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23

Nov 2016

Meet the LGBT MBA Fellows: Nancy Abramowitz

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.

NANCY ABRAMOWITZ (Duke University, Fuqua School of Business)

Nancy is originally from Wilkes-Barre, PA and attended Bentley University as an undergraduate, earning a Bachelor of Science in Management with minors in IT and Spanish. She has worked in operations and supply chain in various roles since 2009, including operations management, warehousing technology, and data analytics. She is a first-year student at The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. Nancy is interested in consulting and technology while also continuing her involvement in supply chain strategy. Outside of school, she enjoys traveling, CrossFit, cooking, reading, and spending time with family and friends.

What made you consider business school?
I was enjoying the spectrum of challenges at my most recent role but I was seeking additional responsibility for the overall strategy of the department and the corporation. I was also looking to refresh and build on my undergraduate business skills while discovering current trends and new career paths. A full-time MBA program will allow me to deepen my existing knowledge while broadening the scope of my exposure to various careers, functions, and industries.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?
I’m really looking forward to being the idiot in the room – in a good way! There are so many intelligent people there from backgrounds and careers I can’t imagine, so I’m excited to learn from them while also sharing my passions and experiences.

Who are some leaders (in business, in the LGBT community, in society) that most inspire you?
After reading Lean In as well as some of her more recent publications, I am inspired by Sheryl Sandberg. She has an interesting background and has been successful in a male-dominated field. Additionally, her candor and openness around the sudden death of her husband impressed me, given the immense difficulty of addressing personal crises in the midst of a demanding and high-profile role. I also have great respect for Robyn Ochs, a well-respected bisexual activist and writer.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
To quote the movie Elf, “I just like to smile, smiling’s my favorite!” I find there’s a lot of value in having a positive attitude, encouraging others, and making people smile. It’s much harder to argue when you’re laughing and enjoying someone’s company.

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13

Nov 2016

Meet the LGBT MBA Fellows: Jeroune Rhodes

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 JEROUNE RHODES (Duke University, Fuqua School of Business)

I was born and raised by my mom in Minden, Louisiana, a small town in northwest corner of the state. As an educator, my mom instilled upon me the importance of education and hard work at an early age. I excelled academically in high school and after graduation, I moved to Houston, Texas to attend Rice University and studied mechanical engineering. Growing up, I unintentionally broke almost everything I touched. I credit these misfortunes with igniting my curiosity with how things worked, which ultimately led me to pursue a degree in engineering.  After college, I took an engineering position with Shell Oil Company at the Motiva Port Arthur Refinery (PAR). In my role, I provided machinery technical support to my production facility and used my expertise to optimize maintenance spending, improve asset reliability, and eliminate failure mechanisms. After two years, I departed and took a similar position within The Dow Chemical Company. As a maintenance and reliability engineer at Dow, I had technical responsibility for all fixed and rotating equipment within two specialty chemical plants.  Outside of my professional career, I enjoy learning, traveling, and staying active physically and within the community. I grew up watching and playing competitive tennis and continue to play leisurely. I also play softball and use CrossFit for strength and conditioning training. As an active member of the community outreach committee in the Houston Area Urban League Young Professionals group, I have participated in countless volunteer events that have positively impacted the area.

What made you consider business school?
As I continued to gain knowledge and experience in industry, I observed that my career options were becoming more and more confined within the technical realm. After five years as an engineer in the manufacturing sector, I realized that I did not want to pursue a purely technical career path. Business school was the perfect option for me because I knew that it would provide me with the tools, resources, and foundation to make a successful, fluid career switch.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?
I am most excited about meeting, learning from, and sharing experiences with my fellow classmates.

Who are some leaders (in business, in the LGBT community, in society) that most inspire you?
Barbara Jordan, Elon Musk, Bayard Rustin, Sheryl Sandberg, Barack Obama.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
Coming from Louisiana, I live to eat good food. Cajun food is by far my most favorite, followed by Tex-Mex.

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06

Apr 2016

Standing with Duke Fuqua and UNC Kenan-Flagler Against HB2

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

Current and admitted students at Duke Fuqua's 2015 LGBT Admitted Student event.

Current and admitted students at Duke Fuqua’s 2015 LGBT Admitted Student event.

We at Reaching Out MBA want to express our support and solidarity for our schools in North Carolina  in the wake of the passage of House Bill 2. We know that the passage of HB2 is damaging, but we want to stand in strength with our students, leaders, and clubs at the Kenan-Flagler School of Business at UNC and the Fuqua School of Business at Duke.

Representatives from UNC Kenan-Flagler Pride Club at the 2015 "Ask A Queer" event.

Representatives from UNC Kenan-Flagler Pride Club at the 2015 “Ask A Queer” event.

Fuqua Pride and UNC Kenan-Flagler Pride Club have each spoken out against the anti-LGBT legislation, noting that #WeAreBetterThanThis. We know, and our students know, that laws like this are not what North Carolina is about. Below are the public statements from Fuqua Pride and UNC Kenan-Flagler Pride Club.

 

Statement from FuquaPride and its Allies at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business:

FuquaPride, the Duke MBA LGBT network, in conjunction with Fuqua’s student government, the MBA Association, as well with our allies in the MBA Association of Women in Business and the Black and Latino MBA Association, is deeply troubled by North Carolina’s regressive HB2 law. Today, we publicly reconfirm our commitment to growing and maintaining the Fuqua value of Collective Diversity that keeps “Team Fuqua” special and a transformative experience for its members. The installation of a gender neutral bathroom, the success of all FuquaPride events (including the sold-out annual drag show), and the prioritizing of LGBT admissions efforts are proof to the inclusive and thriving environment for LGBT students at Fuqua and of our school’s support. This law will not change that.

We can’t change this legislation tomorrow, but we do have the power – through our hearts and our actions – to send a signal today to North Carolina that as members of Team Fuqua and other leading MBA programs #WeAreBetterThanThis.

 

As student representatives at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, we condemn the actions taken by the North Carolina General Assembly and Governor Pat McCrory to pass House Bill 2 into law. HB2 intentionally excludes the LGBT community and veterans from statewide anti-discrimination protections in employment, housing, and public accommodation, and prohibits and nullifies any local law or ordinance that provides such protections. Passing this law egregiously erodes civil rights protections, endangers some of the most vulnerable members of our community, and harms the reputations and cohesion of our state, local governments, and valued institutions.

The proponents of this bill invented a moral panic out of whole cloth, depicting transgender individuals as predators intent on accessing bathrooms to assault women and children. Not only is there no record of any such thing ever occurring, but transgender people are often put in serious danger when forced to use facilities conflicting with their gender identity.

We applaud the major employers in our state that have staked out clear positions against HB2. However, we have severe concerns that the law will make it impossible for our top-ranked school to continue attracting the best students, faculty, and staff. HB2 is rapidly wearing away our state’s global reputation as a beacon of growth and innovation. As a public institution of North Carolina, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School’s reputation will likewise suffer among prospective students, the companies that recruit our graduates, and the international business community.

Our leaders’ actions place North Carolina wholly on the wrong side of history. We choose to stand by the core values of our school: excellence, leadership, integrity, community, and teamwork, and so we implore the General Assembly and Governor McCrory to reconvene and cooperate to pass a comprehensive non-discrimination act that respects, values, and protects all of North Carolina and our people.

Susan Lawrence Hedglin, President of the MBA Student Association

Jonathan Aronoff, Vice President for Diversity

on behalf of:

MBA Student Association Executive Council

Association of Minority Business Students

MBA@UNC LGBTQ Interest Group

Pride Club

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