Nov 2017

Meet the LGBTQ MBA Fellows: Joe Edward

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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.


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.

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