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Meet Our 2019 Cohort of Fellows: Matt Conan

University of Chicago, Booth School of Business

I'm a native New Yorker who has lived in the city pretty much my whole life. Big sports fan, especially soccer and basketball. I've played soccer for years, on numerous club teams, and have been a member of New York's LGBT soccer team, the Ramblers, for over 10 years, serving two years on the board. Over the past six years I've developed and headed the data department at a nonprofit that provides free financial counseling services to the low-income nationally.

What made you consider business school?

I wanted to pivot from my work in nonprofits to the private sector, and open up new opportunities for myself.

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

I'm really excited to meet new people, learn new skills, and explore new opportunities. I know that's super generic, but it's true. I'm also excited to explore Chicago.

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

Jason Collins, Robbie Rogers, and other gay male professional team-sport athletes who have come out while active are my heroes; it would have made a big difference to me growing up if there were any for me to look up to, and I hope that we have more in the near future. As a sports/politics/data fan, I've always been inspired by Nate Silver. James Baldwin is a favorite of mine, he was an incredibly eloquent advocate at the intersection of race and sexuality. I'm a huge Bon Iver fan, and as an occasional songwriter and music-maker, he inspires me, even though his style is far from mine; I'm also really drawn to New Order. My favorite athletes are Scottie Pippen--a consummate team player and exceptional defender--and Xavi Hernandez--perhaps the greatest passer in soccer history. And it's cliche/passe, but I'll always have a place in my heart for Hillary Clinton.

What's one thing everyone should know about you?

I love a good dive bar.