In addition to its world-class education, Wharton has one of the largest groups of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) students of any business school. Out4Business, Wharton’s MBA LGBTQ network, is comprised of LGBTQ students and ally supporters and is one of the biggest clubs on campus.
A strong LGBTQ presence was an important factor for both of us when considering business school. Wharton is a place where we can proudly be ourselves while surrounded by classmates who bring unique experiences and backgrounds to the table – gay, straight, or otherwise.
Out4Biz, for short, is building an open, inclusive and fun community for LGBTQ leaders and their allies. We bring together LGBTQ students at events like our annual trip to Rehoboth Beach and work to foster engagement among allies. We host the White Party and Wharton 54, two of the biggest and best parties on campus; just ask Business Insider. Out4Biz also organizes ally appreciation nights and joint happy hours with other groups like the Veterans Club; we believe relationships with other groups on campus make the LGBTQ community stronger and Wharton experience better for all.
It is incredibly meaningful to sit in a classroom and see classmates with rainbow stickers on their nameplates or wearing “I’m an ally” t-shirts. During preterm, when we had only known each other a few days, allies shared stories in front of hundreds of classmates about their relationships with LGBTQ family and friends. During Rainbow Pub, the school-wide happy hour hosted by Out4Biz, administrators and professors dressed in drag and performed fabulous musical acts to raucous cheering. Out4Biz is also thrilled to be participating in a boarder Penn Trans Awareness Initiative, and recently collaborated with the Penn LGBT Center on a training on transgender issues.
Our reach extends beyond Wharton, too. Out4Biz partners closely with employers and their LGBTQ networks and coordinates events with Out4Biz alumni around the world. We are proud that a team of Out4Biz students is planning next year’s Reaching Out MBA Conference (ROMBA), an LGBTQ gathering that brings together business school students, leaders, and employers from throughout the country.
We are so excited to be co-presidents of Out4Biz and can’t wait to meet you!
Josh Lotstein (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Mira Patel (email@example.com)