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Oct 2015

Meet the LGBT MBA Fellows: Jess Sun

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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.


Jess is a first-generation Chinese, born and raised in Minnesota. She studied Management Information Systems and Marketing at the University of Minnesota and then worked as an IT project manager for Target Corp prior to business school. Through that role, and her experiences coaching high school debate and advising her alma mater on supporting diversity within the IS major, she has come to be passionate about technology as a tool for education and reaching underserved groups. In her spare time she enjoys live music, reading, rollerblading, food, yoga and the great outdoors.

What made you consider business school?
I have many interests and know business school will help me blend them in my future career path.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?
The opportunity to know and learn from my classmates.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
“If you had fun, you won!” 

What are you doing during the summer before you start business school?
I’ve gotten to do a lot of fun traveling before business school – it has truly been the best summer of my life! I went on a canoe trip to the Boundary Waters, traveled to Nicaragua, went on a cross-America road trip starting in Charlotte, NC and ending in San Francisco, hung out in New York, and hiked the Andes and volunteered in the rainforest in Peru.


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Mar 2015

Queer Women in Business Video: Speaker Patricia McGarry

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

This year Reaching Out created “Queer Women in Business,” which is designed as programming throughout the year for lesbian, bisexual and transgender women at all career stages in business to foster a stronger network of visibility and support in the workplace.

The initial activity was our NYC Queer Women in Business Summit on March 7th.  192 lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer women from young professionals to senior management at over 75 organizations joined us for a day of speakers, panels and other content.  The NYC Summit will return Spring 2016 – look out for other QWIB events this year!

Here’s the first of several videos from the Queer Women in Business NYC Summit, featuring opening speaker Patricia McGarry.

About the Speaker: Patricia McGarry

Patricia McGarry is a Coach for Liberty Management Systems in Liberty Mutual’s Strategic Services department. In this role, she works closely with senior executive leadership to analyze and streamline the company’s work processes. Prior to this position, she was Director of Business Systems Projects for Liberty Mutual’s Enterprise Talent Management Technology group.
Prior to joining Liberty Mutual, Patricia spent 15 years in Canada’s manufacturing industry in various quality and operations management roles where she was an effective change agent, initiating and driving the corporate strategy for quality improvement in automotive parts and steel tubing plants. She also has worked for an Oracle Implementation consulting company focused on implementing and supporting HR and Talent Management systems as well as being an operations director for a start-up that built an online trade and exchange for the oil trading industry.

Patricia holds an M.B.A. in Operations and Organizational Behavior as well as an M.A. in Human Kinetics, which includes sports psychology, consultation and intervention.

Outside of the office, Patricia has been the team manager for the Canadian Women’s ice hockey team, the master course conductor for the Canadian Hockey Association’s Initiation Program, and a color commentator for Canada’s women’s national hockey. She co-created a role model workshop for female elite athletes in Canada and directed a “Learn to Play” ice hockey program for girls ages five to nine years old – the first program of its kind in Canada.



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Feb 2015

Queer Women in Business Panelist: Danielle Piergallini

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

As we near the inaugural Queer Women in Business Summit (March 7th in NYC), we’re thrilled to unveil some of the amazing speakers and panelists that are participating in the day’s events.

One first panelists to unveil is Danielle Piergallini, who is an MBA alum of Vanderbilt University.  Danielle, who was recently featured in the New York Times’ article “For Transgender Students, Business Schools Are a Transition.”  Danielle will join three other panelists for our afternoon panel titled “Intersectionality” that explores the levels of diversity within our community of LBT Women.  Read more about Danielle below!

Content at the Queer Women in Business Summit will be applicable to lesbian, bisexual, and transgender women in all phases of their careers. Attendees can look forward to speeches from LBT business leaders like Christie Smith, panels exploring issues at specific career stages and issues around intersectionality within the LBT community, a series of inspirational TED-style talks, a workshop around building stronger communication skills, and structured interactive breakouts that designed to build personal networks and foster organic mentor/mentee relationships in their industries.

Register for QUIB ($99 for professionals and $49.50 for students using the code LBTstudent)


Danielle Piergallini, Sr. Analyst, Small & Medium Business Loyalty

After joining American Airlines in January 2013, Danielle spent 18 months helping plan the integration of their two multi-billion dollar websites (USAirways.com and AA.com) before moving into the Global Sales organization, where she’s responsible for growing small/medium business loyalty through partnership development. Prior to earning her MBA at Vanderbilt University, Danielle interned in employee engagement at Sprint and led campaign strategy for a boutique interactive agency. Within the LGBT space, she focuses on improving visibility around transgender-specific issues and spreads awareness through her ‘life is good, make it better’ social media campaign – which has reached more than 1.5 million viewers. She also has a BA in Political Science from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Liberty Mutual is the title sponsor for the inaugural QUIB Summit!

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