Dec 2016

Meet the LGBT MBA Fellows: Shawn Goodin

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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 SHAWN GOODIN (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management)

I am a native of Panama City, Florida, but I graduated high school in Pampa, Texas. I recently moved from my adopted hometown of Austin, where I wrapped-up twelve years of service in the Army: four as a cadet at West Point followed by eight as an engineer officer. Since graduating, I have been stationed at Fort Lewis near Seattle and Fort Hood. I spent thirty months deployed in support of the War on Terror. My first deployment was to Iraq where I was charged with leading thirty soldiers on missions to search for and destroy enemy-emplaced, explosive devices on coalition routes. My second was to Kandahar as the United States engineer charged with overseeing the planning and development of new construction in the city for the Afghanistan National Police. My third deployment was as an aide-de-camp for a general headquartered in Kabul, Afghanistan. I completed my Army career after the rewarding experience of commanding a company of 130 soldiers. As I look back on my career, I am amazed by the advancement our Defense Department has made in eroding the barriers to true team building that were erected by policies such as Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. More importantly, I hope that as an effective leader, I contributed to efforts to increase empathy from other service members, for equal rights regardless of sexual orientation.

What made you considerbusiness school?
The autonomy allowed to me in my most recent roles cemented that I enjoy influencing decisions or being the decision-maker, especially when the objective delivers some significant impact. I joined the Army because I wanted to serve others, and I hope to find my new niche that allows me to do this. I believe that business school would help to reinforce and refine my current skillset and better prepare me to pursue initiatives that will benefit others.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?
I am most excited about learning from the experiences of my classmates and others that I meet along the way. Obviously, I am very much the person that I am today because of my background in the military; I didn’t truly appreciate this until starting school. I hope to benefit from some additional perspectives, especially given the opportunity to learn of alternative solutions to some of my very own experiences.

Who are some leaders (in business, in the LGBT community, in society) that most inspire you?
When in a position of leadership, especially one in which you have nearly unparalleled power, I believe that it is very easy to enclose yourself in solitary bubble of self-righteousness: your worse traits falsely reinforced by your own success. It lends itself all too easily to the routine tik-for-tak in the political arena. I am especially proud of the current presidential couple for continuing to carry themselves with dignity in spite of the heightened scrutiny and for giving America the imagery of a family that stands in contrast to the falsehoods that many of our diverse communities must face. Their example reminds me that as black gay man, I have so much potential to use my abilities to bridge divides in the workplace, the local community, and potentially around the world.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
I like to think of myself as a great listener.

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