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25

Oct 2017

Meet the LGBTQ MBA Fellows: Darrin Rhan

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 DARRIN RAHN (HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL)

Darrin Rahn was born and raised in rural Illinois and attended Iowa State University. He double-majored in Agricultural Economics and Marketing with a minor in Entrepreneurial Studies, following his agriculture passion. Upon graduation, Darrin accepted a job with Target Corporation headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota working on a buying team. At Target, Darrin lead global sourcing for a new apparel brand launch, supported Target’s first international expansion into Canada, and managed the production of limited-time designer fashion collaborations Altuzarra for Target, TOMS for Target, and Lilly Pulitzer for Target. After three years with Target, Darrin transitioned to General Mills where he has led marketing strategy and business growth for Betty Crocker, Gold Medal Flour, Bisquick, and Annie’s Homegrown Organic brands. His passion lies in sharing the farm-to-fork transparency story with consumers for mainstream food and beverage in a modern way. At both Target and General Mills, Darrin has championed LGBTA diversity efforts through his leadership on employee diversity councils. At Target, Darrin helped develop merchandising and marketing initiatives aimed at improving the LGBTA experience for Target’s consumers including the launch of Target’s first LGBTA Pride assortment, the introduction of same-sex greeting cards nationally, and the overhaul of Target’s wedding registry. At General Mills, Darrin served as Director of Events within the LGBTA employee network leading the planning of company LGBTA events, speakers, volunteering, inclusive trainings, Q&A panels, and casual gatherings. Darrin will be attending Harvard Business School in the Fall of 2017.

What made you consider business school?
I have a foundational understanding and experience working in agriculture, retail, and brand management. I’m ready to take my career to the next level and have a bigger impact in transforming the global food industry.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?The people, the people, the people! I’m an extrovert to a fault, and I look forward to learning from the diversity of perspectives and experiences in the classroom, through extracurriculars, and while traveling.

Who are some of the fleaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
A few of my favorites are Troy Carter, Indra Nooyi, and Andy Cohen.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
I’m the middle of five children, making me the family peacekeeper and master negotiator.

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24

Oct 2017

Meet the LGBTQ MBA Fellows: Darren Le

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 DARREN LE (UC BERKELEY, HAAS SCHOOL OF BUSINESS)

Hello all, I’m Darren and I have grown up in three countries with different degrees of LGBT rights: Vietnam – once conservative but opening-up country, Sweden – the flagship in LGBT rights, and Singapore – economically developed but socially religious and conservative society. Born in a small town in Vietnam, I responded to the struggle of my identity with renewed determination to win the scholarship to National University of Singapore in Economics major. While the school cultivated a fair environment for everyone, life outside in Singapore was much more challenging for “people-like-us”.  I continued searching for inspiration while attending the Engineering Management program at Swedish Royal Institute of Technology. There in Sweden, I joined the LGBT rugby team ‘Stockholm Berserker’ – the experience that changed my life. From my captain, a proud married entrepreneur, I drew real courage and inspiration to have pride in my identity and develop a positive outlook. Coming back to Singapore, I joined LGBT dragon-boat team Utama, volunteered for Publicity team in Pink-Dot movement, and were advocating for better understanding of LGBT community at my company – Garena. the unicorn tech start-up of South East Asia. Throughout that life-defining journey, I learned a hard lesion that our rights are never given, they can only be earned. An economically and politically stronger LGBT community will push the movement forward – and this is why I am looking forward to build a long-lasting relationship with all of ROMBA. Together we will build a stronger LGBT community.

What made you consider business school?
To develop further in Product Management career and to prepare for my future business venture in Technology. This is why I applied to Haas.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?Gaining an enormous knowledge and skills through intensive coursework, student activities, projects and internship is the first thing that I look forward to. Second, I hope to build a long-lasting and meaningful relationship in these two-years.

Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
I admire my ex-captain in Stockhom LGBT rugby team Peter Sahlstrom for his courage and positive thinking which had great influence in me.  In business, my boss Forrest Li – founder of the biggest Internet company in South East Asia is my role model on how we should lead people with integrity.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
The craziest thing I have ever done was participating in No-Pants Subway Ride in Stockholm 2011: by being bottomless in the middle of harsh winter. I was a bit shy when people started asking me why, but I was delightedly surprised by how people reacted. Two policemen after inquiring my group decided to take photos with us. The lesson here is: we may be surprised with people’s kindness if we do it in a right way, and we will never know until we try.

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24

Oct 2017

Meet the LGBTQ MBA Fellows: Chad Johnson

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 CHAD JOHNSON (INDIANA UNIVERSITY, KELLEY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS)

Chad is an MBA candidate at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. Originally from Phoenix, Arizona he graduated with an engineering degree from Santa Clara University and began his career as an Account Manager at NetSuite where he worked with leaders of technology companies to position tools that helped them exceed aggressive growth targets. After 6 years in various sales, leadership, and enablement roles he joined Salesforce where he found a passion for the intersection of social responsibility and the role that technology is playing in the evolution of healthcare and consumer goods companies. He is looking to leverage his business school experience to develop the skills necessary to tackle the challenges of modern business and the changing nature of customer demand. Chad was a varsity member of the Santa Clara rowing team. In his free time, he can usually be found cycling, exploring the outdoors, or enjoying great food with friends.

What made you consider business school?
Business school is an opportunity to gain a wholistic understanding of business from both classroom and experiential perspectives.  Kelley specifically brings together an incredibly diverse and impressive group of students and professors that create a unique environment to learn from one another.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?I am really looking forward to learning from my peers and stepping out of my comfort zone to take on complex projects and to grow as much as possible both personally as well as professionally.

Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
I am really inspired by Harvey Milk.  He taught us that we can do our best work when we are out and true to ourselves.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
I really enjoy giving back and helping to raise money for important causes, in fact, over the summer I participated in the AIDS/LifeCycle ride.  This 545 mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles takes place over 7-days every summer and raises millions of dollars every year for critical HIV/AIDS support services. It was a life changing experience and I can’t wait to do it again!

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