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Oct 2017

Meet the LGBTQ MBA Fellows: Drew Dickson

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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.


Drew Dickson is an MBA candidate at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and an MPA candidate at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Before beginning his concurrent degree program, Drew worked at a leading global affairs institution in Washington DC, the Atlantic Council, most recently serving as the chief of staff during a period of rapid growth in size and influence for the organization. As a member of the top management team, Drew helped lead the organization through major strategic initiatives, program launches and restructurings, and public relations campaigns. Drew also has extensive experience in politics and government, having worked in various roles both on congressional campaigns and in legislative officers. Drew has basic language skills in German and Mandarin Chinese. He has a masters in political science, focused on liberal and democratic theory, from the University of Memphis, as well as a bachelor of arts in political science and history and a bachelor of science in economics from Tulane University.

What made you consider business school?
I want to attend business school because after nearly six years of working in management of a leading think tank in Washington, DC, I am convinced of the importance of business management skills in the nonprofit sector – and generally in achieving great goals. There is so much that can be done at the intersection of the public and private sectors, and having strong skills in both is a powerful tool. A business education is fundamentally about building the skills to organize people to achieve things greater than themselves. What could be more important to learn?

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?I’m excited about meeting a new group of people with vastly diverse backgrounds and experiences from myself. For example, I haven’t worked in a true for-profit setting since my high school job at a movie theater. It’s going to be great to be in an environment where that’s strange for people.

Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
I like leaders who can develop a fresh look at old problems, or who can deploy creativity to achieving their mission in life. The group is as varied as John Maynard Keynes, Steve Jobs, RuPaul, and yeah, I’ll say it, in a way Donald Trump, too.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
I’ve got lots of opinions, and I’m not usually shy about sharing them. But I promise I’m a nice, reasonable person!

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Nov 2014


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Wharton LGBT MBA Club Rainbow Week

This year, Out4Business was excited to bring Wharton the first ever Rainbow Week in honor of LGBT History Month, National Coming Out Day, and all the progress for LGBTQ rights. Rainbow Week was an opportunity for O4B members to come out and affirm themselves as an LGBTQ person or ally.

We were proud to host events including an “Ask an LGBTQ” lunch and learn and partner with other campus groups for a happy hour in the Gayborhood at iconic gay bar Woody’s. We also welcomed over 40 prospective LGBTQ students to campus for an LGBTQ applicants’ visit day which included classes and conversations with O4B members and Deputy Vice Deans for MBA Admissions and Student Life. The week-long celebration culminated with the wonder that is Rainbow Pub, where everyone’s favorite faculty and staff dressed up and performed in drag to celebrate the long-standing piece of LGBTQ culture and LGBTQ student life at Wharton.

Check out this short video recap and (out)takes from the Rainbow Pub photo booth. We also raised more than $1,000 for The Attic, a LGBTQ youth center in Philadelphia. O4B will be matching these funds and making a donation of over $2,000, which will be used to support counseling, coaching and other support for LGBTQ youth.

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