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21

Nov 2016

Meet the LGBT MBA Fellows: Mike Bernardi

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 MIKE BERNARDI (Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business)

Mike Bernardi, from Cleveland, Ohio, is a first-year MBA candidate at Carnegie Mellon Universitys Tepper School of Business.  Mike has six years of technical and managerial experience working for Hyland, creator of OnBase, a Cleveland-based digital information management software developer. At Hyland, Mike mobilized a team of software test analysts to improve the quality of the product suites email solutions and productivity tools. Mike was instrumental in evangelizing his products at end-user conferences and established himself as one of Hyland’s top technical presenters. Mike was also an active participant in Hyland’s technical outreach initiative and community engagement projects.  Mike earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from The Ohio State University. He was a member of the University Honors Program and graduated with a specialization in Information Systems. Outside of work, Mike plays recreational soccer and practices Olympic weightlifting. He also enjoys exploring new cities, cooking, listening to live music, and spending time outdoors.

What made you consider business school?
At Hyland, I was able to identify opportunities for process improvement, but I didn’t quite know how to develop solutions. I knew I needed stronger management and analytical skills to complement my technical expertise. I was also actively searching for a safe space to take risks and move outside my comfort zone.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?
I’m thrilled to have classmates with such diverse backgrounds. I can’t wait to learn from their experiences and start building an incredible network of peers.

Who are some leaders (in business, in the LGBT community, in society) that most inspire you?
An LGBT rights activist in the media whom I admire is Jenny Boylan. In business, Claudia Brind-Woodys work to expand diversity in the workplace is incredibly inspirational.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
I’m an ambivert. I love being around people, but I also value my alone time. If I seem quiet, I’m likely just taking a moment to recharge.

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20

Oct 2015

Meet the LGBT MBA Fellows: Joe Stauffer

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 in addition free lifetime access to all Reaching Out programming (including the ROMBA Conference), LGBT mentors, and a leadership summit exclusively for the Fellows.  Over 25 MBA programs will be party of the Fellowship for the 2015-2016 application cycle.  To learn how you can express interest in the Fellowship, click here

This fall Reaching Out welcomed the first class of the Reaching Out LGBT MBA Fellows.  These 25 fellows come from 18 top business schools and over the next few weeks we’ll introduce each of them to you.

MEET JOE STAUFFER (CARNEGIE MELLON, TEPPER SCHOOL OF BUSINESS)

Joe Stauffer will begin his MBA at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business in the fall of 2015. Originally from Northwestern Pennsylvania, Joe has spent the last five years working in Washington, DC for the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Joe worked in the Regional Income Division of BEA  on transfer payments, wages & salaries, supplements to wages and salaries, and taxes. As a Disposable Personal Income subject matter expert, he received a Department of Commerce Bronze Medal Award for his work harmonizing data structures. He also learned to program in SAS and SQL while at BEA. His current career interests lie in entrepreneurship and product management for a technology company.   While at BEA, Joe received his MA in Applied Economics from the Johns Hopkins University. In 2008, Joe graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Pittsburgh earning a BS with honors in Economics. During his time at the University of Pittsburgh, Joe was named an Undergraduate Research Fellow and studied the effects of public school qualities on housing prices.    Joe has been an active rower for the DC Strokes Rowing Club, a not-for-profit independent LGBT rowing club, and competed at the Head of the Charles in 2011.

What made you consider business school?
I wanted to explore a new career path and also some entrepreneurial ideas in business school. While I feel that I have a strong background in economics, data analysis, and programming, I felt that business school would provide me with additional skills that will help me succeed in other areas of business. 

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?
I’m excited to meet classmates who have very different skills and perspectives than I do. There are several professors I’m excited to learn from. I’m most excited to learn about new aspects of business and to take on new challenges.

Who are some leaders (in business, in the LGBT community, in society) that most inspire you?
Jeff Bezos, Tim Cook, John Bogle, Nate Silver, Megan Smith, Alan Turing, and my parents

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
I’m a data nerd. I like to see empirical evidence and to make decisions based on data.

What were you doing during the summer before you started business school?

I have been working at the Bureau of Economic Analysis until the last minute. At BEA I’ve been wrapping up a proposal to change the way non-refundable tax credits affect state personal income and transitioning some of my other work to my replacement. I have also been working through my “DC Tourist List.” There were still a few spots I wanted to get to before I departed. Other than that, I’ve been trying to stay on top of all the business school action items I’ve been receiving.

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