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17

Oct 2017

Meet the LGBTQ MBA Fellows: Aaron Lai

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 AARON LAI (JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY, CAREY BUSINESS SCHOOL)

Aaron is a first year MBA candidate at Johns Hopkins University, Carey Business School. Previously, Aaron was a senior auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers where he worked with more 20+ companies throughout Asia. He has extensive experience in fields such as accounting, auditing, internal control, risk management, legal compliance, etc. Aaron graduated from National Taipei University in Taiwan, where he majored in accounting and minored in financial management. He grew up in South Africa and later spent his life living in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Taiwan. Outside of his professional life, Aaron is a financial advisor for the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights, the main NPO in Taiwan advocating for equal marriage rights which also trail blazed Taiwan to become the first country in Asia to recognize same-sex marriage. Aaron is also a fervent soccer fan and avid reader of fantasy novels.

What made you consider business school?
After working in the accounting/finance industry for 5 years, I realized that I wasn’t satisfied with my ability to resolve some of the issues that I encountered. As I had the opportunity to talk with management with a lot of different companies, I realized that a lot of the issues that management encountered on a day to day basis required a variety of skill sets. As I started to research on what skill sets were required to resolve these complex issues, I spent a lot of time reflecting also on what I wanted in life. In the end, I realized B-school was the perfect pathway for a lot of my aspirations.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?
I’m mostly excited about finally going back to school. This time around, after having worked in the industry, I’m really looking forward to how my perspective has changed towards learning about business knowledge in the classroom. I’m also looking forward to JHU GMBA’s flagship program called Innovation for Humanity, where students are divided into groups, based on their skill sets, and travel to developing countries to solve real world issues by applying what they learned throughout the semester. It’s exciting because not only do you get the opportunity to “get your hands dirty” but also you also get the opportunity to really impact the lives of people locally.

Who are some leaders (in business, in the LGBT community, in society) that most inspire you?
I’m always inspired by people who are willing to do things differently. Some of the leaders that I look most up to are Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Marilyn Manson, and Hans Zimmer. These people have inspired me by the way they approach their respective fields—often swimming against the stream and not with it because they believed in what they were doing.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
I am the epitome of a global citizen. I grew up in South Africa and later spent my years living in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Taiwan. Later in life, as an auditor working for PwC, I had the opportunity to travel throughout Asia. Now that I am pursuing my MBA in the US, I’m eager to travel to as many locations in the US as possible to see what exciting things await me. The funny thing is that I never deliberately devised a checklist or anything like that to specifically aim to travel to as many countries as I can, but I guess since my childhood, my life was always destined to be one that was mobile. But hey, I’m surely not complaining!

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09

Aug 2017

ROMBA Student Leader Profile: Shawn Goodin

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

In addition to Reaching Out’s staff, each year the Reaching Out LGBTQ MBA & Graduate Conference’s content is developed and produced by MBA & graduate students from business schools across the world. These core group of the students working on the ROMBA Conference are known as the “Student Leadership Committee.”  The Leadership Committee comes up with the conference’s theme, ideates all breakout sessions, and is seen prominently on the ground at the conference!

Over the next few weeks we’ll highlight each of this year’s 11 organizers and share some of their tips for those planning to attend this year’s 20th ROMBA Conference in Boston (Oct 12-14), which this year will include an inaugural Professional Day for alumni and our 20th ROMBA Gala Celebration with Anderson Cooper!  

Not only will the leaders tell you what they are most excited about for this year’s conference, but they’ll also give inbound LGBTQ MBA students tips on the summer internship search & experience!

LGBTQ MBA & business graduate students, alumni and applicants can register
for the 20th ROMBA Conference in Boston (October 12-14) here.

Name: Shawn Goodin

School (Program/Concentration): MIT Sloan School of Management – Finance Concentration

Summer Internship: Associate, William Blair Investment Bank (San Francisco – Technology IB)

How did your first year in business school prepare you for your summer internship?
The structured IB recruiting process helped guide me through the process.  In many cases, you just had to show up and be prepared.  The CDO works with school teams that facilitate the process and provide direct points of contact.  At most MBA schools, a lot of coordination and mentorship is provided by members of the finance club.  If you have a question, somebody has an answer.  I found that many of my classmates had prior banking experience and could provide some color on some of the conversations in my coffee chats or help me to better understand the industry in general.

What experience(s) do you hope to take away from your Internship this summer?
I am attempting to replicate what I think my work and life experience will be like if I receive an offer and return.  This includes my personal life, such as where I live, eat, and socialize.  I am hoping that the office will within reason provide me with the same experience I will have should I return.  Furthermore, I want to learn more about the tech sector in general and begin to develop connections through networking with other MBAs, alums, and others working in the tech space.

What’s the most valuable piece of advice going into summer internships you can offer the Class of 2019
Don’t psyche yourself out.  You should prioritizing enjoying your experience – this is the rest of your life.  If you’re completed jaded by your summer experience, you’re going to have one hell-of-a-ride doing that job full-time.  Intensity is great – don’t let it overwhelm you.

What are you most excited about for 2017 ROMBA Conference?
I imagine that the second year experience is very different from the first year.  I am looking forwarding to reconnecting with folks I’ve met over the last year and hopefully meeting new people.  I’m also excited to see how everything comes together – to see us literally go from Post-It Notes on a wall to an audience in the room.  The guest speaker line-up is hands down first-rate – it will be exciting to be in the audience.

Any advice you have for people going into the ROMBA Conference for the first time?
You really need to have a game plan.  Are you going to network, hang out with other students from your school, party in the evenings, or just stick to yourself and hope opportunity lands in your lap?  Figure out your plan and commit to it.  ROMBA is like finding gold – so many resources are amassed in one location for you to take advantage of.  It’s a great event; regardless of your priorities, have fun!

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25

Oct 2016

Meet the LGBT MBA Fellows: Adam Richman

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 ADAM RICHMAN (Boston University, Questrom School of Business)

Adam is a first-year MBA student at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business where he is concentrating in Health Sector Management. A native New Englander, Adam grew up in Wilton, Connecticut before moving to Massachusetts to attend Brandeis University, where he majored in Economics and Health: Science, Society, and Policy. After graduating in 2011, Adam joined the National Institute for Children’s Health Quality in Boston, a public health non-profit focused on catalyzing systems change to improve child health. In 2014, Adam joined the DentaQuest Institute, an organization that facilitates adoption of preventive oral healthcare by assisting community health centers, hospitals, and private dental offices redesign processes in order to improve health outcomes. Adam is experienced in process improvement, performance measurement, and project management. Outside of work, Adam enjoys traveling to and exploring new places, relaxing at the beach, playing trivia with his weekly trivia team, and spending time with friends and family.

What made you consider business school?
After spending four years working directly with healthcare organizations on large-scale improvement initiatives, I realized that in order to create sustainable change, all areas of the organization need to work together from the clinical staff, to leadership, finance, and operations. I saw business school as an opportunity to strengthen my management, communication, and quantitative skills and learn what makes organizations successful so that I can be a more well-rounded leader in healthcare.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?
I’m most excited about building connections and friendships with my classmates—learning from their different backgrounds and perspectives to broaden my own. I also am looking forward to building my network in Boston, from professors to guest speakers and employers.

Who are some leaders (in business, in the LGBT community, in society) that most inspire you?
Tim Cook, Atul Gawande, Mark Zuckerberg, my parents

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
I have a knack for remembering mundane and useless facts, which my trivia team often greatly appreciates!

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