Why did you decide to become a Booth Pride co-chair?
I matriculated during the pandemic, and immediately recognized the higher barrier of entry in connecting with fellow Boothies. It’s been difficult to hold impactful events remotely, but I wanted the opportunity to increase the scope of activities and awareness for Booth Pride.
While at University of Notre Dame, I was the president of the LGBTQ organization. I have a history of advocating for the marginalized and of using my privilege and agency to try to leave the room better off than when I entered it. That is something I try to apply in every scenario, whether it's in a group meeting, with a volunteer organization, or a club like Booth Pride.
I've been very blessed to have grown up in this day and age where support and acceptance of LGBTQ individuals is at an all time high. Notre Dame’s specific policy adheres to Catholic teaching and celebrates the individual, and as such, we athe LGBTQ advocacy organization were limited in the types of events we could put on, or the types of speakers that we could bring to campus. Walking that balance while trying to bring awareness and programming to allow people to fully accept themselves and celebrate themselves was difficult, but was the perfect training ground to plan and deliver value to multiple stakeholders. As a white, cis male, my image is relatively palatable for the masses. So I can use that privilege to advocate for others, and knew I couldn’t pass up the opportunity here at Chicago Booth. I want every other business professional who comes after me to have it a little easier, and that’s what we strive to do with Booth Pride.
How would you characterize the Chicago Booth community?
It took me by surprise how easy it was to live authentically at Chicago Booth. When you're trying to create lasting connections and grow yourself, it can be difficult to make the most of the opportunities available if you are worried about acceptance and of being who you are and trying to hide pieces of yourself. Coming into the Booth community, I felt it took five minutes of a conversation with someone, to realize that I didn't have to do that. From my first Zoom to the first socially distanced happy hour to the first in-class breakout, living authentically at Chicago Booth is honestly not something I even think about anymore. The student body, the professors, the firms recruiting, and the staff have all been immensely welcoming. There’s no prescriptive one way to be LGBTQ at Chicago Booth or to work with Booth Pride. I recognize that my lived experience is not reflective of everyone else’s, and if yours is different, know there is a community waiting for you with open arms at Chicago Booth.
Is there anything else you’d like prospective students to know?
I am very passionate about Chicago Booth. Feel free to reach out to us Pride co-chairs if you want to learn more. If you're looking at Chicago Booth, I would tell you to investigate a little further, and if you end up deciding to attend, we're waiting for you.