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01

Nov 2017

Meet the LGBTQ MBA Fellows: John Blake

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, queer 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 access to all Reaching Out programming (including the ROMBA Conference), LGBTQ mentors, digital programming, and a leadership summit exclusively for the Fellows.  Since the inception of the ROMBA Fellowship 129 students have received over US$6.2M in scholarship support from participating schools.

This fall Reaching Out welcomed the third class of the ROMBA Fellows. These 56 fellows come from 35 top business schools and over the next month we’ll introduce each of them to you.

41 MBA programs will be part of the Fellowship for the 2017-2018 application cycle. To learn about the Fellowship and let schools know of your interest here.

MEET JOHN BLAKE (RICE UNIVERSITY, JONES GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS)

John was a member of the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business at the Wharton School. A continuing interest in international business cultures and practices took him overseas into the for-profit education industry in South Korea, first as a teacher, and then in progressive leadership roles. After about 5 years, he returned to his hometown, Houston, Texas, and until B-School he served as the Special Programs Coordinator for Language Consultants International. In this position, he not only taught, but also created and sold language learning packages and managed a team of private teachers, with duties that included logistics and HR functions. Teaching grammar, test prep and pronunciation has given him an analytical eye for patterns and processes, and working with students from numerous countries has made him adept at observing and adapting to working with different cultures. He’ll be part of the class of 2019 at Jones Business at Rice University, where he plans to concentrate in Financial Analysis and leverage his soft skills from the classroom into a pivot into consulting or corporate finance, pursuing progressively more responsibility over departments and teams, and eventually assuming a top management position. One day, he would like to be known as a thought leader in the corporate world, and has his eye set on a few “Top 50 African American” and “Top 50 LGBT” executive lists, in hopes of being a role model for minority and LGBT youth interested in the business world.

What made you consider business school?
I really enjoyed teaching and working in the education sector. However, long-term growth opportunities are becoming somewhat limited, as it becomes cheaper and more convenient to learn English online or in-country. Moreover, I have always been interested in economics, finance, and management, and when I shifted from working with children to adult students, I was inspired by their drive and ambition to return to the classroom myself to acquire a more technical toolkit. This decision was confirmed when I visited my first ROMBA conference, and immediately recognized that this was the kind of community I wanted to belong to.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?Accounting class. No, seriously. I’m a total grammar nerd, so I’m pretty excited about rules, processes, and formulas. It’s the language of business, right?

Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
The Obamas, Tim Cook, Ellen Degeneres, Ryan Murphy and Chris Colfer. Also, the only 2 African Americans on the FT OUTStanding list of top 100 LGBT executives, Torrence Boone and Jonathan Mildenhall.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
Isabel Rhonda Wurld, aka I. Rhonda Wurld. Seoul Pride, 2013, Main Stage. Shut. It. Down.

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30

Nov 2016

Meet the LGBT MBA Fellows: Rhett Chase

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 RHETT CHASE (Rice University, Jones School of Business)

Rhett Chase is a former Air Force officer, bringing more than 8 years of experience from the construction, commodities, services, space and chemical industries. She grew up in San Diego and is a Californian at heart. Rhett earned her BS in Management from the United States Air Force Academy, where she got to free fall parachute, fly in the back of an F-­16 and serve as the Captain of her Division I soccer team. She also earned her MA in Economics from the University of Oklahoma. In the Air Force, she served as a contract negotiator and was lucky enough to be stationed in Hawaii and Los Angeles. Rhett was also deployed to Afghanistan where she led a team in support of combat operations, managing the largest logistics contract in the region. Rhett was most recently a Cost Estimating Engineer for BASF, the world’s leading chemical company. She loves doing anything active (playing soccer, competing in Crossfit, water sports), traveling the world, and conquering new challenges. Rhett lives in Houston, TX with her partner Melissa and their two fat cats.

What made you consider business school?
Business school will give me the opportunity to explore new career possibilities and interests, build a quality network of friends, and be exposed to new ways of thinking andlooking at things. My current role follows the same process over and over. I desire a position where I’m on a team solving new problems daily, developing business and leading positive change in an organization.

What are you most excited about in terms ofyour time in business school?
I’m excited for the challenge of learning new concepts and skills, as well as having the chance to connect with others and learn from their unique perspectives and experiences. I’m ready to get out of my comfort zone.

Who are some leaders (in business, in the LGBT community, in society) that most inspire you?
Women’s soccer legend Abby Wambach who recently retired from the US National team has paved the way as a leader on and off the field. She advocates for speaking up when there is something to say, whether it’s about equitable pay, equal opportunity for female athletes, or any issue about fairness and injustice. As an openly lesbian soccer player, she currently holds the international record for international goals for both female and male soccer players with 184 goals and is a role model for young girls coming out everywhere.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
When I’m stressed out or need to decompress, I love to Crossfit. For those who don’t know, this is competitive exercising involving weightlifting, gymnastic movements and cardio at high intensity. For the last 4 years, I’ve competed at the Crossfit Games Regionals.

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02

Nov 2016

Meet the LGBT MBA Fellows: Blake Bumpous

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 BLAKE BUMPOUS  (Rice University, Jones Graduate School of Management)

Blake is a first-year MBA candidate at the Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University.  Originally from Nashville, TN, Blake graduated with distinction from Lipscomb University with a B.A. in Political Science and German.  He attended graduate school jointly at Universität Bremen and Jacobs University Bremen in Germany earning a M.A. in International Relations with research emphasis on international institutions.  Blake was most recently a Surface Warfare Officer in the United States Navy stationed in San Diego, CA.  His assignments included serving as Combat Electronics Officer and Ordnance Officer aboard the amphibious transport dock USS GREEN BAY (LPD-20) and Public Affairs Officer at Naval Training Support Center San Diego.  Outside of his professional life, Blakes interests include traveling (21 countries and counting), keeping up with current events and politics, studying world history, collecting coins, and playing board and video games.  Blake lives in Houston with his husband Christian.

What made you consider business school?
With my background in the liberal arts and serving as a leader in the military, I knew I needed to expand my business skill-set before I could make a successful transition to the private sector.  I’m eager to fill the knowledge gap and further develop my skills with the foundational business education and opportunities an MBA brings.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?
I’m most excited about getting to know my new classmates and learning from their diverse perspectives and experiences.

Who are some leaders (in business, in the LGBT community, in society) that most inspire you?
My greatest inspiration and role-model is definitely my great-grandfather, who rose up from a poor farming family in Kentucky to become a successful businessman and co-founder of Krispy Kreme.  In today’s business community, it has to be Tim Cook, the now-out CEO of Apple.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
I love traveling and exploring.

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