My decision to return to graduate school to pursue an MBA with a focus on cultivating empathy and pro-social behavior in the workplace, while surely motivated by various life events, can be traced back to one singular moment in time: the day I realized that I was bi-sexual. Growing up as a young Jewish male, I did not know of any men in my community who similarly identified as bi-sexual. You were either straight or gay. As a bisexual man, I was prejudiced equally by both communities–to the straight community, I was definitely gay; and to the gay community, I was a gay man who was living in denial. There was no room for a middle ground, let alone the space to explore my confusion about these feelings. My lonesomeness in this struggle led me to suppress my feelings about my sexuality in hopes they somehow disappear.
After graduating college, I became actively involved with an organization called the ManKind Project, which provides emotional literacy training, leadership development trainings, and a crucial support network to men of all ages, backgrounds, and sexual orientations. It is a nourishing environment no matter one’s background or creed. Through this community of support, I have developed the strength and awareness to embrace my sexuality in a way that feels empowering for me. Through this transformational process, I realized the immense need for emotional literacy work as a means to helping individuals find self-acceptance – both within the LGBTQIA+ community and beyond. Given my knack for business, I decided that I could have the most impact with this type of work at an institutional level where emotional and diversity inclusion work is still very much in its nascency.
I have many hopes for my business school educational experience. In a classroom environment surrounding by colleagues who come from the finance and consulting fields, I aspire to be a vocal advocate for the importance of emotional awareness and diversity inclusion practices as a fundamental organizational tenant. Above all, I feel immensely grateful that I have been able to transform something that was long held as a weakness or unfortunate fact – my sexual identity – into a source of strength and motivator for the work I want to do in the world.