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21

Oct 2015

Meet the LGBT MBA Fellows: Jonathan Aronoff

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 in addition free lifetime access to all Reaching Out programming (including the ROMBA Conference), LGBT mentors, and a leadership summit exclusively for the Fellows.  Over 25 MBA programs will be party of the Fellowship for the 2015-2016 application cycle.  To learn how you can express interest in the Fellowship, click here

This fall Reaching Out welcomed the first class of the Reaching Out LGBT MBA Fellows.  These 25 fellows come from 18 top business schools and over the next few weeks we’ll introduce each of them to you.

MEET JONATHAN ARONOFF (UNC  KENAN-FLAGLER SCHOOL OF BUSINESS)

Jonathan is a member of the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Class of 2017. He previously led the corporate and foundation fundraising team at the Council for Economic Education, where he also built the major gifts program and established the Vantage Point: Real World Perspectives on the Economy annual symposium. Prior, Jonathan held other positions in non-profit development, primarily in research and data management for the Women’s Refugee Commission. He began his career teaching Art History in Dallas Public Schools and managing an after-school college readiness program for elite track athletes in NYC. As a proud member of the Executive Committee for J Street NYC from 2013 to 2015, Jonathan engaged Senators and members of Congress to advocate for a strong U.S. role in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a two-state solution. He graduated from The New School with a B.A. in Liberal Arts, Concentration in Economics. Jonathan and his partner Vincent Cheung enjoy cooking together, road trips, and competing for their dog Raffi’s affection.

What made you consider business school?

I’m eager to gain the foundational business education, strengthen my network, and further develop my leadership skills to transition to the private sector. I was inspired by some extraordinary MBAs who showed me that I could realize my passion for business while contributing to the community just as much as through a career in non-profit.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?
I already know these are going to be two of the best and most intense years of my life, during which I’m going to build lifelong relationships. I’m very excited to take part in my school’s new Energy concentration, take on real-world projects in finance and strategy consulting, and work with the UNC Pride Club to leverage partnerships across student groups. 

Who are some leaders (in business, in the LGBT community, in society) that most inspire you?
Paul O’Neill, former Chairman of the RAND Corporation and Chairman & CEO of Alcoa – first learned from him about the value of transparency, how business expertise can be harnessed to contribute to the public sector in unique and powerful ways, and the importance of digging deeper and speaking up even when you’re expected to keep quiet.   Megan Smith, Chief Technology Officer of the United States and former CEO of Planet Out – a visionary and inspiration who, among other things, taught me that I didn’t need to be wary of engaging the LGBT community in my professional life. That doing so wouldn’t distract from my achievements or talents, especially if I applied the same passion, skill, and leadership to everything I set out to do.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
If I look deadly serious, I’m probably joking.

What did you doing during the summer before you started business school?
My summer was business school and it was fantastic! Along with 150 of my classmates, I took early classes in Finance, Accounting, and Statistics and had an awesome time exploring North Carolina.

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13

Oct 2015

Meet the LGBT MBA Fellows: Ben Fichera

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 in addition free lifetime access to all Reaching Out programming (including the ROMBA Conference), LGBT mentors, and a leadership summit exclusively for the Fellows.  Over 25 MBA programs will be party of the Fellowship for the 2015-2016 application cycle.  To learn how you can express interest in the Fellowship, click here

This fall Reaching Out welcomed the first class of the Reaching Out LGBT MBA Fellows.  These 25 fellows come from 18 top business schools and over the next few weeks we’ll introduce each of them to you.

MEET BEN FICHERA (UCLA, ANDERSON SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT)

Ben started his career at Accenture working with clients to realize business process and technology changes. His roles focused on project management and delivery of business intelligence technologies. He was an active member of the Accenture LGBT Network, leading the group in Boston for over three years. In the fall, Ben will start his MBA journey at UCLA Anderson, with the goal of using both his engineering and consulting experience to switch into a product management role. In making this switch, Ben hopes to expand his sphere of influence from thousands of business users to millions of consumers.

What made you consider business school?

To successfully transition from consulting to product management, I know that I’ll need a diverse network of colleagues and a strong foundation of business knowledge. I see an MBA as the perfect bridge to both of these things.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?

I’m truly excited to tap into the collective wisdom of my peers and professors, and to contribute what I’ve learned in my career as a consultant and as a LGBT leader.

Who are some leaders (in business, in the LGBT community, in society) that most inspire you?

Elon Musk and the team at Tesla took a number of large risks for the sake of a product they knew the world couldn’t continue without, and I admire their tenacity and technical acumen. It’s also really cool that a company that started by making a luxury sports car could eventually be a leading provider of distributed energy storage.  I’m also inspired by Tim Cook’s leadership at Apple. Taking over for one of the most beloved and revered figures in the technology industry left some pretty big shoes to fill. Yet since he took over, Apple’s market capitalization has doubled and shows few signs of weakness. And, as the first Fortune 500 CEO to come out, he will no doubt inspire many LGBT professionals to reveal their authentic selves in the workplace.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?

I’m an avid fan of independent music, and I can’t wait to take advantage of LA’s vibrant music scene.

What are you doing during the summer before you start business school?

I’m moving from Boston to Los Angeles, so any time I can get away from packing and apartment hunting will be spent hiking, sailing, and biking around my favorite spots in New England.

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12

Oct 2015

Meet the LGBT MBA Fellows: Ben Chadwick

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 in addition free lifetime access to all Reaching Out programming (including the ROMBA Conference), LGBT mentors, and a leadership summit exclusively for the Fellows.  Over 25 MBA programs will be party of the Fellowship for the 2015-2016 application cycle.  To learn how you can express interest in the Fellowship, click here

This fall Reaching Out welcomed the first class of the Reaching Out LGBT MBA Fellows.  These 25 fellows come from 18 top business schools and over the next few weeks we’ll introduce each of them to you.

MEET BEN CHADWICK (DUKE UNIVERSITY, FUQUA SCHOOL OF BUSINESS)

Originally from Needham, MA, Ben majored in Government & Legal Studies and minored in Economics at Bowdoin College.  A member of the lacrosse team and Bowdoin Men Against Sexual Violence (BMASV), Ben led multiple initiatives on campus to create a more LGBT-friendly athletic department.  After graduating from Bowdoin in 2011, Ben joined Teach For America as a high school math and special education teacher in New Orleans, LA.  From there, to expand his business background, Ben worked as a consultant at Kaiser Associates, a boutique strategy consulting firm in Washington, DC.  Starting in the fall of 2015, Ben enrolled at Duke University – Fuqua School of Business and hopes to work in the technology sector after receiving his MBA. Eventually, Ben would like to couple his experiences in business and education to ultimately make an impact in the budding education technology industry.

What made you consider business school?

After working as a consultant and teacher, I knew an MBA would give me the necessary tools to ultimately make a larger impact in the education world down the road.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?

I am most excited to learn from my classmates, who come from all over the world with a diverse array of industry experience.

Who are some leaders (in business, in the LGBT community, in society) that most inspire you?

My former high school teacher, Andy Bigelow, has been the most inspirational LGBT leader I’ve ever met.  He made the largest impact on my life, as well as many other student he’s taught in the past, and I am forever appreciative to have him as a mentor and friend.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?

I love to travel, and I am looking forward to taking advantage of the various global study opportunities business school provides!

What are you doing during the summer before you start business school?

Before business school, I am traveling domestically to visit friends and family across the country.

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