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01

Jun 2016

Reaching Out: Brazil 2016 Recap

Posted by / in Blog, LGBTQ BUSINESS STUDENT BLOG, Uncategorized / No comments yet

The Reaching Out staff crossed the equator for the second annual Reaching Out: Brazil Conference on May 14. Part-learning, part-networking, part-career fair — our Saturday in São Paulo at FGV-EAESP sped by. We couldn’t have put on such a successful event without our sponsors: McKinsey & Company, AmBev, A.T. Kearney, Goldman Sachs, IBM, J.P. Morgan, and Dow.

In the morning, after a warm welcome from Reaching Out’s Matt Kidd, Brazilian students and young professionals listened to panelists speak about what it means to be out as an LGBT person at work. Then, we placed a spotlight on lesbian, bisexual, and transgender women in our second general session. This community is a double minority in the business world, and several LBT women spoke about their unique experiences and educated their colleagues about the challenges they face.

In the afternoon, we packed into a nearby restaurant for lunchtime networking. Our students and sponsors made great connections while enjoying some great São Paulo cuisine. When we returned to FGV, our program resumed with a focus on the upcoming Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janiero. We were fortunate to have a representative from Dow (a Worldwide Olympic Partner sponsor) and a member of the Rio 2016 organizing committee speak with one another about the intentional inclusion of LGBT equality in the Rio Games in contrast to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

We wrapped up the afternoon with some breakouts on consulting, finance, and technology. Our sponsors answered questions about their industries before sending everyone down to a Career Fair where students and sponsors had the chance to talk and make connections. We really enjoyed being in Brazil for the second year in a row. Many thanks to our sponsors and the staff at FGV-EAESP. We look forward to next year!

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06

Apr 2016

Standing with Duke Fuqua and UNC Kenan-Flagler Against HB2

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Current and admitted students at Duke Fuqua's 2015 LGBT Admitted Student event.

Current and admitted students at Duke Fuqua’s 2015 LGBT Admitted Student event.

We at Reaching Out MBA want to express our support and solidarity for our schools in North Carolina  in the wake of the passage of House Bill 2. We know that the passage of HB2 is damaging, but we want to stand in strength with our students, leaders, and clubs at the Kenan-Flagler School of Business at UNC and the Fuqua School of Business at Duke.

Representatives from UNC Kenan-Flagler Pride Club at the 2015 "Ask A Queer" event.

Representatives from UNC Kenan-Flagler Pride Club at the 2015 “Ask A Queer” event.

Fuqua Pride and UNC Kenan-Flagler Pride Club have each spoken out against the anti-LGBT legislation, noting that #WeAreBetterThanThis. We know, and our students know, that laws like this are not what North Carolina is about. Below are the public statements from Fuqua Pride and UNC Kenan-Flagler Pride Club.

 

Statement from FuquaPride and its Allies at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business:

FuquaPride, the Duke MBA LGBT network, in conjunction with Fuqua’s student government, the MBA Association, as well with our allies in the MBA Association of Women in Business and the Black and Latino MBA Association, is deeply troubled by North Carolina’s regressive HB2 law. Today, we publicly reconfirm our commitment to growing and maintaining the Fuqua value of Collective Diversity that keeps “Team Fuqua” special and a transformative experience for its members. The installation of a gender neutral bathroom, the success of all FuquaPride events (including the sold-out annual drag show), and the prioritizing of LGBT admissions efforts are proof to the inclusive and thriving environment for LGBT students at Fuqua and of our school’s support. This law will not change that.

We can’t change this legislation tomorrow, but we do have the power – through our hearts and our actions – to send a signal today to North Carolina that as members of Team Fuqua and other leading MBA programs #WeAreBetterThanThis.

 

As student representatives at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, we condemn the actions taken by the North Carolina General Assembly and Governor Pat McCrory to pass House Bill 2 into law. HB2 intentionally excludes the LGBT community and veterans from statewide anti-discrimination protections in employment, housing, and public accommodation, and prohibits and nullifies any local law or ordinance that provides such protections. Passing this law egregiously erodes civil rights protections, endangers some of the most vulnerable members of our community, and harms the reputations and cohesion of our state, local governments, and valued institutions.

The proponents of this bill invented a moral panic out of whole cloth, depicting transgender individuals as predators intent on accessing bathrooms to assault women and children. Not only is there no record of any such thing ever occurring, but transgender people are often put in serious danger when forced to use facilities conflicting with their gender identity.

We applaud the major employers in our state that have staked out clear positions against HB2. However, we have severe concerns that the law will make it impossible for our top-ranked school to continue attracting the best students, faculty, and staff. HB2 is rapidly wearing away our state’s global reputation as a beacon of growth and innovation. As a public institution of North Carolina, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School’s reputation will likewise suffer among prospective students, the companies that recruit our graduates, and the international business community.

Our leaders’ actions place North Carolina wholly on the wrong side of history. We choose to stand by the core values of our school: excellence, leadership, integrity, community, and teamwork, and so we implore the General Assembly and Governor McCrory to reconvene and cooperate to pass a comprehensive non-discrimination act that respects, values, and protects all of North Carolina and our people.

Susan Lawrence Hedglin, President of the MBA Student Association

Jonathan Aronoff, Vice President for Diversity

on behalf of:

MBA Student Association Executive Council

Association of Minority Business Students

MBA@UNC LGBTQ Interest Group

Pride Club

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13

Oct 2015

Meet the LGBT MBA Fellows: Ben Fichera

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

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.

MEET BEN FICHERA (UCLA, ANDERSON SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT)

Ben started his career at Accenture working with clients to realize business process and technology changes. His roles focused on project management and delivery of business intelligence technologies. He was an active member of the Accenture LGBT Network, leading the group in Boston for over three years. In the fall, Ben will start his MBA journey at UCLA Anderson, with the goal of using both his engineering and consulting experience to switch into a product management role. In making this switch, Ben hopes to expand his sphere of influence from thousands of business users to millions of consumers.

What made you consider business school?

To successfully transition from consulting to product management, I know that I’ll need a diverse network of colleagues and a strong foundation of business knowledge. I see an MBA as the perfect bridge to both of these things.

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

I’m truly excited to tap into the collective wisdom of my peers and professors, and to contribute what I’ve learned in my career as a consultant and as a LGBT leader.

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

Elon Musk and the team at Tesla took a number of large risks for the sake of a product they knew the world couldn’t continue without, and I admire their tenacity and technical acumen. It’s also really cool that a company that started by making a luxury sports car could eventually be a leading provider of distributed energy storage.  I’m also inspired by Tim Cook’s leadership at Apple. Taking over for one of the most beloved and revered figures in the technology industry left some pretty big shoes to fill. Yet since he took over, Apple’s market capitalization has doubled and shows few signs of weakness. And, as the first Fortune 500 CEO to come out, he will no doubt inspire many LGBT professionals to reveal their authentic selves in the workplace.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?

I’m an avid fan of independent music, and I can’t wait to take advantage of LA’s vibrant music scene.

What are you doing during the summer before you start business school?

I’m moving from Boston to Los Angeles, so any time I can get away from packing and apartment hunting will be spent hiking, sailing, and biking around my favorite spots in New England.

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