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Meet Our Class of 2018 Fellows: Evan Negele


University of Michigan, Ross School of Business

I am a first-year MBA student at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. I grew up in Cape Elizabeth, ME, a small town just outside of Portland. After graduating from the University of Rochester in 2013 with a degree in physics, I joined a small foreign language education start-up in Cambridge, MA where I helped streamline and scale their customer acquisition and enrollment processes. For the last four years, I have been back in my home state of Maine working for Unum, a leading life and disability insurance carrier, as an internal strategy consultant. At Unum, I’ve enjoyed working with our newly-formed LGBT employee resource group, who, in 2017, helped the company earn a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index for the first time, putting it in line with top LGBT employers. Outside of work, I enjoy tennis, playing the violin, and exploring Maine’s world-class restaurant scene.


What made you consider business school?

While at Unum, I had the opportunity to consult with many of our various business areas, which taught me just how much I didn’t know. I’m a curious person by nature, so I saw business school as a way to indulge my curiosity and a faster way to acquire the knowledge of the core business functions that I was gaining organically on the job. I do think that learning by doing is a powerful learning method for applied disciplines like business, so when I decided that business school was the right path for me, Ross’s action-based learning curriculum was an obvious fit.


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

I love learning, so I'm excited to be back in a school environment. Moreover, I'm excited to meet all of my diverse and talented classmates. Also, travel. I guess that's three things. I'm just really excited.


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

Billie Jean King. She has been a champion for equality in sports for decades and is now using her platform to tackle issues of workplace equality with the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative. I also admire the candor and honesty with which she approaches her experience coming out in the public eye.


What's one thing everyone should know about you?

When I say that I play the violin, I’m using “play” loosely. I’m teaching myself. It’s a slow process, so sorry in advance to my roommates.