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Nov 2015

Meet the LGBT MBA Fellows: Zarrah Birdie

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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.


An ever-curious adventurer. Zarrah lived in three different continents in the last five years and has a passion for travel and discovering new cultures. She loves having her beliefs questioned and challenged. She is an extroverted-introvert, love riding bikes, black coffee, a good conversation, yoga and meditation. She’s left handed and favorite color is navy blue! She’s intellectually curious and vibrantly playful.

What made you consider business school?

After working for two years in investment banking and another two in international development, I sought a means to bridge my two distinct skill sets. This combined with my desire to develop a career in impact investing, with a particular emphasis on helping develop and grow social enterprises in developing countries, fueled my desire to gain an MBA degree. The MBA will give me the ideal tool set needed to be a trusted adviser for social enterprises in developing countries – helping them strategically grow, gain access to capital etc.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?

I am most excited about connecting with my classmates both at my business school and beyond. I’m excited about creating meaningful communities around them. I’m also excited to have my opinions and worldview challenged and broadened through these interactions.

Who are some leaders (in business, in the LGBT community, in society) that most inspire you?Tim Cook (Apple

CEO) and  Debbie Gupta (Nest Corporation)

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?

I’m a chocolate fiend, if you ever need anything for me, include chocolate and your wish is my command. I love trying new experiences and things, the more outlandish the better!

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