Meet Our Class of 2018 Fellows: Travers O'Leary


Cornell University, Johnson Graduate School of Management

Hello! I am an MBA candidate at the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. I grew up in Maryland, and graduated from the University of Virginia in 2014 with a B.A in Public Policy. While at UVA, I was an active member on grounds, holding leadership positions within student government. After graduating, I moved to Washington, DC and worked as a consultant in Deloitte's Government and Public Service's practice with a focus on smart cities and transportation. Over the last four years, I worked on a number of key initiatives across the organization. This includes leading the firm's diversity and inclusion strategy related to disability, growing its practice area in transportation and smart cities, and working with public-sector clients to navigate the future of mobility. Outside of work, I love to hike, travel to new cities, and cook for friends.


What made you consider business school?

Working in the smart cities and transportation industry, particularly autonomous vehicles, exposed me to all of the really cool work that is being done in the space. As I was researching different positions that appealed to me, I realized that I needed more quant heavy skills (think finance). An MBA will provide that, but will also refine my soft skills.


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

Honestly, just the opportunity to grow and learn. How lucky are we that we get to take two years off from the 'real world', and really invest in ourselves. I've made a list of goals (both professional and personal), that I want to accomplish over the next two years. I'm also very excited to be part of the Johnson community. Looking forward to making 500+ new friends.


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

I really look up to Emma Watson, not only for her role as Hermione, but more importantly for her active role as a feminist. There's this twitter conversation that goes like this: Tweet: @emmawatson my dad says that I can't be an engineer 'cause it's a "men profession". What do I do to change that? Emma Watson: become an engineer Whenever I doubt myself, I remember this quote. Also, Hillary Clinton, Michelle and Barack Obama, Billie Jean King, and Harvey Milk.


What's one thing everyone should know about you?

I try not to take myself too seriously, and am always down to chat. If you're curious about my background or need advice, feel free to reach out.

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