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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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12

Oct 2015

Meet the LGBT MBA Fellows: Ben Chadwick

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 CHADWICK (DUKE UNIVERSITY, FUQUA SCHOOL OF BUSINESS)

Originally from Needham, MA, Ben majored in Government & Legal Studies and minored in Economics at Bowdoin College.  A member of the lacrosse team and Bowdoin Men Against Sexual Violence (BMASV), Ben led multiple initiatives on campus to create a more LGBT-friendly athletic department.  After graduating from Bowdoin in 2011, Ben joined Teach For America as a high school math and special education teacher in New Orleans, LA.  From there, to expand his business background, Ben worked as a consultant at Kaiser Associates, a boutique strategy consulting firm in Washington, DC.  Starting in the fall of 2015, Ben enrolled at Duke University – Fuqua School of Business and hopes to work in the technology sector after receiving his MBA. Eventually, Ben would like to couple his experiences in business and education to ultimately make an impact in the budding education technology industry.

What made you consider business school?

After working as a consultant and teacher, I knew an MBA would give me the necessary tools to ultimately make a larger impact in the education world down the road.

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

I am most excited to learn from my classmates, who come from all over the world with a diverse array of industry experience.

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

My former high school teacher, Andy Bigelow, has been the most inspirational LGBT leader I’ve ever met.  He made the largest impact on my life, as well as many other student he’s taught in the past, and I am forever appreciative to have him as a mentor and friend.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?

I love to travel, and I am looking forward to taking advantage of the various global study opportunities business school provides!

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

Before business school, I am traveling domestically to visit friends and family across the country.

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12

Oct 2015

Meet the LGBT MBA Fellows: Aqeela Nanji

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 AQEELA NANJI (UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO, ROTMAN SCHOOL OF BUSINESS)

I am currently a student in the Rotman MBA program at the University of Toronto, where I earlier completed a HBA in Gender and Aboriginal Studies. Prior to business school, I started my career in operations and marketing analytics at Flipp, a growing technology company that works with major retailers across North America. I love efficiency and have a track record of streamlining business processes to reduce production time.

Social impact initiatives and community work are very important to me. In addition to establishing the corporate social responsibility program at Flipp, I have volunteered as a consultant for non-profit organizations.

What made you consider business school?

I envision a world where all businesses strive to make positive social impact. My ambition is to bring that vision to life, combining my lifelong passion for helping others with my talent for improving operational efficiency. Eventually, I plan to become Chief Operating Officer at a consumer goods company and show that large companies can grow while maintaining environmental and social accountability. An MBA will provide a solid foundation from which I can achieve this dream.

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

I am especially looking forward to partaking in Rotman’s ‘International Consulting Project’ (ICP). ICP will provide me with the opportunity to work with international clients prior to graduation and build upon my experience as a volunteer consultant, helping prepare me for my short-term goal of joining a management consulting firm.

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

I am inspired by El-Farouk Khaki, a Canadian human rights activist and lawyer who represents people fleeing persecution. I deeply admire El-Farouk’s work in this area and in supporting Toronto’s LGBT Muslim community.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?

In my spare time, I like to swing dance and do crafts. When I was four years old, my grandmother taught me how to sew and I have been doing it ever since.

What were you doing during the summer before you started business school?

In the summer before starting business school, I wrapped up my work at Flipp and spent a week exploring some of Canada’s beautiful eastern islands (Prince Edward Island, Magdalen Islands) with my fiancée.

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