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Meet Our Class of 2018 Fellows: Jeffrey Bonsu

Duke University, Fuqua School of Business

Jeffrey is a first year MBA candidate at Duke University, Fuqua School of Business. Prior to business school, Jeffrey worked for JPMorgan as a senior associate in the Private Wealth Management division, where he collaborated on initiatives ranging from uncovering new investments opportunities for his lead investors and bankers to formulating a multi-day technology program for several large family offices and internal partners. In addition to his work as a senior associate, Jeffrey served as a department co-chair for JPMorgan's firmwide volunteer initiative program and was an active member of JPMorgan's business resource group for African Americans. While in these roles, Jeffrey collaborated on a number of charitable events ranging from "Adopt A Family" Christmas programs and food drives to financial literacy courses and career day programming for underrepresented minorities in business. In 2012, Jeffrey received his undergraduate degree in Healthcare Administration with honors from Texas State University (home of LBJ and George Strait) in San Marcos, Texas. Jeffrey is a credit card points enthusiast who also enjoys fantasy football, runway shows and positive energy! Jeffrey also enjoys connecting others who share common interests and building relationships with individuals through laughter. Lastly, Jeffrey is still waiting on his Dallas Cowboys to do something meaningful in late January/early February.

What made you consider business school?

In the short-term, I want to either work in healthcare investment banking or in finance for a life sciences company. Given my undergraduate degree in healthcare administration, I have a strong theoretical foundation in healthcare. However, I lack the core financial competencies that are needed to transition to my intended field seamlessly. In order to close these knowledge gaps, I considered institutions that were equally strong in both healthcare and finance. The next two years and beyond will help me to build the competencies needed to create a positive impact for the economically disadvantaged while sustaining and creating economic profits for the company where I will work.

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

I'm most excited about the opportunity to grow my professional LGBTQ network over the next two years not only at Fuqua but also at the various ROMBA programming.

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

Michael Sam – Michael Sam's coming out story was inspiring to me because I struggled with my sexual orientation as a high school athlete. Though I had the talent to compete in college, I chose a different path because I could no longer lead a double life.

Tim Cook (Fuqua!)- As the CEO of one of the most recognizable companies, Tim Cook represents both the quantitative and qualitative impact an LGBTQ leader can have in today's business environment.

Rick Welts – If the Golden State Warriors win another championship, this franchise will officially (IMO) become the next NBA dynasty. And the mastermind behind it all is no other than Rick Welts – openly gay President and Chief of Operations for the Golden State Warriors.

Gene Robinson – I connect with Gene Robinson because I grew up in the church. But as I reached adulthood, I began to drift away from my faith because of reasons I'd rather discuss offline. Learning more about Gene's story throughout my adulthood has once again brought me closer to my religion.

Martine Rothblatt – Martine's passion for the life sciences space was ignited by her daughter's battles with pulmonary hypertension. I connect with this story because my immediate family's battles will various health challenges have ignited my passion for the life sciences space as well.

Laverne Cox – An amazing speaker, Laverne Cox inspires me because she slays EVERY public speaking engagement; the ROMBA Conference in 2015 was no exception.

Charles Xavier – Charles Xavier is a fictional character that encourages inclusiveness not only among everyone in his fictional space but also among those in his specific community. I believe there is a unique opportunity for the LGBTQ community to become a more inclusiveness space within our community as well.

What's one thing everyone should know about you?

Wow! Fuqua gives us space for 25! Well, if I have to pick just one, I'd say that I'm an easygoing person who doesn't mind going with the flow. But every once in a while, I need an escape. And that usually involves hookah and trap music :-D!