Nov 2016

Meet the LGBT MBA Fellows: Jenika Shannon

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The Reaching Out LGBT MBA Fellowship is a scholarship and leadership development program for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and active ally MBAs in full-time programs. Each Fellows receives at least $10,000 funding per academic year (or $20,000 total for his/her/their two years) in addition free lifetime access to all Reaching Out programming (including the ROMBA Conference), LGBT mentors, and a leadership summit exclusively for the Fellows.

This fall Reaching Out welcomed the second class of the Reaching Out LGBT MBA Fellows. These 44 fellows come from 30 top business schools and over the next month we’ll introduce each of them to you.

35 MBA programs will be part of the Fellowship for the 2016-2017 application cycle. To learn about the Fellowship and let schools know of your interest here.

MEET CHELSEA JONES (University of Rochester, Simon Business School)

I was born and raised in Tampa, Florida – the youngest to two older brothers. I attended FAMU and obtained my B.S. in Chemical Engineering. I then moved down the alphabet to TAMU, where I earned my Master’s in Petroleum Engineering. Don’t let my degrees fool you, though. I am highly creative, and a major goof. I started playing the saxophone when I was 11, and have been deeply interested in all things music, since. It is my dream to record and release an EP in this lifetime. I also happen to be an avid karaoke singer (read: addict). Speaking of addictions, I could eat chicken wings for every meal for the remainder of my life. Museums, live music, and beautiful scenery make life worth living.  If I had to explain my entire existence through three actions, they would be: Experience. Learn. Create. I live by the words “do good, fear nothing.”

What made you consider business school?
I have a fiery passion for people. I am interested in why we do the things that we do, as humans, and why we make the decisions we make. Connecting with people and learning about what drives them brings me joy. As an engineer, I would not be in a position to make choices that would directly influence the consumer’s experience. As a businesswoman, I will be.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?
For the first time in my life, I feel as if I am doing something that not only aligns with my abilities, but will also be fulfilling to me. I am excited to grow closer to my cohort, and build a foundation upon which I will change the world.

Who are some leaders (in business, in the LGBT community, in society) that most inspire you?
Believe it or not, my one and only role model in society is Chance the Rapper. He is an independent artist with the talent and wit of the most experienced musicians and lyricists. He believes in something, and nothing on this Earth will sway him from that.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
I am genuinely interested when I ask how you are doing.

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