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20

Nov 2016

Meet the LGBT MBA Fellows: Merritt Swain

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 (or $20,000 total for his/her/their two years) in addition free lifetime access to all Reaching Out programming (including the ROMBA Conference), LGBT mentors, and a leadership summit exclusively for the Fellows.

This fall Reaching Out welcomed the second class of the Reaching Out LGBT MBA Fellows. These 44 fellows come from 30 top business schools and over the next month we’ll introduce each of them to you.

35 MBA programs will be part of the Fellowship for the 2016-2017 application cycle. To learn about the Fellowship and let schools know of your interest here.

MEET MERRITT SWAIN (University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management)

I was born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota. I attended Carleton College where I played soccer and ultimate frisbee and graduated with a B.A. in Psychology. I have spent the past four and a half years in IT consulting. The majority of that time was spent leading teams of analysts in the implementation of electronic medical records (EMRs) at large-scale healthcare networks across the country. I also served as an IT project manager contractor at Target as part of their Security PMO. I will be attending the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

What made you consider business school?
I’ve spent most of my time in Healthcare IT implementing electronic medical records for large healthcare organizations. Healthcare IT and business work together hand in hand but the business drives the needs. Within IT I have been limited to one function and I wanted a broader, system-wide perspective. I want to have a hand in steering the business instead of responding to the direction a business has taken. In EMR implementations you begin to see the same technological challenges, which limits the need for creative problem solving.

What are you most excited about during your business school journey?
I’m looking forward to the experiential learning opportunities that Carlson has to offer its students which provides real-life consulting projects for companies in the area.

Who are some leaders (in the LGBT community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
Deb Loch and Jill Pavlak – they started the first woman-owned brewery in Minnesota. They both worked in corporate America (Deb, a biomedical engineer in the medical device industry and Jill, a salesperson and entrepreneur) and decided together to leave those careers to start the Urban Growler Brewing Company in St. Paul. Their mission is to “bring people together through beer.”

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
I love being active – I played soccer and ultimate frisbee in college and now I’m getting involved in triathlons.

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19

Nov 2016

Meet the LGBT MBA Fellows: Britta Volz

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 (or $20,000 total for his/her/their two years) in addition free lifetime access to all Reaching Out programming (including the ROMBA Conference), LGBT mentors, and a leadership summit exclusively for the Fellows.  

This fall Reaching Out welcomed the second class of the Reaching Out LGBT MBA Fellows.  These 44 fellows come from 30 top business schools and over the next month we’ll introduce each of them to you.

35 MBA programs will be part of the Fellowship for the 2016-2017 application cycle.  To learn about the Fellowship and let schools know of your interest here

MEET BRITTA VOLZ (University of Michigan, Ross School of Management)

Britta’s biggest professional passion is in seeking to create psychological safety on teams through investing in one-on-ones with team members, promoting openness to feedback, and working to empower all team members to do their best work. Britta grew up in Washington, D.C. and has lived all over the United States through her service in several AmeriCorps programs and non-profit leadership positions. Most recently, she was helping run the operations of a small and rapidly growing SeriousFun camp in Colorado for children with serious illnesses. Personally, she also has an interest in finance and investment management, and hopes to merge this interest with her years of experience in team leadership as she continues to build her career. To further her knowledge in this area, she manages some of her own investments, and is enrolled in the Ross MBA Fast Track in Finance program. She is also an Associate on Michigan’s Social Venture Fund, which seeks to invest in early stage socially-minded companies. She is excited to translate her passion for team support, financial management, and socially-minded problem-solving to the Corporate world.

Who are some leaders (in business, in the LGBT community, in society) that most inspire you?
Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Gandhi – people who have made big changes while recognizing the humanity of all people, of those who are oppressed and of the oppressors. I think recognizing the humanity in others – especially in those who are very different from you and may have different belief systems – is the only way to make truly positive change in communities and in the world.

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18

Nov 2016

Meet the LGBT MBA Fellows: Lucas Vital

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 (or $20,000 total for his/her/their two years) in addition free lifetime access to all Reaching Out programming (including the ROMBA Conference), LGBT mentors, and a leadership summit exclusively for the Fellows.

This fall Reaching Out welcomed the second class of the Reaching Out LGBT MBA Fellows. These 44 fellows come from 30 top business schools and over the next month we’ll introduce each of them to you.

35 MBA programs will be part of the Fellowship for the 2016-2017 application cycle. To learn about the Fellowship and let schools know of your interest here.

MEET LUCAS VITAL (University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business)

I am a gay Brazilian who is passionate in traveling, learning, and respecting other cultures. My bachelors degree in International Relations and my +5 years working in AIESEC, a non- profit global youth driven organization from which I had two working abroad experiences in Mexico for 6 months and in Ukraine for 1 year, corroborate that passion. Besides my international experiences in AIESEC, I also founded one local chapter of that large organization in my university where I led it for almost 2 years as President. Such experience developed my interest in leadership positions and the importance of developing others to achieve a team’s vision. After school I worked for +5.5 years in the financial sector of wealth management industry as an international investments advisor in the largest private bank in Brazil. However, after many certifications, learning, and a successful career path I realized I was getting deeply in a specialist role in investment management, which was not what I was really looking for in my future. I also developed in this banking experience my interest for innovation and the importance of that for leading corporations to continue growing. In my free time I love traveling, running and other outdoor activities, doing volunteer work in the community and playing handball; I created a handball gay team which seeks to grow and compete nationally and globally in the future, representing Brazil in the world gay games.

What made you consider business school?
I realized a career shift was needed to achieve my future goals. I want to develop further my soft skills to become a global leader, learn more about business and strategy, and add to my background a personal and professional experience in a developed market after living and working in 3 different emerging markets where business and LGBTQ rights are some steps behind.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?
I am most excited to study and develop myself in a very diverse environment among people from all over the world with very different backgrounds and experiences.

Who are some leaders (in business, in the LGBT community, in society) that most inspire you?
Harvey Milk in the LGBT community. Although, Frida Kahlo and Alan Turing’ stories do inspire me as well. Jorge Paulo Lemann and Walt Disney in business.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
I have a very rough voice and usually when people meet me at first they ask whether I have ever wondered about working with it either as radio or dubber. I usually wonder: Yes, it is kind of my plan E if nothing works out.

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