Meet the LGBTQ MBA Fellows: Andrew Foster
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 ANDREW FOSTER (MIT, SLOAN SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT)
Raised in Connecticut, Andrew moved out to Los Angeles to study mathematics and international relations at Pomona College. Post-graduation, he joined GE’s Financial Management Program (FMP). At GE, he worked in Ohio and the Czech Republic and served on the board of GE Aviation’s LGBT affinity group. He then moved back west to join a B2B e-commerce company (McMaster-Carr) as an operations manager. He is excited to be pursuing an MBA and Masters in Civil Engineering at MIT. Outside of work, Andrew enjoys playing the bass guitar, sailboat racing, and hiking.
What made you consider business school?
In my last role, I was leading a team of 25 people, and since I did not have much formal leadership training or experience in e-commerce, I was improvising a lot. Thankfully I got a lot of tips from colleagues and read some helpful books, and this guidance helped me improve. However, I knew I could get even better given more knowledge, practice, and reflection. I saw business school as the best opportunity to get all three of these experiences in a short timeframe.
What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?
I am most excited about connecting with and learning from my peers. MIT does an excellent job of attracting students from so many interesting and diverse backgrounds. During admitted students weekend, I met peers with incredibly diverse accomplishments. One had started an e-commerce company in Nigeria, and another had improved water utility operations across North America. These experiences are humbling and inspiring and I can’t wait to learn more from my peers.
Who are some leaders (in business, in the LGBT community, in society) that most inspire you?
Tim Cook comes to mind right away – I have so much admiration for his courage and leadership. Also, Laszlo Bock (former SVP of People Operations at Google) is inspiring for his work in increasing awareness of unconscious bias both at his company and around the world. His work is an interesting example of how companies can benefit society through communicating ideas in addition to providing goods and services.
What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
My first job was playing bass guitar for a production of the musical Thoroughly Modern Millie. I love musicals and have played in and watched many shows.