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01

Nov 2017

Meet the LGBTQ MBA Fellows: Joe Edward

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 JOE EDWARD (UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN, MCCOMBS SCHOOL OF BUSINESS)

Joe is a first-year MBA student at the University of Texas at Austin. He was born in Missouri and has spent most of his life in Connecticut, completing his undergraduate work at UConn in addition to earning an MS in Finance at Fairfield University. His past roles have spanned various areas within the financial field: corporate governance advisory through a firm in San Francisco, Corporate FP&A at General Electric and credit/risk analysis at GE Capital (later Wells Fargo). Outside of work, he enjoys travel, craft beer, trying new foods, time spent with friends (and their children) and family, and supporting his beloved sports teams.

What made you consider business school?
During the past few months, I’ve frequently heard the term “rebranding” used at admitted student events. In a way, this represents my rationale, as I would like to explore fields beyond my past career experiences and move into new roles that more closely align with my personal passions. Taking on opportunities that are different from prior roles and attempting to jump into new paths can be extremely difficult, but attending business school acts as a springboard to make these shifts. At the same time, I am looking forward to taking on other leadership roles while serving in organizations and exploring new subject areas missed during my undergrad years.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?First and foremost, business school is an opportunity to meet new people and friends. I’ve already come across so many interesting future classmates and alumni at school-related events, and undoubtedly there will be a lot more great people to learn from and get to know through organizations such as ROMBA. I’m also looking forward to joining a huge campus community, particularly at a school as large as UT. Finally, I am excited for the travel experiences and global immersion, whether short trips or potentially a semester studying abroad.

Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
Admittedly, I am more of a fan of silent, “under the radar” individuals who lead to get results but do not monopolize the attention (or take credit for others’ work). Sir John Templeton comes to mind as an individual who acquired great power and wealth yet strove for humility in his philanthropic activities, especially as his foundation still works to bridge perceived gaps across theology, science and philosophy.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
Starting with family road trips at a young age, I’ve developed a love for travel and reached all fifty states by age 26.

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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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31

Oct 2017

Meet the LGBTQ MBA Fellows: Jesse Banwart

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 JESSE BANWART (JOHN HOPKINS UNIVERSITY, CAREY BUSINESS SCHOOL)

As a new transplant from Chicago to Baltimore, I am starting the MA/MBA program at Johns Hopkins and the Maryland Institute College of Art. My passion lies in helping people to understand why design is important, specifically around the built environment (architecture, engineering, construction,  etc). For the past 3 years I’ve worked in out of school time facilitating programs for teens about architecture. Previously I worked as a graphic designer and still freelance whenever I can. My story is not unfamiliar, small town boy moves to the big city and discovers himself… blah. I’ve loved every part of the experience and plan to dedicate my life to urban, community-focused issues.

What made you consider business school?
Coming from managing after school programming focused on architecture, I saw so many intersections of business in where I could improve. Writing budgets, applying for funding, managing employees, etc. were all essential components of the job. Higher positions only intensify these roles, and I knew getting an MBA would be a smart career move.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?Expanding my network base into areas in which I’m mostly unfamiliar is probably what excites me the most. So much of my time had been spent buildng a network in the art and design fields, I’m looking forward to diversifying that.

Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
Shawn King definitely is an inspiration in the massive issues he tries to tackle. He recognizes the influence of information and how to effectively fight for social justice. Ruth Bader-Ginsberg is the epitome of firey eloquenence. Often, her writings condence an opinion I’ve struggled to put into words. Lastly, (and yes I recognize how kitschy this is) Rupaul. Drag Race had the potential to play into the standard troupe of reality television and insight as much drama, hatred, and backstabbing between the contestants as possible. However, recognizing that there is already plenty of that in our community, they empower differences and showcase the love. I’ve always admired that.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
If you walk down the street with me, I will give you an unsolicited architecture lesson. I can’t help myself.

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