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Jul 2016

ROMBA Student Leader Profile: Taylor Wiegele

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

In addition to Reaching Out’s staff, each year the Reaching Out LGBT MBA & 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 Leadership Committee.”  The Leadership 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 11 organizers and share some of their tips for those planning to attend this year’s ROMBA Conference in Dallas (Oct 6-8)!  Not only will they tell you what they are most excited about for this year’s conference, but they’ll also give inbound LGBT MBA students tips on the summer internship search & experience!

Name: Taylor Wiegele

School (Program/Concentration): Harvard Business School

Summer Internship: Sr. Buyer Intern, Merchandising at Target in Minneapolis, MN

How did your first year in business school prepared you for your summer internship?
Fairly well in terms of thinking about the broader implications of merchandising strategy as it pertains to a Brick & Mortar retailer establishing itself as an online competitor.

What experience(s) do you hope to take away from your Internship this summer?
I’m excited to have thought strategically about an assortment in an omnichannel environment and analyzed new product pitches from new and established manufacturers.

What’s the most valuable piece of advice going into summer internships you can offer the Class of 2018?
Get outside of your comfort zone. Think about what you want to do and think more broadly about how you can achieve it. This is (maybe) the last chance you have to try a career on for size. Seize it!

What are you most excited about for 2016 ROMBA Conference?
The panels on Brand and Gender. We have some amazing topics and panelists and I can’t wait for the fruitful discussion. (I’m also excited to square dance)

Any advice you have for people going into the ROMBA Conference for the first time?
Pick a few things you absolutely have to do and take the rest of the time to go with the flow. Maybe you meet some amazing people and attend sessions/socials with them, they introduce you to a career you hadn’t even thought of and you end up working there for the summer–it happened to me!

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Nov 2015

Meet the LGBT MBA Fellows: J Taylor Wiegele

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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.


Born and raised in the suburbs of Kansas City, Taylor headed west to study Chemical Engineering at The University of California, Berkeley. After graduating he moved to San Francisco and took a role in Research and Development at The Clorox Company where he designed and commercialized new products for Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing and Brita water filtration. He then moved south to Los Angeles where I designed the air filtration system for the Dragon space capsule at SpaceX.

In his spare time he loves surfing (at least trying to), exploring SF, LA, and now Boston/New England, spending time with friends and family, day trips with his partner in crime, Jim, devouring political/economic podcasts, yoga, formulating his own personal care products, and staying engaged with the community through mentorship programs.

What made you consider business school?

During my time at The Clorox Company I led a team that developed a marketing strategy for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Allied (LGBTQA) consumers. This was all during the time between California’s passage of Prop. 8 in 2008 and its reversal in 2013. I noticed the incredible power of brands in driving national conversations and connecting authentically with consumers. Developing the overarching brand strategy and determining which executions were most appropriate was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences I’ve ever had, complex in a much different way than product development.

My time at SpaceX solidified the decision to attend business school, as I watched the company I worked for ignite a renewed space race, dismantle a monopoly on launch services, and innovate in an incredibly complex industry by harnessing a powerful and revered brand.

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

The people. Hands down. There’s truly no environment quite like business school where people from all over the world, from every industry, with a phenomenal diversity of lived experiences come together for two years. Stepping away and reflecting combined with listening to classmates’ stories (and those of the myriad of outstanding speakers and professors) really helps build self-knowledge and understanding of your own story in a unique way.

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

Harvey Milk comes to mind, first and foremost for his political activism in the seventies for the LGBT community.

Tyler Oakley, YouTube and Podcast personality who is best in class at leveraging celebrity to reach LGBT youth everywhere and fundraising for the Trevor Project and other LGBT rights and LGBT youth organizations.

Annise Parker, the mayor of Houston and first openly-gay mayor of a major US city.

Laverne Cox, actress and transgender activist.

And of course Reza Rahaman, my mentor and VP of R&D at The Clorox Company and a man who embodies authentic leadership.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?

Despite a scrubbed social media presence, I’m still figuring things out just like everyone else.

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Dec 2014

LGBT MBA Video Profile: Emily Miller & Henry Spear of Harvard Business School

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In this video Emily & Henry talk about the HBS LGBT Student Association’s major initiatives, including it’s involvement in the Pan-Harvard LGBT Conference, and reveal that many people’s perceptions of Harvard Business School as a more conservative business school environment are out-dated (as Emily puts it “everybody has rainbow stickers on their name plates to show their support [for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender MBA classmates]“).

Our video interviews with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender MBA leaders from on-campus Clubs are back!  Want to know what activities clubs do or advice that current business graduate students have for LGBTQ MBA applicants?  How about scholarship opportunities for LGBT MBAs and business graduates? These videos are a great sources for you. Keep checking back through the rest of the year for more videos.

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