Meet the LGBTQ MBA Fellows: Alex Masica
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 ALEX MASICA (THE OHIO STATE, FISHER COLLEGE OF BUSINESS)
I am passionate about solving problems for the modern consumer and want to create products and experiences that change peoples’ lives. I enjoy working at the intersection of technology, creativity, and communication. I believe design today is about solving problems and is a critical process to go through in order to make sense of complexity and help humanize technology. As a child, I was always interested in how things were made. As a professional, that has transcended into loving the product development lifecycle in its many forms. I appreciate and value how one-on-one market research mixed with the right data can be the catalyst for driving many new product decisions. I believe in the lean startup and product management models combined with human-centered design, and use them to nimbly learn, produce, fail, and iterate. Working on smaller marketing and product teams has given me the luxury of learning new skills at rapid pace and the chance to make many decisions that affect various channels. From reimagining email marketing programs to developing digital media strategies, my creativity and knowledge of digital marketing are always being put to the test. Outside of work, I enjoy staying active outside by cycling, running, and hiking. I also like to get together with friends for brunch, practice photography, and develop websites.
What made you consider business school?
I chose to attend business school because I wanted to elevate my career, learn the necessary skills for the next stage of my career, and to build a wider network of next-generation leaders.
What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?
Honestly, I am most excited about being a full-time student again. I love being in the classroom and learning. Outside of that, I am ready to get involved with various student organizations and learn from my peers. What I think is great about business school is that there is a wide variety of backgrounds, cultures, and career paths that lead everyone to this point—there is so much to learn from everyone.
Who are some leaders (in business, in the LGBT community, in society) that most inspire you?
I’d like to share two. One is local to Minneapolis and one is globally recognized. The first is Nancy Lyons, who is the CEO of Clockwork, a digital interactive agency in Minneapolis. I admire Nancy because of how she runs her business. She begins with hiring smart people who are also really nice (one of the requirements on every job description), trains them well, and then lets them go create great work that clients love. She is also a huge advocate for treating employees well and how businesses can adapt their policies based on employee input. Based on the people I’ve talked with who work for her, this is a huge morale booster for them because they know their leader trusts and respects them. She’s built a people-first culture and I admire her for that. She also sits on a number of boards, including the Family Equality Counsel. If I can be half the leader that Nancy is, I’ll be happy. The global business leader I admire is Sheryl Sandberg. Before reading Lean In, I didn’t know a lot about her. After reading it, I sought out as much information about her as I could find and now try to keep up with speaking appearances on YouTube and other pieces she authors. I admire Sheryl for her compassion and ambition, two traits required to do well in the technology sector. Her compassion shows through all of the work she’s done to shed light on issues women face in the workplace and also in how much pride she has for her own employees. Her ambition has allowed her to chase and fulfill her goals while also empowering other people to chase after their own.
What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
I’m a big advocate of giving back and helping mentor and mold the younger generation. I’ve spent nearly 10 years volunteering with a youth leadership camp in Wisconsin called Badger Boys State, where 17-year-old men learn about the US political system and what it means to be a servant leader among their peers and in their community. I started as a counselor and now lead their media production team.