Hello world! Please change me in Site Preferences -> This Category/Section -> Lower Description Bar

14

Nov 2017

Meet the LGBTQ MBA Fellows: Romelle Morris

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 ROMELLE MORRIS (NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY, KELLOGG SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT)

I grew up in Gary, Indiana and attended The University of Iowa, studying Marketing and Chinese. After college, I took a global sourcing position at Target Corporation pursuing my interest in international business, consumer behavior, and the retail industry. Throughout my time at Target I have held a variety of positions across Target’s sourcing, allocation, and merchandising strategy teams. My Target experience has cemented in me a passion for consumer behavior and trend research. After business school, I plan to move into a marketing or consumer insights role within a growing consumer discretionary company. Outside of work, I love a good debate (ENTP) and spend a good amount of my free time watching documentaries. When I am not debating, I also love to shop.

What made you consider business school?
The retail environment has become increasingly volatile as new retailers and brands use technology and innovation to disrupt the traditional retail experience. Going to business school would give me a chance to step out of retail, learn from growth-minded professors and students, and ultimately form a better perspective on what companies and brands are equipped to win in the new business environment.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?
I am most excited to officially join the Kellogg community and meet all my classmates. I get energized by getting to know people and understanding their unique perspectives on the world. I get very excited when I think about all the amazing people I will meet and learn from in school.

Who are some  of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
James Baldwin, for his bravery, intellect, and unparalleled ability to express the complexities of being gay and black in America. Harvey Milk, for being a trailblazer and representing the LGBT voice in American politics. Howard Schultz, for not only being an innovative business leader but also for repeatedly standing for diversity and inclusion at Starbucks. Angela Ahrendts, for giving us a master class in luxury goods rebranding at Burberry and taking her branding expertise to the innovative world of technology.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
I believe in living life to the fullest. I have made and learned from many mistakes in my short life. I am painfully aware of how different my life could have turned out. I push myself and those around me to chase their passions while remaining lighthearted, resilient, and optimistic.

Please select the social network you want to share this page with:

27

Oct 2016

Meet the LGBT MBA Fellows: Ana Testolini

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 ANA TESTOLINI (Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management)

Ana is a first year MBA candidate at Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management. Born and raised in a small town in the outskirts of São Paulo (Brazil), she moved to Chicago in 2009 to pursue an economics degree at the University of Chicago. Following her graduation, she worked at Discover Financial Services for 5 years in various roles in Credit Risk Management and Digital Marketing. In addition, she was the Events Chair of Discover’s LGBTQ Employee Resource group and organized Discover’s participation at the 2016 Chicago Pride Parade. On her spare time, Ana enjoys cycling in the summer, ice skating in the winter, and watching hockey (Go Blackhawks!).

What made you consider business school?
After working in Risk Management for 4 years, I realized that, while I enjoyed the work I was doing, I needed to broaden my horizons and look for something different. But more so than a career change to Consulting or Marketing, what I am truly looking forward to is challenging the status quo and opening myself to even more opportunities that I have not yet imagined, opportunities which will only come with the MBA experience.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?
It’s hard to pick one thing! But I am mostly excited about meeting new people and learning more about their stories and values. I believe that ultimately the diversity of people we meet helps to shape us as human beings, and I am looking forward to having the opportunity to learn from people with different backgrounds and life experiences than my own.

Who are some leaders (in business, in the LGBTQ community, in society) that most inspire you?
Tony Robbins for influencing so many people to improve themselves, and Sara Bareilles for not just writing inspiring songs, but mostly for being a kind and genuine person doing everything she can to make the world a better place.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
I love watching and playing sports, even though I’m not particularly good at any. I used to dance ballet growing up but unfortunately had to stop when I got to college. I’m always up for watching a game, a ballet performance, or a musical!

Please select the social network you want to share this page with:

11

Nov 2015

LGBTQ VETERANS AS MBAS: ROB PARSLEY – KELLOGG ’16

Posted by / in LGBTQ BUSINESS STUDENT BLOG / No comments yet

Rob Parsley is a second year MBA at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management where he is co-President of Pride@Kellogg

Tell us a bit about your background, prior work experience and career interests

I grew up in the south as the son of a minister, and I think that upbringing played a significant part of why I eventually ended up in the military. My family always functioned with a service-minded paradigm. That first led me to study nursing, and, after college, to accept a commission as an officer in the U.S. Army. I worked as an Army nurse for several years in Hawaii before deploying to Afghanistan with a medical evacuation unit. After that, I moved to the East Coast and managed a program for the Army Nurse Corps in ROTC. After getting out of the military, I came to Kellogg and have been having the time of my life. I’m still very interested in healthcare, and, while I haven’t accepted a job yet, I’ll likely end up doing something with strategy and operations in that space.

What made you decide to shift from serving your country to the business world? Were you out as you went through the business school application process? 

In the first few months of my career in the Army, a mentor made an off the cuff comment to me about the importance of clinical leaders understanding the business of healthcare. The significance of that statement didn’t resonate much at the time, but the longer I served, the more it made sense. I think there is so much value to be created when business leaders in healthcare can approach problems with a clinical frame of reference. I was someone that literally had zero business training (in fact, I don’t think I ever even read the WSJ or watched CNBC until I started to seriously consider business school), so educating myself increasingly became a priority.

A lot of people in the military face a major decision point about their future somewhere around the 7-8 year mark, which is where I was at the time. At a certain point, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to leave when you can retire at 20 years, but I wasn’t ready to make that commitment yet. I was serving when DADT was repealed, and had been very closeted to virtually everyone in my life, even my family. There was something very appealing about the idea of starting a new chapter and not having to pretend to be someone else from day one. Being out in the business school application process, and as a member of the Kellogg community, was very important to me and I didn’t hesitate to make that choice.

Can you tell us a bit about your experience as being a member of the LGBTQ community while serving your country. How did DADT impact you (if at all) during your experience? How did culture change after it’s repeal?

I wasn’t out for most of my time in the military, but that had less to do with DADT than it had to do with me. I hadn’t even really come out to myself when I joined the Army and I think, on some level, I thought that I might be able to run away from my sexuality as a soldier. DADT was a great excuse, I told myself, to not have to address some of the questions I had about myself. The repeal was so significant for me not because it allowed me to come out to the world, but because it forced me to come out to myself. I think the biggest story about the change of culture was that there was no story. 

The comment has been made that as the US Armed Forces go [in terms of policy] so goes the rest of the nation. Do you think the repeal of DADT set us up for a lot of the progress we’ve been seeing in terms of national LGBTQ issues over the past 3 years?

I think so. In the WWII era, over 10% of the country was actively serving in the military, but today only about 0.5% population is serving and less than 10% ever has served, so its interesting to consider how much cultural clout the military commands. Still, there is tremendous respect for service members, and there is something to the idea that if an organization that has a stereotypically cis male heterosexual “macho” culture can make important policy changes, the rest of the country should follow suit. The military does move slow with some of these issues, but I’m optimistic about the future. Some people don’t realize that even after the repeal of DADT, trans people are still barred from serving openly in the military, but Secretary Carter is working hard to address this, and I think we will see new policies soon.

Do you think veterans bring something extra to the MBA experience? What about LGBTQ MBAs?

Absolutely! Compared to our peer set, veterans are often times some of the few business students that have actually led and managed people. Most of us have been in positions where we have had to make tough judgment calls with limited information and have had to be responsible for the lives of others. While veterans don’t always have some of the technical business acumen that others students do, these insights are invaluable in the classroom.

LGBTQ students also have a unique perspective. As a group of people that have universally been “other” at some point in life, LGBTQ people are experienced with looking at the world from a different vantage point. Being willing and able to challenge the status quo is crucial not only to the learning process, but also to success in the business world.

What advice do you have for LGBTQs currently serving their country that might one day consider going to graduate school of an MBA or business masters degree?

Go for it. You’ve had to take risks in the past, and transitioning out of uniform is certainly a major change, but there is a world of untapped possibility out there of which you are uniquely positioned to take hold.

Please select the social network you want to share this page with: