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Oct 2015

Meet the LGBT MBA Fellows: Austin Fang

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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.

Austin Fang is a first-year MBA candidate at University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. He grew up in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C. He majored in Biomedical Engineering and Psychology at Johns Hopkins University. Prior to Booth, Austin worked at Bloomberg LP as a financial software developer programming for the news functions on the Bloomberg Terminal. He enjoys playing volleyball, following professional tennis, and watching sitcoms and romcoms.



What made you consider business school?

After working at Bloomberg LP for five years, I felt that my career trajectory had stagnated. I had been promoted from junior software developer to senior software developer, but the responsibilities of my role were very much the same. When I tried taking on other responsibilities on the more product management side, I found that my input was not taken very much into account due to my lack of a business background. I’m looking forward to business school to develop my management skills and develop some business acumen.

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

I’m most excited for meeting new people from all over the world and from different backgrounds. Additionally, I’m looking forward to getting my career back on track. I was feeling very frustrated at my last job, so I’m excited for all the new opportunities that business school and an MBA can bring.

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

I am most inspired by Billie Jean King. Not only was she a phenomenal tennis player, but she also helped found the Women’s Tennis Association, fought for equal prize money for men and women, and is an LGBT icon. In business, I admire Jeffrey Raider, a fellow JHU alum and co-founder of Warby Parker and Harry’s. I find what he’s doing breaking up the monopoly in the eyewear industry with Warby Parker is so brilliant and inspirational.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?

I’m the biggest professional tennis nerd in the world. This year, I’ve already been to a tennis tournament in Palm Springs, CA and Hamburg, Germany. I’m absolutely devastated that I’m no longer in NYC as I’ll be missing the US Open in a couple weeks.

What did you do during the summer before you started business school?

I was fortunate enough to have two weeks of #funemployment before my lease ran out in NYC. In that time, I was able to go to all the Broadway shows (including this year’s Tony Award winning musical and play), museums, and restaurants that I never had time for. Afterwards, I attended a bachelorette party in Charleston, participated in the ROMBA tech trek in SF, and traveled around Europe for two weeks. After meeting Rafael Nadal at a tennis tournament in Hamburg, celebrating gay pride in Amsterdam, and exploring Berlin for the first time, I’m finally moving to Chicago to prepare for school.

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Aug 2015

ROMBA Student Organizer Profile: Jordy Freeman

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In addition to Reaching Out’s staff, each year the Reaching Out LGBT MBA & Business Graduate Conference’s content is developed and produced by MBA & graduate students from schools across the world. These core group of the students working on the ROMBA Conference are known as the “Student Organizing Committee.”  The Organizing Committee comes up with the conference’s theme, ideates all breakout sessions, and is seen prominently on the ground at the conference!

Over the next few weeks we’ll highlight each of this year’s 8 organizers and share some of their tips for those planning to attend this year’s LGBT MBA & Business Graduate Conference!  Not only will they tell you what they are most excited about for this year’s conference, but they’ll also give readers tips on the summer internship search & experience!

Name: Jordy Freeman

School (Program/Concentration):  Chicago Booth (Strategic Management, International Business, Marketing Management)

Summer Internship:  Summer Associate w/ McKinsey & Co in Mexico City

What you’re most excited about for ROMBA 2015?

Um, everything? I can’t wait to show off the awesomeness of Chicago, the incredible speakers we have lined up, the amazing sessions coming up, and of course meeting the 1500 or so of my LGBT business colleagues! Also: Swag. All of the swag.

What advice do you have for students, particularly those recruiting, going to ROMBA 2015 in Chicago?

ROMBA is amazing in how much you can extract out of it – professionally, academically, and socially. Watch the webinars, read the primers, and get a good picture of everything you can do while you’re here. Then, let go of your stress and embrace the experience!

What experience(s) do you hope to take away from your Internship?

I’m thrilled to be working in a new company, in a new industry, in a new country! I can’t imagine the experiences I will take away – and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

How did your first year as a graduate student prepare you for your summer?

This year prepared me by helping me realize that the ´disadvantages´ I felt by coming from a nontraditional background were in reality a tremendous leg up. Instincts, relationship building, and decision-making can’t be taught – Excel can. Being immersed in a community of similarly ambitious yet wildly diverse colleagues has been an eye-opening experience. It´s not what I expected of business school – but it´s what I needed!

What valuable piece of advice can you offer readers going into their summer internship?

You wouldn’t be here if we didn’t think you had something to add. Don’t be afraid to speak up. Don’t be afraid to be wrong. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. You’re here to make a difference!

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