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10

Nov 2017

Meet the LGBTQ MBA Fellows: Mark Mosby

Posted by / in LGBTQ BUSINESS STUDENT BLOG / No comments yet

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 MARK MOSBY (COLUMBIA BUSINESS SCHOOL

Hello! I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, but my parents moved our family to Greenville, Texas shortly before I entered high school. In high school, I excelled both on the football field and in the classroom, which afforded me the opportunity to play NCAA Division 1 Football at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA). I reported to USAFA for Basic Cadet Training on 28 June 2007, and my life has never been the same since that day. At the Air Force Academy, I was challenged beyond measure academically, physically, and mentally. I also took advantage of the opportunities to fly glider aircraft, travel internationally, and develop my leadership skills. I graduated from USAFA with a BS in Behavioral Science in May of 2011 and have been serving in the Active Duty Air Force as an officer ever since. During my Air Force career I’ve served as a diversity recruiter for the Academy, in which I recruited the world’s most qualified diverse candidates to attend the Air Force Academy; a program manager of a high-tech cryptographic system program; and an Air Force ROTC (AFROTC) instructor, teaching and developing the leadership skills of AFROTC cadets at Louisiana State University. I will be headed to Columbia Business School in the fall to pursue my MBA, and I am thrilled about what lies ahead in the future.

What made you consider business school?
I believe that business school is the perfect way for me to transition from a career in the Air Force to a career in the civilian sector. During my time as an officer, I have had plenty of opportunities to develop the softer skills, such as leadership (and leadership development), communication, teamwork, etc. The curriculum I’ll take during business school will enhance my technical abilities in areas such as accounting, finance, economics, and data analytics. Both the soft skill sets I have acquired in the military and the harder, more technical skill sets I will learn in business school are fundamental to a successful career in business.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?
What excites me the most about business school is the opportunity to foster relationships with my classmates. I will be going to school with extremely intelligent, passionate leaders coming from a wide range of industries and functions. I am excited to learn from their previous experiences and the things they are passionate about and share my experiences and passions with them as well. I am also thrilled to have the opportunity to lead in the LGBT MBA space through ROMBA. This will be the first opportunity for me to do so, and I am excited to serve a community that I care so deeply about.

Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
To be completely honest, the one leader that inspires me the most is Abraham Lincoln. His thoughts and beliefs were so progressive for his time, and he fought for what is fundamentally right: equality. Furthermore, he embodies the characteristics that I believe are core to every leader: honesty and humility. A close second would be President Obama. The progress that was made during his presidency through the repeal of both the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy as well as the Defense of Marriage Act had a direct, profound impact on my life as a gay military member. Not only could I serve proudly and openly, but I could also marry someone I was truly in love with. I am certain that I wouldn’t be the confident person I am today without his leadership.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
I am an ambassador for diversity & inclusion through both by my words and my example. I have made deliberate choices throughout my Air Force career to dismantle stereotypes and break down barriers to create a more diverse, inclusive environment within the Air Force. I am also passionate about leadership and leadership development as well and take opportunities to lead and develop other leaders when they arise.

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29

Nov 2016

Meet the LGBT MBA Fellows: Ray Phua

Posted by / in LGBTQ BUSINESS STUDENT BLOG / No comments yet

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 RAY PHUA (Columbia Business School)

Ray is excited to join Columbia Business School’s Class of 2018. At CBS, he is interesting in pursuing a role in product management or product marketing at an innovative consumer technology company. After moving every 3 years as an army brat, Ray settled in Seattle to study Finance at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business. Ray then joined Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) as a management consultant, and later as an operations manager, working on a variety of projects across the high-tech, retail, and social sector industries. Most recently, Ray was part of the FP&A team at Twitter, supporting its Networking Engineering & Infrastructure Operations teams. Throughout his career, Ray has been actively involved in advancing programs around Learning & Development and Diversity & Inclusion.  He led diversity-focused undergraduate recruiting programs at two universities, developed a Data Analysis & Business Modeling course taught to analysts nationwide, and supported the planning of multiple events for TwitterOPEN (its LGBTQ group). He enjoys tapping it back in a SoulCycle class, getting shaky legs muscles at CorePower Yoga, running, sailing, watching the Summer Olympics, and eating fried chicken (with a kale salad).

What made you consider business school?
Earning an MBA has been part of my 10-year plan since high school.  Both my parents and grandparents encouraged me early on to pursue an MBA as an experience to help me develop into a versatile and capable business leader. After working in consulting and in corporate finance across roles that focused heavily on quantitative analysis and process improvement, I wanted to bring more social, creative, and human elements into my work. As I aim to transition into product marketing, I know that gaining the leadership skills and global network through business school will be invaluable to me in progressing my career.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?
People!  I am excited to be challenged and to grow from the diverse perspectives of a global community, including my classmates, professors, and professional network.

Who are some leaders (in business, in the LGBT community, in society) that most inspire you?
Tim Cook, Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs, Ellen DeGeneres, and Sheryl Sandberg.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
One of my favorite hobbies is to paint –with makeup, on my face! I have watched too many YouTube tutorials on how to get the best smokey eye to join friends for our brunches in drag.  My fascination with drag has allowed me to realize a creative outlet, appreciate the natural beauty of all humans regardless of gender expression, and value the positive impact the drag community has had on the LGBTQ+ community.  I like to paint abstract landscapes with acrylics, too.

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02

Jun 2015

LGBT MBA Club Focus: Columbia Business School’s “Trans 101″ Training

Posted by / in LGBTQ BUSINESS STUDENT BLOG / No comments yet

Guest blog by Chris Riha, Co-President Cluster Q, Columbia Business School‘s LGBT group.

Two years ago, Columbia University student Marnie Florin launched a “Trans 101” training for the MBA community to better educate us about the issues facing the transgender community.   We were very lucky to have Marnie initiate this training, in addition to pushing for a gender neutral bathroom, as beforehand the concept of transgender was not a topic of conversation.

Even though Marnie has graduated, Cluster Q is proud to continue Marnie’s training as an annual tradition.   We incorporate this training into our semi-annual Ally Week, which is geared towards engaging our ally community in educational and social programming.

The training itself is broken into a few sections: First, we help attendees understand the key differences between gender identity, gender expression, biological sex, and sexual orientation and describe how those concepts are independent from one another.   For example, It is common for attendees to have made assumptions that a certain gender identity may then implies a certain sexual orientation.  This untangles those assumptions.

Second, we define some key vocabulary and highlight some terms that are inappropriate.   Many people haven’t sat down and learned the differences between terms like, “transgender”, “intersex”, “genderqueer”, etc.  Plus, it’s helpful to hammer home what no-no words exist.

Third, we do a demonstration to highlight what it feels like for someone to be addressed in conversation with the wrong pronouns to then teach gender inclusive pronouns.  Generally this means bringing up a cisgender audience member and having a facilitator mock a conversation where they use the opposite gender pronoun throughout to highlight the types of conversations many transgender or genderqueer people experience

Finally, we ask the audience to engage in an exercise that powerfully exhibits the extra hardship the transgender community experiences.

The training tends to have a very powerful effect on students as many attend out of simple curiosity and walk away having learned quite a bit.

Although Columbia is fortunate enough to have another transgender student currently, I would strongly encourage all business school (or really anyone!) to lead a similar training even without having an open student.  The logic is threefold.  First, just because a student isn’t openly transgender doesn’t suggest that there aren’t students on campus that keep their gender identity to themselves.  Students could be struggling with gender identity discrimination or insensitivity behind closed doors.  Second, it is Columba’s hope that this training sends the message that we want to create a space where transgender students will be openly accepted into the community.  Finally, the statistics around the amount of discrimination transgender people face in the workplace are staggering.  If MBA programs truly aim to create the next generation of professional leaders, we should be leaders equipped to work towards ending that workplace discrimination.

We are continuing to look for ways to make Columbia more trans-friendly.  This training is only one example of such work.  As Co-President of Cluster Q, I strongly urge anyone with other programs or ideas to comment here and share what is working on your campus so we can learn from you.  In turn, I am more than happy for anyone to reach out to me to see more specifics about our training or the process of adding a gender neutral bathroom.

 

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