Oct 2017

Meet the LGBTQ MBA Fellows: Ballard Metcalfe

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The Reaching Out LGBT MBA Fellowship is a scholarship and leadership development program for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer 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 access to all Reaching Out programming (including the ROMBA Conference), LGBTQ mentors, digital programming, and a leadership summit exclusively for the Fellows.  Since the inception of the ROMBA Fellowship 129 students have received over US$6.2M in scholarship support from participating schools.

This fall Reaching Out welcomed the third class of the ROMBA Fellows. These 56 fellows come from 35 top business schools and over the next month we’ll introduce each of them to you.

41 MBA programs will be part of the Fellowship for the 2017-2018 application cycle. To learn about the Fellowship and let schools know of your interest here.


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 leaders (in business, in the LGBT community, 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.

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