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Apr 2015

LGBTQ MBA Club Leadership Summit Recap

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Guest Blog by Reaching Out’s Executive Director, Matt Kidd.

This past weekend Reaching Out held it’s 9th annual LGBTQ MBA Club Leadership Summit. It’s no secret that this event is one of our staff’s favorite each year, as its an opportunity to bring together the rising on-campus lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender MBA and business graduate club leaders from our 50+ LGBTQ affiliate clubs to hear what is going on for student on-campus, share best practices, help create new clubs for schools that don’t have them.  For Reaching Out as an organization it’s also an opportunity to get feedback & ideas from our most important audience…lesbian, gay, bisexual, & trans MBA students!

This year we had attendees registered from over 30 schools.  Each club had the opportunity to present highlight, obstacles, and history (if a club exists) of their organization.  The group then had structured conversations about on-campus LGBT demographics, straight allies (both the pros of involving them in programming and some of the challenges), working with other on-campus diversity groups, and passing the torch among club leaders.

The students also heard from several outsiders: Kellogg professor Julie Hennessey, who ran a workshop on club branding and raising awareness and gave clubs ideas they could use on their own campus.  I had the opportunity to have sit-down interview with Gabrielle Novacek, who leads the Boston Consulting Group’s LGBT group, to hear about transferable practices that clubs can use.  Then to make sure we kept greater issues the LGBTQ community is facing in focus, we heard from Brad Sears who heads The Williams Institute, the national think tank dedicated to conducting rigorous, independent research on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy.

The attendees capped off the event with a group dinner, where they were able to continue the conversations from earlier in the day. While the event is over, we reminded attendees that Reaching Out connects LGBTQ on-campus clubs throughout the year with monthly club calls, email updates and events beyond the annual ROMBA Conference.

I want to make sure to publicly thank the student volunteers from Kellogg (also our hosts for the weekend) and NYU Stern who help put together the content ideas for this weekend – we can’t do this event without student involvement.

We’d also like to make sure to recognize that this event is made possible every year by a generous donation from Shorenstein properties in memory of Richard Chicotel.  Rich unexpectedly on January 10, 2012 at the age of 52.  Mr. Chicotel was an active fundraiser and advocate for causes in the LGBT community and was particularly moved by the passion and energy of students involved with Reaching Out.



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Feb 2015

Founding an LGBT Business School Club at Pepperdine’s Graziadio

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Earlier this fall, part-time MBA student Frank Hundley contacted Reaching Out with a challenge: Pepperdine, an historically catholic university, did not have an on-campus LGBT group at its business school.  This made it hard for Frank and some of his LGBT peers to connect as well as to leverage specific opportunities for LGBT MBAs.  Frank wanted to change that.

Fast forward five months and Frank has done just that.  Graziadio Reaching OUT is now the second officially recognized LGBT organization at all of Pepperdine (the LGBT Legal Society was the first) and is a club affiliate of Reaching OUT.  Read about how Frank and his peers got the club started and what they are doing for some of their first events!.

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Jan 2015

Carlson School of Management Joins the LGBT MBA Fellowship

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We are thrilled to announce that The University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management is the 14th MBA program to join the Reaching Out LGBT MBA Fellowship, created as a joint effort between top graduate business schools and Reaching Out to demonstrate that business schools & MBA programs are outstanding opportunities for self-identifying and out lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) young professionals and their active allies to build their careers.

Each Fellowship recipient will receive a minimum $10,000 scholarship for each academic year during his/her full-time MBA as well as free access to various Reaching Out programming (including the annual ROMBA conference), mentoring and LGBTQA leadership opportunities, some of which would be developed specifically for these Fellows.

As part of accepting the Fellowship, the students will also agree to take a national leadership role in planning content for at least one Reaching Out initiative during his/her time in business school.  Learn more about the Reaching Out LGBT MBA Fellowship & Scholarships

We’re thrilled to have Carlson as one of the founding members.  Keep an eye out for a few month additions next month!

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