesion that our rights are never given, they can only be earned. An economically and politically stronger LGBT community will push the movement forward – and this is why I am looking forward to build a long-lasting relationship with all of ROMBA. Together we will build a stronger LGBT community.  

    What made you consider business school?
    To develop further in Product Management career and to prepare for my future business venture in Technology. This is why I applied to Haas.

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?Gaining an enormous knowledge and skills through intensive coursework, student activities, projects and internship is the first thing that I look forward to. Second, I hope to build a long-lasting and meaningful relationship in these two-years.

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    I admire my ex-captain in Stockhom LGBT rugby team Peter Sahlstrom for his courage and positive thinking which had great influence in me.  In business, my boss Forrest Li - founder of the biggest Internet company in South East Asia is my role model on how we should lead people with integrity.

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    The craziest thing I have ever done was participating in No-Pants Subway Ride in Stockhom 2011: by being bottomless in the middle of harsh winter. I was a bit shy when people started asking me why, but I was delightedly surprised by how people reacted. Two policemen after inquiring my group decided to take photos with us. The lesson here is: we may be surprised with people's kindness if we do it in a right way, and we will never know until we try.

Darrin Rahn

Harvard Business School

  • About Darrin

    Darrin Rahn was born and raised in rural Illinois and attended Iowa State University. He double-majored in Agricultural Economics and Marketing with a minor in Entrepreneurial Studies, following his agriculture passion. Upon graduation, Darrin accepted a job with Target Corporation headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota working on a buying team. At Target, Darrin lead global sourcing for a new apparel brand launch, supported Target’s first international expansion into Canada, and managed the production of limited-time designer fashion collaborations Altuzarra for Target, TOMS for Target, and Lilly Pulitzer for Target. After three years with Target, Darrin transitioned to General Mills where he has led marketing strategy and business growth for Betty Crocker, Gold Medal Flour, Bisquick, and Annie’s Homegrown Organic brands. His passion lies in sharing the farm-to-fork transparency story with consumers for mainstream food and beverage in a modern way. At both Target and General Mills, Darrin has championed LGBTA diversity efforts through his leadership on employee diversity councils. At Target, Darrin helped develop merchandising and marketing initiatives aimed at improving the LGBTA experience for Target’s consumers including the launch of Target’s first LGBTA Pride assortment, the introduction of same-sex greeting cards nationally, and the overhaul of Target’s wedding registry. At General Mills, Darrin served as Director of Events within the LGBTA employee network leading the planning of company LGBTA events, speakers, volunteering, inclusive trainings, Q&A panels, and casual gatherings. Darrin will be attending Harvard Business School in the Fall of 2017.

    What made you consider business school?
    I have a foundational understanding and experience working in agriculture, retail, and brand management. I’m ready to take my career to the next level and have a bigger impact in transforming the global food industry. 

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?The people, the people, the people! I’m an extrovert to a fault, and I look forward to learning from the diversity of perspectives and experiences in the classroom, through extracurriculars, and while traveling.

    Who are some of the fleaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    A few of my favorites are Troy Carter, Indra Nooyi, and Andy Cohen.

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    I’m the middle of five children, making me the family peacekeeper and master negotiator. 

David Reyes

University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business

  • About David

    David Reyes is a proud MBA candidate at the University of Texas McCombs Schools of Business. Prior to business school he lead multiple cross-functional project teams providing end-to-end network performance monitoring and analytics solutions to global telecom operators and worked as a Deloitte Sr. Consultant with a focus in scenario and exercise planning, crisis management, counter-terrorism strategy, and enterprise risk management within the defense, public, and commercial sector.     David co-chairs the New Leaders Council DC chapter to help train the next generation of progressive leaders and lead the DC Chapter of VetsInTech to help current and returning veterans with re-integration services, and by connecting them to the national technology ecosystem.    Prior to joining the private sector, David served for six years as an Engineer Officer in the U.S. Army. His final assignment was as a plans and assistant operations officer under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. David is a passionate innovator and has had numerous successful global collaborations, including projects in Peru, Spain, Colombia, Canada, Afghanistan, Iraq, Honduras, Chile, Brazil, and Liberia. David was born in Mexico and raised in sunny Florida. He is a proud graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. David is a proud member for Knight Outs, an organization of West Point Cadets, Alumni, Staff and Faculty who are united in supporting the rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender soldiers to openly serve their country. In his spare time David enjoys running, traveling, reading, rock climbing, and giving back to his community. 

    What made you consider business school?
    After six years in the military and two years in private industry, I felt the need to go back to business school to fine-tune my business acumen, reflect on the past eight years, and gain access to companies with a larger global reach. 

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?I'm excited to learn (especially from my peers), grow personally, and gain some important lessons learned by taking an introspective approach past experiences. 

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    I'm always inspire by authentic personalities who use their platform to bring visibility and inclusivity to those that are unable to. I'm very inspired by Laverne Cox, the Pope, Howard Schultz, Sen. Tammy Duckworth. 

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    English is not my first language, but I'm now fluent in three languages and working on adding a forth one over the next couple years. I was born in Mexico and was brought the the U.S. as an undocumented immigrant by my parents. I almost didn't attend West Point because of my legal status, but everything works out in the end.

Dayna Hine

University of Michigan, Ross School of Business

  • About Dayna

    I grew up in Connecticut and attended the University of Connecticut where I earned a degree in Political Science, Women’s Studies and Human Rights. I dedicated my spare time to advocating for women's and LGBTQ rights as the head of the university’s Gay Straight Alliance, as a wellness educator and through internships to support the HIV positive and the transgender communities. I started my career in the nonprofit sector, eventually landing in the San Francisco Bay Area. I combined my love of process and building with activism throughout my career. My most notable career distinction is building the infrastructure of Girls Who Code to support the movement’s rapid growth to 40,000. I love staying active, baking, watching football (Go Blue!), and spending time in Central Park with my fiancé, Rocky.

    What made you consider business school?
    The main factor in my decision to attend business school was my desire to have more flexibility in my career advancement. Working at a high growth company gave me exposure to other sectors outside of the nonprofit space that piqued my interest. My long term goal is to start my own social enterprise company; however, I am looking forward to exploring and building my professional skills and network in the private sector to build up to my goal. Business school was a clear way to make a career transition, while expanding my professional network and meeting other emerging business leaders and mentors.

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?The people! I attribute a good portion of my career success to learning from incredible colleagues and mentors and I’m excited to have the opportunity to meet a group of classmates with diverse sets of backgrounds and specialties to continue to learn from. I’m also looking forward to learning from some of the brightest minds in business through my professors. And, of course, I’m very excited for University of Michigan football!

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    This might be bit cliché, but I look up to Ellen Degeneres and Rachel Maddow. Both women paved the way for younger generations to have an easier path to being themselves and risked everything to get there. I did not grow up with exposure to the LGBTQ community and the two women were the visible leaders I was looking for - one as a friendly face in the room and the other as a fierce intellect. I was able to see a little bit of myself in each of them which was was essential to my personal development. The other business leaders that I look up to are my parents. They might not be famous, but they taught me the value in doing well by others and maintaining integrity, even when it’s most challenging.

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    I’m terrible at relaxing. I love being busy all of the time and exploring or learning something new. It’s been great for meeting new people and trying out new hobbies, like rugby and flag football, but is not great for my friends who like beach and spa days.

Drew Dickson

University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School

  • About Drew

    Drew Dickson is an MBA candidate at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and an MPA candidate at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. Before beginning his concurrent degree program, Drew worked at a leading global affairs institution in Washington DC, the Atlantic Council, most recently serving as the chief of staff during a period of rapid growth in size and influence for the organization. As a member of the top management team, Drew helped lead the organization through major strategic initiatives, program launches and restructurings, and public relations campaigns. Drew also has extensive experience in politics and government, having worked in various roles both on congressional campaigns and in legislative officers. Drew has basic language skills in German and Mandarin Chinese. He has a masters in political science, focused on liberal and democratic theory, from the University of Memphis, as well as a bachelor of arts in political science and history and a bachelor of science in economics from Tulane University. 

    What made you consider business school?
    I want to attend business school because after nearly six years of working in management of a leading think tank in Washington, DC, I am convinced of the importance of business management skills in the nonprofit sector – and generally in achieving great goals. There is so much that can be done at the intersection of the public and private sectors, and having strong skills in both is a powerful tool. A business education is fundamentally about building the skills to organize people to achieve things greater than themselves. What could be more important to learn? 

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?I’m excited about meeting a new group of people with vastly diverse backgrounds and experiences from myself. For example, I haven’t worked in a true for-profit setting since my high school job at a movie theater. It’s going to be great to be in an environment where that’s strange for people. 

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    I like leaders who can develop a fresh look at old problems, or who can deploy creativity to achieving their mission in life. The group is as varied as John Maynard Keynes, Steve Jobs, RuPaul, and yeah, I’ll say it, in a way Donald Trump, too. 

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    I’ve got lots of opinions, and I’m not usually shy about sharing them. But I promise I’m a nice, reasonable person! 

Elizabeth Terry

George Washington University School of Business

  • About Elizabeth

    Elizabeth is passionate about education, creative writing, logistics, and social justice. She is an entrepreneur doing business with the core values of sustainability, positive corporate culture, and supportive management. She worked as a special education teacher, non-profit executive director, and founder of several companies. She's raised over 1.5 million dollars, received teaching excellence awards, and is currently launching an athletic apparel line and community of support for women sized 00-5XL. She and Erin, her wife, got married in the summer of 2015 on a mountain in California. Elizabeth enjoys reading non-fiction, watching well-written television, and taking her dog to the park.

    What made you consider business school?
    After co-founding a start up in the fall of 2016, I realized that there was a lot to learn about starting and running businesses. After extensive research, I decided to get an MBA to build a solid foundation of content and process knowledge as well as increase my network. I also think the lack of women and LGBTQ individuals in the business world often contributes to disparities like biased hiring and pay inequity. I wanted to be part of reversing such practices.

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?I am excited to learn as much as I can from my professors, classmates, and network. I want to understand where I can best utilize my skills to maximize impact for others beyond profits and growth. I am excited to meet people who challenge me to grow.

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    I am inspired by those who found a platform and a voice within it for the betterment of society. Tyler Oakley, a youtube star with almost 8 million followers, used his teen appeal to work for the Trevor Project, work with Ellen Degeneres, and just launched a series called "Chosen Family" about LGBTQ history and lives in America. I am also inspired by the intelligent navigation of Barack and Michelle Obama since leaving public office.

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    I've been told my superpower is listening. I naturally deeply listen and am inclined to help solve any problem I come across.

Esme Rhine

Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business

  • About Esme

    I have always been naturally inquisitive. One huge benefit to growing up in a small town in central Oregon is being surrounded by some of the most gorgeous landscape in the country. This instilled in me a deep love of the outdoors. Hiking, mountain biking, climbing, backpacking, I loved anything that enabled me to explore outside. I found this curiosity also spilled over into the classroom. For college, I attended MIT and majored in materials science and engineering. I fell in love with materials engineering because it allowed me to study a wide variety of technologies, from biomaterials to optics. At MIT I I learned how seemingly opposite technologies can be interlinked, and how to apply my engineering skills to any problem. My projects there not only taught me the science behind the technology, but also how to apply my knowledge to the real world. After graduating from MIT, I wanted to go somewhere I could apply my technical background and be challenged to grow in a fast paced environment. Intel was that place for me. I joined as a supply chain engineer and quickly had to learn how to jump from technology to technology and problem to problem. With these experiences in mind, I am entering Tepper to lay the foundation for my future career, combining my engineering career and complex problem-solving ability with the finance strategies and business techniques I will gain from an MBA.   

    What made you consider business school?
    I wanted to round out my engineering background with the skills and knowledge that an MBA provides. One thing studying engineering has taught me is how to view problems in different ways and how to quantitatively back up my decisions. Combining this with a sound understanding of finance and leadership skills will allow me more versatility in my career. 

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?I am most excited about all the amazing people I'll be able to meet and learning how I can make an impact in whatever role I'm in. 

    Who are some leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    Serena Williams, Lynn Conway, Indra Nooyi

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    I'm a huge Pittsburgh sports fan. Go pens!

Heather Beatty

University of Toronto, Rotman School of Business

  • About Heather

    Heather is a first-year MBA candidate at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. Born and raised in Toronto, Heather pursued her Bachelor of Arts in Art History at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire where she was also Captain of the NCAA Division I Ski Team. Since graduating in 2013, Heather has held progressive roles in Merchandising at Canadian Tire, Canada's largest owned and operated retailer. Heather volunteers for Start Proud, a Canadian LGBTQA+ organization that facilitates professional development of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer & Ally (LGBTQA+) students as they transition from school to career in order to build a national network within the LGBTQA+ community. When she's not working, you can find Heather outside - skiing, hiking, traveling...you name it!

    What made you consider business school?
    I want to pursue an MBA because I believe that it will act as a catalyst for personal and professional development as I progress towards a career in strategic business design and innovation. I will measure my experience by the transformative effect that it has on my career, by the quality of relationships I’ve built, and by my impact on the world. 

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?
    I am most excited about the incredible people that I will meet through this experience - people who ask tough questions, who engage with each other to find the best solutions to complex problems, and who are open to innovative ideas.

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    Sheryl Sandberg's efforts to advance women in business and leadership positions is hugely inspiring to me and I hope to be a part of the movement she espouses. 

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    If given the choice - I would always be outside!  

Hewitt Chan

INSEAD

  • About Hewitt

    Born and raised in Hong Kong, Hewitt earned his business and information system degree at The University of Hong Kong. He then joined Deloitte Consulting in Hong Kong and Shanghai with a focus on financial services industry and consumer products industry, where he worked with FT500 clients on market entry strategy and operation strategy. Hewitt is also a CPA qualification holder.    Outside of work, Hewitt has spent almost ten years on volunteering. He was the group chairman of Leo Clubs ( a young affiliate of Lions clubs, world largest service organization) in Hong Kong and Macau. Prior to INSEAD, Hewitt spent the summer at Draper University at Silicon Valley as an Entrepreneur in residence, where he co-founded the initiative on education empowerment for underprivileged and minority groups.  

    What made you consider business school?
    During my time at Deloitte, I worked in strategy projects that empower me to impact and shape the society through my career. While I intend to develop further my strategy consulting career with a focus on retail and consumer products, my long-term career aspiration is to serve as a global consulting leader who proactively contributes to the global trend of how people consume and interact with brands. I believe that MBA education will enhance my leadership capabilities with an international lens.

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?Two things – (i) Global perspectives and (ii) People. The world is spinning fast and the history is re-writing itself every single day. While the knowledge we earn today keeps evolving, I do believe that at the end of the day it’s the global perspectives and the people we met that, as trusted advisors, help us to approach, process and solve the difficult problems in life.     

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    Facebook COO Sheryl Sandburg is the first comes to my mind. She has been an inspiring figure in translating her stories of rebuilding herself and handling adversities to good causes. Nowadays people have been over-empathizing the importance of positive thinking and politically-correct mindset. While I do believe that being resilient and able to pick up and rebuild yourself are instead very important traits to keep you moving during your journey. 

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    I used to be a hardcore gamer and kept my online global ranking for almost 2 years, and I am allergic to sashimi. Oops, two things I have just listed out.    

Jesse Banwart

Johns Hopkins University, Carey Business School

  • About Jesse

    As a new transplant from Chicago to Baltimore, I am starting the MA/MBA program at Johns Hopkins and the Mayland Insitute College of Art. My passion lies in helping people to understand why design is important, specifically around the built environment (architecture, engineering, construction,  etc). For the past 3 years I've worked in out of school time facilitating programs for teens about architecture. Previously I worked as a graphic designer and still freelance whenever I can. My story is not unfamiliar, small town boy moves to the big city and discovers himself... blah. I've loved every part of the experience and plan to dedicate my life to urban, community-focused issues. 

    What made you consider business school?
    Coming from managing after school programming focused on architecture, I saw so many intersections of business in where I could improve. Writing budgets, applying for funding, managing employees, etc. were all essential components of the job. Higher positions only intensify these roles, and I knew getting an MBA would be a smart career move.

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?Expanding my network base into areas in which I'm mostly unfamiliar is probably what excites me the most. So much of my time had been spent buildng a network in the art and design fields, I'm looking forward to diversifying that.

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    Shawn King definitely is an inspiration in the massive issues he tries to tackle. He recognizes the influence of information and how to effectively fight for social justice. Ruth Bader-Ginsberg is the epitome of firey eloquenence. Often, her writings condence an opinion I've struggled to put into words. Lastly, (and yes I recognize how kitschy this is) Rupaul. Drag Race had the potential to play into the standard troupe of reality television and insight as much drama, hatred, and backstabbing between the contestants as possible. However, recognizing that there is already plenty of that in our community, they empower differences and showcase the love. I've always admired that.

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    If you walk down the street with me, I will give you an unsolicited architecture lesson. I can't help myself.

Jesús Amundarain

University of Toronto, Rotman School of Business

  • About Jesús

    Born and raised in Venezuela, Jesús earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University Simon Bolivar and his master’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Alberta. After six years of professional experience, he has been involved in oil and gas operations in Canada, Russia, and the United States, and has worked for Schlumberger, Enbridge Pipelines and FourQuest Energy, most recently.  At business school, he is interested in pursuing a concentration in finance with the goal of following a career in energy investment banking after graduation. Jesús shares a deep appreciation for the performing arts, live jazz, and landscape photography. He can also be found trying some of the spiciest foods around or just eating candy.

    What made you consider business school?
    I have seen multiple corporate changes during my experience in operations.  Some of the firms that I have worked for have experienced restructurings, mergers, acquisitions, or even divestments. I want to learn about and be involved with the high level negotiations that lead to the inception, development, and execution of those deals. Business school allows me to develop my business acumen and ground my professional path not only on hard skills but also on a meaningful network of individuals and organizations that will be fundamental to my success as a business leader.  

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?All my friends and acquaintances from different MBA programs agree on one thing: business school is a truly transformative journey. I cannot wait to learn about my future classmates and be part of the discovery of their new selves. I am also eager to be part of an environment where taking chances is celebrated. I believe that, regardless of the outcome of my ventures, business school will provide me with a dependable support system that will always back my risks and help me grow.  

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    I always find admiration in people who defy established norms in order to stand for what they believe in and for what is right. Some include Harvey Milk, Nikolay Alexeyev, Leopoldo Lopez, and Maria Corina Machado.

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    I am a thoughtful, caring, and active listener.

Joe Edward

University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business

  • About Joe

    Joe is a first-year MBA student at the University of Texas at Austin. He was born in Missouri and has spent most of his life in Connecticut, completing his undergraduate work at UConn in addition to earning an MS in Finance at Fairfield University. His past roles have spanned various areas within the financial field: corporate governance advisory through a firm in San Francisco, Corporate FP&A at General Electric and credit/risk analysis at GE Capital (later Wells Fargo). Outside of work, he enjoys travel, craft beer, trying new foods, time spent with friends (and their children) and family, and supporting his beloved sports teams.

    What made you consider business school?
    During the past few months, I’ve frequently heard the term “rebranding” used at admitted student events. In a way, this represents my rationale, as I would like to explore fields beyond my past career experiences and move into new roles that more closely align with my personal passions. Taking on opportunities that are different from prior roles and attempting to jump into new paths can be extremely difficult, but attending business school acts as a springboard to make these shifts. At the same time, I am looking forward to taking on other leadership roles while serving in organizations and exploring new subject areas missed during my undergrad years.

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?First and foremost, business school is an opportunity to meet new people and friends. I’ve already come across so many interesting future classmates and alumni at school-related events, and undoubtedly there will be a lot more great people to learn from and get to know through organizations such as ROMBA. I’m also looking forward to joining a huge campus community, particularly at a school as large as UT. Finally, I am excited for the travel experiences and global immersion, whether short trips or potentially a semester studying abroad.

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    Admittedly, I am more of a fan of silent, “under the radar” individuals who lead to get results but do not monopolize the attention (or take credit for others’ work). Sir John Templeton comes to mind as an individual who acquired great power and wealth yet strove for humility in his philanthropic activities, especially as his foundation still works to bridge perceived gaps across theology, science and philosophy.

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    Starting with family road trips at a young age, I’ve developed a love for travel and reached all fifty states by age 26.

John Blake

Rice Univesity, Jones Graduate School of Business

  • About John

    John was a member of the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business at the Wharton School. A continuing interest in international business cultures and practices took him overseas into the for-profit education industry in South Korea, first as a teacher, and then in progressive leadership roles. After about 5 years, he returned to his hometown, Houston, Texas, and until B-School he served as the Special Programs Coordinator for Language Consultants International. In this position, he not only taught, but also created and sold language learning packages and managed a team of private teachers, with duties that included logistics and HR functions. Teaching grammar, test prep and pronunciation has given him an analytical eye for patterns and processes, and working with students from numerous countries has made him adept at observing and adapting to working with different cultures. He’ll be part of the class of 2019 at Jones Business at Rice University, where he plans to concentrate in Financial Analysis and leverage his soft skills from the classroom into a pivot into consulting or corporate finance, pursuing progressively more responsibility over departments and teams, and eventually assuming a top management position. One day, he would like to be known as a thought leader in the corporate world, and has his eye set on a few “Top 50 African American” and “Top 50 LGBT” executive lists, in hopes of being a role model for minority and LGBT youth interested in the business world.   

    What made you consider business school?
    I really enjoyed teaching and working in the education sector. However, long-term growth opportunities are becoming somewhat limited, as it becomes cheaper and more convenient to learn English online or in-country. Moreover, I have always been interested in economics, finance, and management, and when I shifted from working with children to adult students, I was inspired by their drive and ambition to return to the classroom myself to acquire a more technical toolkit. This decision was confirmed when I visited my first ROMBA conference, and immediately recognized that this was the kind of community I wanted to belong to.

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?Accounting class. No, seriously. I’m a total grammar nerd, so I’m pretty excited about rules, processes, and formulas. It’s the language of business, right?

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    The Obamas, Tim Cook, Ellen Degeneres, Ryan Murphy and Chris Colfer. Also, the only 2 African Americans on the FT OUTStanding list of top 100 LGBT executives, Torrence Boone and Jonathan Mildenhall.

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    Isabel Rhonda Wurld, aka I. Rhonda Wurld. Seoul Pride, 2013, Main Stage. Shut. It. Down.


Kai Jhou

University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business

  • About Kai

    I am Kai from Taiwan, MBA candidate at USC Marshall, class of 2019. For the past four years, I have been working in Macronix, the world’s largest Read Only Memory (ROM) and NOR Flash Memory producer. As a Senior Marketing Specialist, I mainly focused on marketing communications, including promotion material,
    advertisement, website and trade show. I developed company profile with CEO to fulfill the need of different marketing segments. Moreover, I was the coordinator of 3-year Marketing Center Improvement Project with Vice Presidents and Marketing Directors. I organized their master action plans during meetings that lasted for months. I received my BBA degree in Management Science at National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan and spent one year at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden as an exchange student. I enjoyed the experience so much that I co-founded an alumni association and served as the president. Exchange students going to Sweden can get information and tips in experience sharing events before departure. We also held a seminar and invited GM and employees from Swedish companies in Taiwan, and some members got hired! In my free time, I love traveling (visited 28 countries in four continents), movies, and playing board games with friends.

    What made you consider business school?
    I would like to pursue an international marketing career, as I have the passion to develop international markets and solve cross-cultural marketing problems. MBA is ideal for upper level management training. First, I can further deepen my marketing knowledge in a systematic way. Second, since communication and integration within an organization is vital, I will appreciate the opportunity to explore other corporate functions and learn how to cooperate with them. Last, MBA can provide the cultural exposure while I work with other international students in case studies and group discussions.

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?Learning and getting inspired by talented people from different industries, functions, and countries. I look forward to the sparks during case studies and group discussions.

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    Ellen DeGeneres, as she spreads positive energy and joy to the world. Be kind to one another, and we can make the world a better place.

     

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    I am driven by exploring, performing, and community, and I really enjoy interacting with people from different cultures. For example, I volunteered as an English free walking tour guide for a NPO named “TourMeAway” in Taipei. Working with and learning from my amazing fellow tour guides, I sharpened my presentation, performing, and cross-cultural communication skills. Storytelling and delivering an informative and entertaining experience to customers give me joy beyond description. I developed many jokes and enjoyed seeing the audience laugh, and I often get 5-star reviews on TripAdvisor.

Kang Liu

MIT, Sloan School of Management

  • About Kang

    Kang Liu is an MBA candidate at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He has extensive experience in real estate, investment, and finance across a number of global markets. Prior to business school, Kang worked at Goodman Group in its investment management division. Based in Hong Kong, he specialized in China real estate investments and managed relationships with the company's key fund investors. Prior to that, Kang was as an investment banker at Morgan Stanley, where he advised financial sponsors, corporations, and high net worth individuals on strategic and financing alternatives by offering expertise across mergers and acquisitions, equity, debt, and derivatives products. Born and raised in Taiwan, Kang holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from MIT. Outside of work, Kang enjoys staying active with hiking, spinning, and running and loves everything about food.

    What made you consider business school?
    Being an exercise fanatic, I want to launch my own apparel company, focusing on functional activewear for men. At business school, I will be able to acquire business fundamentals and develop into a successful entrepreneur.

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school? I am excited to meet new people from various professional and personal backgrounds and learn from their experiences. I am also excited to meet aspiring entrepreneurs who would motivate and inspire me to launch my own business.

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you? 
    Warren Buffet, Bill Gates.

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    I have been a yoga instructor since 2009 and has taught different classes in the United States, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. 

Kate Lohmeyer

University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler School Business School

  • About Kate

    Kate Lohmeyer is pursuing a joint Master of Business Administration and Master of Public Policy at UNC Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School and Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy. She recently completed an internship at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, where she worked on the intersection of trade and environmental policy and on business opportunities created by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Kate’s coursework focuses on economics, innovation, and the intersection of public and private sectors. Her primary interests are technology, innovation, social responsibility, and environmental sustainability. She is currently serving as Editor-in-Chief for the Sanford Journal of Public Policy, Board Member at the Elna B. Spaulding Conflict Resolution Center, and Founding President of Sanford Pride. Kate graduated from the Honors College at Michigan State University in 2010, receiving degrees in History and English. She has over five years of communications and project management experience at non-profit organizations. She also volunteered with infants and children for three years at a local children’s hospital in Chicago. In her free time, Kate enjoys running, playing guitar, learning new languages, and kayaking.

    What made you consider business school?
    I was seeking a graduate program that would give me a solid base of skills to draw on for life. An MBA program gives you the opportunity to challenge yourself, take on new responsibilities, and meet a diverse group of people. I saw business school as a way to expand my horizons while working to advance my career.

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?Graduate school draws together people from all over the world who bring different insights and skills to the table to solve common problems. I am most looking forward to learning from and being challenged by my peers in business school and beyond.

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    I am inspired by Madeleine Albright and Samantha Power—smart women who have spoken out repeatedly for human rights and the protection of civilians from genocide. Both women seem to be driven by a concern for others and a desire to fight for those without voice, and they have both used their education and platform to challenge the world to act in moments of crisis. Their efforts have inspired me to work for a cause that is greater than myself. 

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    I am not a traditional MBA student—I am a dual degree student who is also pursuing a Master of Public Policy. I believe the business community has incredible potential to benefit the public, and I am hoping my MBA will empower me to help achieve great things through collaboration and coordination between public and private sectors. 

Kevin Deese

University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management

  • About Kevin

    Born and raised near Orlando, Florida, Kevin Deese graduated from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, in 2014. When his naval career was cut short for medical reasons, he began his search for a new calling with Amazon in August 2014 as an Area Manager at a fulfillment center in Charleston, South Carolina. As the on-the-floor leader of a $1.5 million daily production shift, he was responsible for all areas of productivity, quality, and safety. In November 2015, he began in an entry-level position at a boutique consulting firm in Charleston focusing on cost reduction, working his way up to reporting directly to the CEO as Strategy and Planning Manager. In this role, he designed and drove to fruition projects mainly focused on increasing the efficiency of internal operations.  In August 2017, Kevin began pursuing an MBA at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management in Minneapolis. Kevin is passionate about making a positive impact in the world and in his community, and will be eager to bring this passion into the next chapter of his professional life. In his spare time, Kevin continues to find his way back to the stage with any chance he gets, having grown up performing in school and community theatre. His other pastimes include cheering on the Buffalo Bills and Navy sports teams, reading up on the latest national political news, and exercising in the gym.

    What made you consider business school?
    After varied post-undergraduate work experience in the private sector, I was looking to dramatically expand my professional horizons. In each role I held, I constantly felt a lack of the sense of service to a higher purpose that I experienced in the Navy.  I landed on business school as the best way to open myself up to a wide variety of career paths in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors that will provide me with opportunities to start truly making a difference in the world.

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?
    I am excited for the chances I'll have, both through Reaching Out and Carlson, to meet business leaders and learn from their experiences. I will want to pick their brains on how they've been able to make a positive impact on the world through their work. I am also looking forward to meeting like-minded peers at both Carlson and Reaching Out to build a network and bounce ideas off of for how we can make our mark. Finally, I'm excited to start making a difference in the Twin Cities while I'm at Carlson, from volunteering in the community to taking on student leadership opportunities.

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    Joe Biden - a man who, to me, epitomizes the ideal of the public servant. Bill Gates - the richest person in the world is also one of its most prolific philanthropists. Pope Francis - a man who embodies humility and gives me hope as a gay Catholic. Laverne Cox - a fearless pioneer and needed symbol of trans visibility. 

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    I love music, and I am always singing!  From the shower, to the car, to the stage, to karaoke, to leading the "Shout" song after touchdowns at the Buffalo Bills Backers bar, I love to sing.  Sorry 'bout it!

Kevin Lin

Washington State University in St. Louis, Olin Business School

  • About Kevin

    Kevin earned his bachelor’s degree from Washington University in Saint Louis, where he majored in Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology (PNP) with a minor in Anthropology. After graduation, he worked as an elementary and middle school science laboratory teacher through AmeriCorps. He later returned to Washington University’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions. As Senior Assistant Director, Kevin worked on international recruitment in China and Taiwan and developed new recruitment events and strategies. Outside of work, Kevin enjoys drawing, design, running, and traveling. 

    What made you consider business school?
    Having worked in elementary and higher education, I know there are massive changes happening that many institutions may not be prepared for.  In order to have a broader impact on solving these and other sizable challenges, I wanted to build upon the analytical and leadership skills I have learned so far in my career. I saw business school as a way to supplement my liberal arts background with additional quantitative skills and to further develop my ability to use data to drive decisions. Speaking to current MBA students helped to solidify my decision to apply.

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?I’m excited for my peers and future experiences with them. I look forward to getting to know a diverse group of fellow students from across the world, and discovering the ways our unique skills and backgrounds can complement each other. I am also excited for opportunities to work with our school’s Center for Experiential Learning and to work on consulting projects for local non-profits.  

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    I am inspired by leaders including directors Lana and Lilly Wachowski for their bold artistic vision, actress/activist Laverne Cox for her poise, and my fellow board members on the Washington University Pride Alumni Network for their tireless work.  

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    I try to visit a museum in every city I visit, even if I am only there for a day. I have found some unexpectedly engrossing museums even in very small towns.

Kyle Piers

Boston University, Questrom School of Business

  • About Kyle

    Born and raised in Connecticut, Kyle headed to Boston for college and never left. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry (summa cum laude) and a Master of Science in Biotechnology, both from Northeastern University. For the last 6 years he’s been part of a dynamic research team at Merck & Co., working in the preclinical discovery space to develop drugs for cancer and autoimmune diseases. Kyle has served as the chair of Merck’s LGBT employee business resource group for 3 years, and has also helped build OUTBio, a grassroots network of LGBT biotech/pharma professionals in the Boston/Cambridge area. Kyle is thrilled to join the Health Sector MBA program with a concentration in Strategy and Innovation at the Questrom School of Business. A firm believer in work-life balance, Kyle enjoys traveling, cycling, attending symphonies, and seeing Broadway shows in his downtime.

    What made you consider business school?
    It wasn’t until I intimately observed cancer from the perspective of my cousin that I considered pursuing an MBA. After a year of accompanying her to immunotherapy appointments, I had this overwhelming sense of responsibility to do something more proximal than pre-clinical drug discovery research to impact human health. After conversations with mentors and colleagues, business school seemed the best path forward to hone a skillset integral to Business Development & Licensing that would complement my natural tendencies to build relationships and help others. I intend to fuse this education with my scientific background so that I can influence a pharmaceutical company’s pipeline and success in delivering innovative medicines to patients like my cousin.

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?
    I’ve narrowly focused on science in my education and career thus far, so I’m really excited to give myself these next two years to learn completely different topics and to begin an intellectual and personal evolution that expands my understanding and perspective.

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    Selisse Berry, the founder and CEO of Out & Equal (O&E) Workplace Advocates, has paved the way for so many people to bring their authentic selves to work. Attending the O&E Summits over the years has inspired and educated me, as well as shaped my views of the power that diversity and inclusivity can bring to a business. Brian Piccini, the owner and CEO of Boston Urban Hospitality, is a dear friend who continues to impress me with how he's tapped into his personal network and harnessed his own diversity to build a successful footprint in Boston with three (soon to be four) exquisite restaurants.

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    I’m a scientist both in the lab and in the kitchen – I love cooking elaborate meals to unwind. Oh, and desserts are my favorite part.

Leah Zine

Wisconsin-Madison School of Business

  • About Leah

    I am an HR professional with nearly ten years of experience. My passion has been in Diversity and Inclusion, not only in areas of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality, but also with goals like destigmatizing mental health conditions in the workplace. Originally from Illinois, I currently live in Madison, WI where I like to spend as much time as possible outside enjoying the beautiful lakes. I love to read everything from non-fiction to fantasy. For the past two years, I have been restoring a 115 year old farmhouse, doing the work myself whenever I can. My partner and I are both animal lovers - we have 2 dogs, 4 cats, and a boa constrictor at home! We also volunteer with a local animal rescue, fostering dogs until they are adopted. I will be attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business with a concentration in Strategic HR Management. 

    What made you consider business school?
    I love working with people and solving business problems. After majoring in International Studies during undergrad, I pursued a professional career in Human Resources with a focus on diversity and inclusion. I am attending business school to strengthen my general business acumen and dive deeper into the intricacies of strategic HR management. 

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?I am most excited about the opportunity to learn new things and connect with new people!

    Who are some leaders (in the LGBT community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    A few that come to mind include Barack and Michelle Obama, Malala Yusafzai, Anderson Cooper, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    I have struggled with severe anxiety for most of my life, but refuse to let it define me. My anxiety has pushed me to work harder at my goals and continually challenge myself outside my comfort zone. Mental health conditions are often unfairly stigmatized; I hope that by speaking openly about my own struggles, others around me will feel empowered to be open as well.   

Lex Nguyen

Duke University, Fuqua School of Business

  • About Lex

    I grew up in Hue, Vietnam & share the family name “Nguyen” with 40 million other Vietnamese. So, if you know other Nguyen’s, chances are we’re not related. I worked in Marketing at Unilever for Comfort fabric conditioner and launched a water-saving fund to ensure every Vietnamese have access to clean water, among other things. I also enjoyed tremendously the 1-year stint in Singapore, although my Singlish was not very good lah!From selling fragrant Comfort, I challenged my marketing skills by managing a (rather smelly) fish sauce product. Aiming to transition to tech industry and work in marketing or product management, I led Vietnam branch of a mobile-marketing startup. I’m a devoted servant of my cats and I jog when I need to think.

    What made you consider business school?
    My goal is to work in tech marketing or product management. An MBA will give me a chance to learn relevant skills and the network needed to get my dream job. It will also be a transformative experience that makes me become better as a business leader and individual.  

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?Meeting international and US friends! I can’t wait to learn more about the world through them!  

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    Tim Cook. He’s a successful business leader who outspokenly support LGBT community. His business is also very environment friendly, needless to say that Apple is improving the way we live, work, and play.  

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    I'm both a cat and a dog person.

Lindsay Sanders

Babson College, F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business

  • About Lindsay

    Lindsay Sanders, from San Francisco California, is an MBA candidate at Babson College, focusing on social entrepreneurship and innovation. Her passion for social change began as an undergrad in broadcast and electronic communications at San Francisco State University while producing a documentary about the homeless crisis in San Francisco. That experience opened her eyes to the power of technology, storytelling, and empathy in fueling positive social impact. Since then, she's used that passion to develop socially-minded communications and marketing strategies for companies in the private and not-for-profit sectors. In her spare time, Lindsay can be found trekking through the country's national parks, writing music with her partner, volunteering in the community, or mapping out her next international expedition.  

    What made you consider business school?
    While I was working in Kenya at a maternal healthcare nonprofit, I saw many opportunities to use business to create social change at scale. This inspired me to apply to business school to round out my skills in operations and management, and learn more about international development and social sector leadership. My long-term goal is to create my own social enterprise, and an MBA will equip me with the skills and networks required to bring my ideas to fruition.   

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?There are so many things I’m excited for - it’s impossible to pick just one. First, I’m elated to connect with and learn from my peers. Business school is a melting pot of people from all over the world, with diverse industry experience. There is so much that we can learn from each other as we each bring our own unique perspectives and experiences to the classroom. Second, I’m excited for the myriad of social innovation and social impact opportunities that exist on and off campus. From the Net Impact Club to social innovation centers to this ROMBA fellowship, there are so many opportunities to drive change, locally and globally, through an MBA program.

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    Some of the business leaders in the LGBT community, and in society, that inspire me are: Brene Brown, for her pioneering research on shame, empathy, and vulnerability. Billie Jean King, for paving the way for women in sports and for being a fierce advocate for gender equality. Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, for his leadership in advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda through business and for being an active LGBT ally. Nelson Mandela, for his courage and commitment to social justice and unity. 

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    I’m a total hobbyist and am insatiably curious. If I could, I would be a professional amateur, like AJ Jacobs. From producing documentaries to playing guitar to making jewelry - I love learning and creating.   

Matthew Gill

Emory University, Goizueta Business School

  • About Matthew

    Matt is a first year MBA candidate (class of 2019) at Goizueta Business School at Emory University. He was raised in Wellesley, MA and moved to Los Angeles to attend the University of Southern California where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Music Industry and minors in Marketing and Music Performance. Matt went on to pursue his passion for marketing and held various positions in the entertainment and technology fields. His responsibilities included negotiating and executing brand partnerships for Walt Disney Studios, developing and implementing creative asset strategies at DreamWorks Animation, and digital ad sales at Houzz, Inc. Outside of his professional life, Matt enjoys leading philanthropic initiatives, most recently taking on the role of Co-Chair of the Houzz Philanthropy Committee. He also has a deep appreciation for the performing arts and attends as many concerts and theatre productions as possible. 

    What made you consider business school?
    I decided to pursue business school because I wanted to further develop my leadership skills, as well as have more international business experience. Business school offers a unique opportunity to learn from peers who have different cultural and professional backgrounds, as well as course work and travel modules that incorporate exposure to global business practices. 

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?
    An important component of business school is learning how to build and be a part of an effective team. I am looking forward to working with my peers in a variety of team settings, ranging from my core study group to professional clubs. 

    Who are some of the leaders (in business, in the LGBTQ community, in society - you pick!) that most inspire you?
    I have always admired and been inspired by Gustavo Dudamel, Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. His fresh perspective, leadership skills, and commitment to music education have helped to redefine classical music. Furthermore, he brings passion and energy to each and every performance.

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    I am a classically trained oboist and have played since the third grade. 

Maria Del Toro

University of Chicago, Booth School of Business

  • About Maria

    Maria del Toro is  an MBA candidate for the class of 2019 at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Originally from the Bronx, New York, she has dedicated herself to revitalizing and empowering under served communities by building a career in nonprofit development and fundraising for a wide range of social justice, environmental, arts and education organizations. Maria previously served as the Development Officer for the Equal Rights Center, a national civil rights nonprofit dedicated to promoting equal opportunity in housing, employment, and access to public accommodations and government services for all populations. Prior to the ERC, she worked with The White House Project a nonpartisan and nonprofit organization working to advance women in business, politics, and media, where she primarily managed the organization’s foundations portfolio of regional, national, and venture philanthropy funders. Professionally, Maria has also supported the development efforts of several other truly groundbreaking nonprofits including the San Francisco Green Film Festival, SEO Scholars, and the Nuyorican Poets Café. In a volunteer capacity, she is an active advocate for two majors innovation hubs - Latinas Think Big and Be Social Change. Maria is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, where she was a Faculty Scholarship recipient and member of the President’s Commission on Racial and Cultural Diversity.

    What made you consider business school?
    Though I loved fundraising, I quickly learned that there are more efficient ways to scale impact than through a conventional philanthropy-based nonprofit model. At The White House Project, our Corporate Council members paid annual fees for us to provide training to the women within their companies. At the Equal Rights Center, through our Multifamily Housing Resource Program, housing developers hired us to ensure that their residential units were compliant with accessibility laws.  If these models could succeed in accelerating the outcomes being produced, then I could forge a new path—one outside of the nonprofit sector—while still actively advancing social and economic equality through my work. 

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?As nerdy as it sounds, I am most excited to be back in a classroom again! As a grant writer, I have always been writing papers and under deadlines, so that part of school never went away for me. However, I'm thrilled to be back in a classroom with driven, passionate peers to help me grow and push me to my limits. 

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    Sonia Sotomayor is my daily inspiration. I keep a picture of Sonia along with the acronym “WWSD?” in all of my workspaces, I throw a birthday party for her every year, I've dressed up as her on Halloween, and if I ever write an autobiography the title of it will be "Just Like Sonia." 

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    Though I have written over $8 million in grants, two of the most unique ones, by far, were for a project focused on conducting cognitive research on orangutans and another that involved converting a food truck into a mobile pop-up arts venue. 

Mark Mosby

Columbia Business School

  • About Mark

    Hello! I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, but my parents moved our family to Greenville, Texas shortly before I entered high school. In high school, I excelled both on the football field and in the classroom, which afforded me the opportunity to play NCAA Division 1 Football at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA). I reported to USAFA for Basic Cadet Training on 28 June 2007, and my life has never been the same since that day. At the Air Force Academy, I was challenged beyond measure academically, physically, and mentally. I also took advantage of the opportunities to fly glider aircraft, travel internationally, and develop my leadership skills. I graduated from USAFA with a BS in Behavioral Science in May of 2011 and have been serving in the Active Duty Air Force as an officer ever since. During my Air Force career I've served as a diversity recruiter for the Academy, in which I recruited the world's most qualified diverse candidates to attend the Air Force Academy; a program manager of a high-tech cryptographic system program; and an Air Force ROTC (AFROTC) instructor, teaching and developing the leadership skills of AFROTC cadets at Louisiana State University. I will be headed to Columbia Business School in the fall to pursue my MBA, and I am thrilled about what lies ahead in the future. 

    What made you consider business school?
    I believe that business school is the perfect way for me to transition from a career in the Air Force to a career in the civilian sector. During my time as an officer, I have had plenty of opportunities to develop the softer skills, such as leadership (and leadership development), communication, teamwork, etc. The curriculum I'll take during business school will enhance my technical abilities in areas such as accounting, finance, economics, and data analytics. Both the soft skill sets I have acquired in the military and the harder, more technical skill sets I will learn in business school are fundamental to a successful career in business.

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?What excites me the most about business school is the opportunity to foster relationships with my classmates. I will be going to school with extremely intelligent, passionate leaders coming from a wide range of industries and functions. I am excited to learn from their previous experiences and the things they are passionate about and share my experiences and passions with them as well. I am also thrilled to have the opportunity to lead in the LGBT MBA space through ROMBA. This will be the first opportunity for me to do so, and I am excited to serve a community that I care so deeply about.

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    To be completely honest, the one leader that inspires me the most is Abraham Lincoln. His thoughts and beliefs were so progressive for his time, and he fought for what is fundamentally right: equality. Furthermore, he embodies the characteristics that I believe are core to every leader: honesty and humility. A close second would be President Obama. The progress that was made during his presidency through the repeal of both the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy as well as the Defense of Marriage Act had a direct, profound impact on my life as a gay military member. Not only could I serve proudly and openly, but I could also marry someone I was truly in love with. I am certain that I wouldn't be the confident person I am today without his leadership.

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    I am an ambassador for diversity & inclusion through both by my words and my example. I have made deliberate choices throughout my Air Force career to dismantle stereotypes and break down barriers to create a more diverse, inclusive environment within the Air Force. I am also passionate about leadership and leadership development as well and take opportunities to lead and develop other leaders when they arise.

Mariah Minigan

Yale School of Management

  • About Mariah

Natasha Torres

Willamette University MBA

  • About Natasha

    I am a dual degree MBA/ JD student at Willamette University.  I currently live in Salem, OR with my wife and two bulldogs. My previous positions with the education and law fields have given me insights on risk management and the critical importance of creating strong foundations in the core of any company. One of my long term goals involves the creation of an organization dedicated to helping other women of color open successful and sustainable businesses in Oregon.

    What made you consider business school?
    I wanted the opportunity to tackle hard issues like workplace equity and create spaces for more minority women business leaders to thrive. I hope to use my knowledge of business and law to advocate for the empowerment of underserved communities. 

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?
    I am excited to connect with women executives and learn some of the ways in which they balance the high-stress and unequal demands while still remaining true to their core values and authenticity. 

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    When I was transitioning out of my teaching career, I relied on the knowledge and power provided to me by Jennifer McClanahan-Flint. I have also been fortunate and honored to witness the significant life changes and sacrifices many of my sorority sisters have made to work towards their fulfillment. Some of these notable women and inspirations include Dr. Cassandra St. Vil, Frederique Thomas, and Eve Torres.

    What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
    I am much more willing to invest in myself now than I was five years ago. I know my value and I work hard everyday to create positivity and empowered leadership. 

Patty Arehart

Boston University, Questrom School of Business

  • About Patty

    Patty is a first-year student at Boston University's Questrom School of Business, where she is concentrating in Public & Nonprofit Management. Prior to Questrom, Patty worked in education and learned the benefits of mission-driven leadership at her school in Boston. Back in her hometown, Columbus, Ohio, Patty enjoyed working with a foundation that funded local programs designed to foster economic self-sufficiency for women and build leadership skills for girls. Through this work, Patty became interested in the ways public and private sectors can work together to improve their communities. As an undergraduate, Patty studied political science at Kenyon College, with a particular interest in comparative politics and political philosophy. Ever since graduating, she has often been found daydreaming about that picturesque town with the best bookstore, decent coffee, and not much else. Her other interests include traveling, tennis, and trying to cook as effortlessly as her mom. 

    What made you consider business school?
    I've had the chance to work with leaders who organize teams around their institutions' missions to great effect, and in order to do so myself, I felt I needed to gain a more nuanced understanding of what makes an organization tick. Business school stood out as the next step for how the curriculum so uniquely builds hard and soft, theoretical and personal skills.

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?
    I'm looking forward to the chance to grow through the curriculum with a cohort of peers, engage with the greater Boston community through clubs and projects, and generally learn as much as possible! 

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    Barack Obama, Billie Jean King, Jean Paul Agon, and Isabella Allende.  

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    My family is from Chile, and I love to visit any chance I get.  If you're ever trying to condense a tour of world geography into just one passport stamp, Chile's combination of mountains, volcanos, deserts, vineyards, and beaches won't disappoint!

Rajiv Khattar

University of Michigan, Ross School of Business

  • About Rajiv

    Rajiv wants to try and change the world (just a little). Born and raised in the Chicagoland area, Rajiv attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he explored his passion for organizations and research and earned two degrees: one in Business and another in Industrial-Organizational Psychology. Not one to stay in one place, Rajiv has been in strategic consulting his entire career, traveling to and partnering with some of the biggest companies all over the world. He's hiked up a mountain in Hong Kong in sandals because the line for the tram was too long, gotten lost in Paris (twice), and lived in China for a year for a project. Because of these experiences, Rajiv has also gained a new perspective on organizations: He hopes to revolutionize the way businesses are put together and how they operate. In his free time, Rajiv is a lifelong learner, dabbling in photography, music, and technology.

    What made you consider business school?
    Even though before business school I had a lot of traditional post-MBA benefits (namely a career in consulting, management experience, and a global perspective of businesses), I want to facilitate the large disruptions we're seeing in the relationship between organizations and the people in them. I wanted: (1) to take a bet that these same organizations will finally be ready for people-focused analytics, (2) the hard skills to be at the forefront of that wave of change, and (3) the broader view of a business by interacting with a lot of intellectually curious classmates.

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?I'm looking forward to seeing people of non-traditional backgrounds (race car drivers, news producers, and even opera singers) interact with Finance, HR, and Operations people; This creates an environment where we can learn so much from each other. It's rare to have the time and resources in such a rich environment and I'm excited to see what new ideas emerge.

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    I get inspired by people like Malala Yousafzai (champion for education), Ruth Bader Ginsburg (notorious Associate Justice for the Supreme Court), and Fred Rogers (the Mr. Rogers). I also get inspired by the countless number of leaders in my community, though they may not be in the news as much.

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    I'm a strong introvert. Keep saying hello. It gets better, I promise.

Romelle Morris

Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management

  • About Romelle

    I grew up in Gary, Indiana and attended The University of Iowa, studying Marketing and Chinese. After college, I took a global sourcing position at Target Corporation pursuing my interest in international business, consumer behavior, and the retail industry. Throughout my time at Target I have held a variety of positions across Target’s sourcing, allocation, and merchandising strategy teams. My Target experience has cemented in me a passion for consumer behavior and trend research. After business school, I plan to move into a marketing or consumer insights role within a growing consumer discretionary company. Outside of work, I love a good debate (ENTP) and spend a good amount of my free time watching documentaries. When I am not debating, I also love to shop. 

    What made you consider business school?
    The retail environment has become increasingly volatile as new retailers and brands use technology and innovation to disrupt the traditional retail experience. Going to business school would give me a chance to step out of retail, learn from growth-minded professors and students, and ultimately form a better perspective on what companies and brands are equipped to win in the new business environment.

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?I am most excited to officially join the Kellogg community and meet all my classmates. I get energized by getting to know people and understanding their unique perspectives on the world. I get very excited when I think about all the amazing people I will meet and learn from in school. 

    Who are some  of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    James Baldwin, for his bravery, intellect, and unparalleled ability to express the complexities of being gay and black in America. Harvey Milk, for being a trailblazer and representing the LGBT voice in American politics. Howard Schultz, for not only being an innovative business leader but also for repeatedly standing for diversity and inclusion at Starbucks. Angela Ahrendts, for giving us a master class in luxury goods rebranding at Burberry and taking her branding expertise to the innovative world of technology.   

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    I believe in living life to the fullest. I have made and learned from many mistakes in my short life. I am painfully aware of how different my life could have turned out. I push myself and those around me to chase their passions while remaining lighthearted, resilient, and optimistic.

Rory Fitzpatrick

University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business

  • About Rory

    Rory is an MBA candidate at the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business. Originally from Seattle, Rory graduated with honors from New York University with a double-major in Dramatic Writing and Film & Television and a minor in history. He moved back to the West Coast to work in the digital entertainment industry in Los Angeles. He has served in a variety of roles at Silicon Beach startups such as ZEFR, Jukin Media, and theStream.tv. At ZEFR, Rory was at the forefront of digital entertainment by managing YouTube content for 10 major film and television studios. While at Jukin Media, Rory developed programming for online video platforms with over 1 billion monthly views, and helped produce the first network television show based off of a YouTube channel. Rory is also committed to helping his community through his involvement with the Trevor Project, a crisis and suicide intervention organization serving LGBTQ youth. Outside of his professional life, Rory is an avid traveler and enjoys following U.S. politics.

    What made you consider business school?
    My academic background is in the arts and as I grew professionally I learned about positions within my industry I had no idea even existed when I started out. I found that I was much more passionate about the business decisions I saw my colleagues in the entertainment industry making over the artistic challenges. I knew to switch gears and pivot to a different career path I would need to expand my skill set. I am hoping to wed my creative background with a strong business education in my time at Marshall to launch the next stage of my career.

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?
    I am very eager to learn about industries, career paths, and roles that I may have not been very aware of before coming to business school. I hope to broaden my horizons by engaging with my diverse classmates as well as my professors. I am also looking forward to traveling and studying abroad with my classmates through USC's PRIME program.

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    I am inspired by Abbe Land, CEO of the Trevor Project, for her outstanding career as an advocate for underrepresented communities. I recently read a biography of David Geffen and I was struck by his perseverance and vision as he navigated his professional career. Most of all, I am inspired by my father who has mentored me and made me the person I am today.

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    I have lost count of how many times I have reread "Game of Thrones".

Sebastian Bernal

Cornell University, SC Johnson Graduate School of Management

  • About Sebastian

    Sebastian is from Buenos Aires, Argentina. He studied business management and economics at Loyola University in New Orleans. Upon graduation, he worked as a strategy analyst at a switchgear manufacturing company, located in the outskirts of the city.   In the fall of 2016, he left the US to spend time back home before pursuing his MBA. While in Argentina, Sebastian worked as a strategy and operations consultant at Deloitte. Now, he is a first-year MBA candidate at the Johnson School of Management at Cornell University. Sebastian is also a classical dance enthusiast. He enjoys practicing ballet twice a week and attending performances as often as possible.   

    What made you consider business school?
    One of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had was when I first had the opportunity to apply the knowledge I gained in college at work. So now, four years later, I am ready to repeat that experience. My goal is to continue working in the consulting world; however, I know I can be a better consultant if I go for a MBA. I am confident that business school will provide me with a great framework for developing consulting skills in a different way than just working. 

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?I could not be more thrilled to join a new community! I really look forward to getting to know my classmates. I cannot wait to work, study, and grow alongside inspiring and diverse individuals. 

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    Evita Peron, Michael Porter, and Britney Spears. Britney especially, because through watching her journey I learned to be fearless and resilient in my choices. She inspires me to always follow my dreams while staying true to myself.

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    I play Quidditch. 

Simon Ellis

London Business School

  • About Simon

    Simon is an MBA candidate in the class of 2019 at London Business School. Prior to joining LBS, he spent three and a half years working for Finsbury, a WPP-owned financial public relations company. During this time, he principally advised clients from Russia and the CIS region, focusing on reputation and crisis management issues, as well as M&A and IPO work. Simon studied Modern and Medieval Languages (German and Russian) at the University of Cambridge, spending his third year abroad in Moscow working for a French law firm. Outside of work and studies, Simon is a keen runner, swimmer, reader and Netflix-watcher.

    What made you consider business school?
    I felt that it was the right time to make a change in my career and develop new skills for the next chapter of my working life. In the last few years, I have become very aware that I don’t have a business education, so the MBA will allow me to gain a more rounded skill set and improve my leadership abilities to set me up well for my career going forward. Ultimately, I want to push myself to be the best I can be. 

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?I’ve been so impressed by the people I have met at the admit events, so I really can’t wait to meet the rest of the 2019 cohort. I think the admissions committees at many schools do a brilliant job of compiling a diverse, talented and interesting class. I consider myself fortunate to be able to learn from them over the next two years.     I am also looking forward to having a second chance at being a student. In hindsight, I wish I had been more involved with various clubs and the LGBT community at undergrad, so this is a great opportunity for me to do it right. 

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    Billie Jean King for being a trailblazer, both for the LGBT community and for women. She has been a role model for decades, even during times when attitudes were less tolerant than they are today.     Richard Branson for being a strong advocate for greater diversity and equality. He understands that we need to continually reinforce positive messaging to foster inclusive workplaces.

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    I am obsessed with tennis. I play all year round, I travel to watch tournaments, I even watch it on my phone on the commute. I practise my swing (without a racket) walking around my apartment and have damaged several walls and light fittings in the process.

Spencer Davis

George Washington University School of Business

  • About Spencer

    Spencer is a JD/MBA candidate at the George Washington University. A native Virginian, Spencer grew up in Virginia Beach and, after a short stint studying opera in Oklahoma, graduated from Christopher Newport University with a BA in economics with a minor in political science in 2014. After graduating, Spencer moved to Washington, DC and joined FedBid, a reverse-auction government procurement platform. In 2015, Spencer joined the government sales team at CEB (now Gartner). Spencer has completed two years of law school and is looking forward to her immersion year at the GW School of Business. Over the past year, Spencer has worked at small law firm focused on labor and employment matters. Spencer plans to work as a corporate attorney and has a great interest in antitrust and M&A. Spencer is a student member of the National LGBT Bar Association, Virginia Equality Bar Association, and the LGBT Bar Association of the District of Columbia. When she's not studying, you can find Spencer spending time with her wife and their three dogs and cat! They enjoy visiting breweries and wineries, and love to travel. Spencer and her beautiful wife, Emma, live in Reston, Virginia.

    What made you consider business school?
    I knew going into law school that I wanted to couple my degrees and do the joint degree program. While having an MBA is not necessary for being a good corporate attorney, an MBA is necessary for the kind of corporate attorney that I want to be – one that is client service centered and can relate to and understand the business concerns that keep clients up at night. I believe that not only being able to understand the legal needs of a client, but also how their legal needs will impact their business operations is a valuable asset. Likewise, better understanding a client’s business needs can help define legal strategy.

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?I am incredibly excited about meeting new people, engaging different skill sets, the travel, and, of course, being a ROMBA and Forte Foundation Fellow. However, I must admit, I think I'm most excited for a little sabbatical from the law school! 

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?

    Hillary and Chelsea Clinton, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Laverne Cox, Anderson Cooper, Ellen Page, Rachel Maddow, and Elon Musk, just to name a few!

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    I could eat mexican food and listen to rap music every day for the rest of my life and never get sick of it! Also -- our pets are our everything! My wife and I have a terrier mix, an old english sheepdog, an aussiedoodle and a massive maine coon cat!

Sully Sullivan

Indiana University, Kelley School of Business

  • About Sully

    I was born and raised in Indianapolis before moving to New York City in 2011 to work for UBS Financial Services. I began my career at UBS by completing a rotational Graduate Training Program and eventually moved into several roles that provided me with experience managing databases, projects, and people. I moved back to the Midwest in 2017 and I am currently an MBA candidate (Class of 2019) at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, my alma mater. Outside of my professional career, I have committed my time to several organizations that provide assistance to LGBTQ youth.  I managed a quarterly resume workshop for graduating high school seniors at the Harvey Milk School in NYC and volunteered as a Lifeline Counselor at The Trevor Project, answering phone calls from LGBTQ youth across the country feeling suicidal or needing a safe place to talk. In my personal time, I enjoy channeling my inner chef in the kitchen and acquainting myself to the beautiful city of Chicago, where I reside when I’m not at school.

    What made you consider business school?
    I want to become an effective leader.  Taking a two year pause in my career to hone my leadership skills and identify my unique leadership style was one of the main reasons I considered returning to school.

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?All of the student clubs!  I’m excited for the opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone, to try new things, and to discover a few new passions and hobbies. 

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    I’m drawn to those that use their privilege and voice to highlight charitable or awareness-raising campaigns.  Two leaders that come to mind are Tyler Oakley and Chance the Rapper.  Tyler, a YouTube star, uses his voice to help prevent suicide among LGBTQ youth and has introduced thousands of children across the country to The Trevor Project.  Chance uses his fame to promote peace by actively promoting campaigns to combat gun violence in the Chicagoland area.

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    I love adventures and new experiences.  If you’re doing something fun and are looking for a companion, let me know!

Taher Lokhandwala

Rice University, Jones Graduate School of Business

  • About Taher

    Taher is an MBA candidate at Rice University. Prior to attending Rice, he spent five years with the Consulting and Project Management group at Halliburton, where he held several leadership and engineering roles on technology development and operations projects. He has a successful track record of working with both executives and engineers in some of the most well-known oil and gas companies worldwide. Taher holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M University.

    What made you consider business school?
    I wanted to broaden the scope of my professional experience and give myself the base to be a successful future business leader.

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?I am looking forward to learning as a full-time student again; I intend to make the best of being surrounded by incredibly accomplished professors and classmates. Also, with the benefit of five years out in the “real world”, I believe I am going to be a wiser and better learner this time around.  

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    I am inspired by the conscience and determination of leaders like Howard Schultz, Larry Kramer, Dolores Huerta and Mahatma Gandhi to name a few.

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    My name is pronounced Ta-hair.

Tam Emerson

University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business

  • About Tam

    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!


Taylor Kunkel

Vanderbilt University, Owen Graduate School of Management

  • About Taylor

    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.

Thea Le

University of Rochester, Simon Business School

  • About Thea

    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.

Timmy Fan

University of Rochester, Simon Business School

  • About Timmy

    I was born in southern China and raised in North Carolina. Being ambitious and adventurous, I started my journey traveling abroad when I was three years old, and I had been to 30+ in total since then. Travelling makes me feel surrounded by new cultural atmosphere; the world seems different to me, and I enjoy those differences. I obtained my B.S in Chemical Engineering in North Carolina. After interned with GE, worked as entry level product manager and promoted as director of operation at a start-up financial service company, I decided to go to business school for my MBA degree. I live by the quote “A man can fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he begins to blame somebody else."

    What made you consider business school?
    “When you feel life at crossroads, you need a higher perspective view.” 

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?New Place. New People. New Life.

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?|
    Sia. Her stories inspire me that I shouldn’t give up even I don’t have anything left to lose. 

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    I love both men and women. Love is not about gender but about who you truly love.

Will Taylor

Dartmouth College, Tuck School of Business

  • About Will

    Will Taylor is an MBA candidate at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Originally from Raleigh, N.C., he graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2012 with a bachelor degree in Business Administration. While at UNC, he was an active member on campus, holding leadership positions within student government and the campus YMCA, and serving as member of the Chancellor Student Innovation Team. After graduating, he moved to New York City and worked as an investment banking analyst with a focus on consumer & retail clients before exiting to a client — joining the Corporate Strategy team at the Hudson’s Bay Company. Over the last three years, he worked on a number of key initiatives across the organization. This includes leading the post-merger integration efforts of the Gilt Groupe into the HBC portfolio of retail banners across every aspect of the business. Outside of work, Will is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys traveling to new cities and eating good food.  

    What made you consider business school?
    Business school has always been a dream of mine. As an undergraduate, I knew I wanted to pursue a master’s degree to further my education, expand my network, and grow in my career as a future business leader.  

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?
    The opportunities! To learn, to be challenged, to meet new people, to try new things, to travel, to grow and to graduate a more thoughtful, impactful leader for the world.   

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    During my pursuit of an MBA, I had the pleasure of meeting Vivienne Ming, a ROMBA advocate and mentor, at Yale SOM. During her talk titled “Using Machine Learning to Unlock Human Potential”, she opened my eyes to the endless possibilities of breaking down barriers and using science to further the role of business in society.     Further, I was greatly inspired by Randy Pausch’s book “The Last Lecture,” which has taught me how to live my life to the fullest.       

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    I prefer red wine to white, gin to vodka, mayo to mustard, steak to chicken, sweet to savory and enjoy cooking as an avid chef with five years of personal experience and two years of volunteer experience in a professional kitchen. My signature dish is a Shrimp and Andouille Gumbo.

Yang Zhang

Vanderbilt University, Owen Graduate School of Management

  • About Yang

     

    Born and raised in Northwest China, Yang moved to Eastern China where he attended pharmacy school. After obtained his Bachelor of Medicine, he accepted full scholarships to pursue a master’s degree in pharmaceutics at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. Upon graduating from Duquesne in 2014, Yang headed to Tenseness to join the Department of Pathology at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Working as a biomedical scientist during his time there, Yang came to realize that current technology falls short of the clinical needs. For this reason, he is convinced that accelerating the conversion of new technologies to commercialized clinical products is imperative. After spending three years at St. Jude, he decided to change his career focus from biomedical research to the development and commercialization of new technology by pursuing an MBA. Yang is excited about joining the Class of 2019 at Vanderbilt Owen with a focus on finance and strategy. He is also a tennis enthusiast and an amateur painter.

    What made you consider business school?
    The career change I am making is so significant, from biomedical research to financial services, that I need a place where I could take a step back to focus on the bigger picture and become well-rounded. I cannot think of a better way to accomplish this than going to business school. I hope an MBA will help me leverage my academic credentials and financial skills to play a more business-oriented and client-facing role. I also come to business school to meet more liked-minded people. I believe the two years I am about to spend at Owen will be the most amazing time of my life.

    What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?
    Flexibility. I enjoy taking control of my own time. I tend to be more productive and creative when I have the flexibility of hitting the gym, having a nice breakfast and taking a nap whenever I feel I need to. I also really look forward to going on many trips with my classmates. We are all young, energetic and adventurous. What is going to be more fun than traveling together!

    Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
    I find many athletes very inspiring. Some top athletes are extremely successful both in sports and business world, such as William sisters, Maria Sharapova (did I mention that I am a tennis fan?), Lewis Howes and Lebron James.

    What's one thing everyone should know about you?
    If you’re a foodie, we will get along just fine.