Nov 2016

Meet the LGBT MBA Fellows: Rhett Chase

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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 RHETT CHASE (Rice University, Jones School of Business)

Rhett Chase is a former Air Force officer, bringing more than 8 years of experience from the construction, commodities, services, space and chemical industries. She grew up in San Diego and is a Californian at heart. Rhett earned her BS in Management from the United States Air Force Academy, where she got to free fall parachute, fly in the back of an F-­16 and serve as the Captain of her Division I soccer team. She also earned her MA in Economics from the University of Oklahoma. In the Air Force, she served as a contract negotiator and was lucky enough to be stationed in Hawaii and Los Angeles. Rhett was also deployed to Afghanistan where she led a team in support of combat operations, managing the largest logistics contract in the region. Rhett was most recently a Cost Estimating Engineer for BASF, the world’s leading chemical company. She loves doing anything active (playing soccer, competing in Crossfit, water sports), traveling the world, and conquering new challenges. Rhett lives in Houston, TX with her partner Melissa and their two fat cats.

What made you consider business school?
Business school will give me the opportunity to explore new career possibilities and interests, build a quality network of friends, and be exposed to new ways of thinking andlooking at things. My current role follows the same process over and over. I desire a position where I’m on a team solving new problems daily, developing business and leading positive change in an organization.

What are you most excited about in terms ofyour time in business school?
I’m excited for the challenge of learning new concepts and skills, as well as having the chance to connect with others and learn from their unique perspectives and experiences. I’m ready to get out of my comfort zone.

Who are some leaders (in business, in the LGBT community, in society) that most inspire you?
Women’s soccer legend Abby Wambach who recently retired from the US National team has paved the way as a leader on and off the field. She advocates for speaking up when there is something to say, whether it’s about equitable pay, equal opportunity for female athletes, or any issue about fairness and injustice. As an openly lesbian soccer player, she currently holds the international record for international goals for both female and male soccer players with 184 goals and is a role model for young girls coming out everywhere.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
When I’m stressed out or need to decompress, I love to Crossfit. For those who don’t know, this is competitive exercising involving weightlifting, gymnastic movements and cardio at high intensity. For the last 4 years, I’ve competed at the Crossfit Games Regionals.

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