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Meet Our 2019 Cohort of Fellows: Tyler Ray


Indiana University, Kelley School of Business

Tyler was born and raised in San Diego, California and followed his passion for retail to San Francisco, where he received a B.S. in Apparel Design and Merchandising and a minor in Marketing From San Francisco State University. While finishing his undergraduate degree, he started his career as a designer for a privet label, designing accessories for a variety of big-name retailers. This position led Tyler to Levi's, where he joined the Men's Global Merchandising team. Wanting to be closer to the business, Tyler took an opportunity to move from San Francisco and become part of Gap Inc.'s Inventory Management group in New York City. Over the last 5 years, he has held various international roles at Gap Inc. in allocation, planning, forecasting, pricing, size analytics, and buying, and most recently was the Senior Merchandise Planner for Gap Japan Menswear and Accessories. Tyler is thrilled to be an MBA candidate at Indiana University Kelley School of Business where he will pursue consulting with a focus in retail. In his spare time, you will find Tyler cooking, traveling with his fiancé (Alex), and enjoying all the amazing culture that New York City has to offer.


What made you consider business school?

After studying the landscape of the retail industry and doing some soul searching about my next move, I found my best course was to continue to be curious, expand my business acumen and become a part of the solution to challenging industry problems. I'm eager to increase my exposure to different industries, learn from others and grow my network of peers and mentors.


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

I'm really excited to meet so many smart, diverse people, get to know my fellow students, professors, and companies, and explore different facets of business management. Most of all, I want to use this opportunity to learn and try new things and push myself outside of my comfort zone.


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

RuPaul Charles – for being completely self-made, following his passion and making it into a business and platform, and for his message of love, resiliency, and inclusion, which paved the way for so many LGBTQ people, artist, and performers. Oprah Winfrey – also a self-made mogul whose passion became a career. She always uses her influence for good: to educate, help and inspire others. Oprah interviewed RuPaul in 2018 for her SuperSoul series - one of my favorites, which I've re-watched several times and highly recommend.


What's one thing everyone should know about you?

I am a huge retail nerd /podcast enthusiast /avid fan of the drag arts (technically three things!)