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.
MEET KYLE PIERS (BOSTON UNIVERSITY, QUESTROM SCHOOL OF BUSINESS)
Born and raised in Connecticut, Kyle headed to Boston for college and never left. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry (summa cum laude) and a Master of Science in Biotechnology, both from Northeastern University. For the last 6 years he’s been part of a dynamic research team at Merck & Co., working in the preclinical discovery space to develop drugs for cancer and autoimmune diseases. Kyle has served as the chair of Merck’s LGBT employee business resource group for 3 years, and has also helped build OUTBio, a grassroots network of LGBT biotech/pharma professionals in the Boston/Cambridge area. Kyle is thrilled to join the Health Sector MBA program with a concentration in Strategy and Innovation at the Questrom School of Business. A firm believer in work-life balance, Kyle enjoys traveling, cycling, attending symphonies, and seeing Broadway shows in his downtime.
What made you consider business school?
It wasn’t until I intimately observed cancer from the perspective of my cousin that I considered pursuing an MBA. After a year of accompanying her to immunotherapy appointments, I had this overwhelming sense of responsibility to do something more proximal than pre-clinical drug discovery research to impact human health. After conversations with mentors and colleagues, business school seemed the best path forward to hone a skillset integral to Business Development & Licensing that would complement my natural tendencies to build relationships and help others. I intend to fuse this education with my scientific background so that I can influence a pharmaceutical company’s pipeline and success in delivering innovative medicines to patients like my cousin.
What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?
I’ve narrowly focused on science in my education and career thus far, so I’m really excited to give myself these next two years to learn completely different topics and to begin an intellectual and personal evolution that expands my understanding and perspective.
Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
Selisse Berry, the founder and CEO of Out & Equal (O&E) Workplace Advocates, has paved the way for so many people to bring their authentic selves to work. Attending the O&E Summits over the years has inspired and educated me, as well as shaped my views of the power that diversity and inclusivity can bring to a business. Brian Piccini, the owner and CEO of Boston Urban Hospitality, is a dear friend who continues to impress me with how he’s tapped into his personal network and harnessed his own diversity to build a successful footprint in Boston with three (soon to be four) exquisite restaurants.
What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
I’m a scientist both in the lab and in the kitchen – I love cooking elaborate meals to unwind. Oh, and desserts are my favorite part.