School News

Q&A: Michigan Ross BBAs in Out For Business Discuss Supporting LGBTQ+ Students in Business School, Being an OFB Member, Pride Month, and More

By Bridget Vis

June is Pride Month in the U.S. — an important time to come together and celebrate the LGBTQ+ members of the Ross School of Business community and beyond.

In recognition of Pride this year, four undergraduates in Out For Business at Michigan Ross answered questions about their experience in business school and being an OFB club member. They share how they are celebrating Pride Month, how being a member has impacted their Ross experience, and how the Ross community can support LGTBQ+ business students.

Charles Raab

Program/Year: BBA ’23

Hometown: Adrian, Michigan

Post-graduation career interest: Human resources 

How are you celebrating Pride Month this year? 

I am celebrating Pride Month by wearing fun fashions and being boldly visible. I am enjoying summer in Ann Arbor and aim to show pride all year round, but especially this June.  

What has been your favorite part of being an OFB member?

My favorite part of OFB this year has definitely been the social events we hold for members. They offer a great opportunity to network and laugh with fellow LGBTQ+ individuals.

How has being a member of OFB impacted your experience in the BBA program?

Being associated with OFB has allowed me to build meaningful relationships with my peers and upperclassmen alike. I can always lean on this club as an outlet, or support system, during my time in Ross and beyond. 

Anonymous student

Program/Year: BBA ’24

Hometown: Farmington Hills, Michigan

Post-graduation career interest: Marketing

How are you celebrating Pride Month this year? 

I will be celebrating Pride this year by having a small gathering with Pride themed food, outfits, and makeup with my other friends that are allies or part of the LGBTQ+ community!

How has being a member of OFB impacted your experience in the BBA program?

Being a member of OFB has given me a place where I feel secure and proud of my identity as a queer person, and has made me realize that there are many others who can relate to me within the BBA program and the University of Michigan.

How can the Michigan Ross community support the LGBTQ community?

The Michigan Ross community can support the LGBTQ+ community by amplifying our voices and being vocal about its support for the community. Being a part of the LBGTQ+ community is not something that can be determined just by looking at a person, so constantly vocalizing support and appreciation for the community can be extremely helpful by making us more comfortable and willing to speak about our identities and experiences.

Christian Weichsel

Program/Year: BBA ’24

Hometown: Charleston, South Carolina

Post-Graduation Career Interest: International consulting

Why did you join Out For Business? 

I joined Out For Business because I saw it as a close knit community for queer students interested in business that I had previously never encountered before. Growing up, the few LGBTQ+ peers I had never really had the same career interests as I did so it was nice to find a community that promoted my studies.

How has being a OFB member impacted your experience in the Michigan Ross BBA program?

Being a member of OFB has dramatically impacted my experience in the BBA program. In fact, without some members of the graduating Class of 2021, I doubt I would have had the courage to apply to different clubs or business fraternities. I was afraid of the lack of LGBTQ+ representation in many of these organizations, but seeing our graduating seniors in many of these organizations gave me the courage to apply and make friends I would have never made otherwise.

How can Michigan Ross support the LGBTQ+ community?

The Michigan Ross community has a lot to do to grow and gain from the LGBTQ+ community. Business is not the first thing many LGBTQ+ high schoolers or undergraduates think of when they consider career options. Although Ross is changing, there is plenty to be done. A combination of social and career-based organizations would help students develop without going too fast and burning out. Once this is tackled, it is up to the Ross community and the Office of Undergraduate Admissions to go out and target these LGBTQ+ students who would have never thought to study business. Breaking the stigma for business students is crucial in high school so that more diverse students apply to Ross.

June Hong

Program: BBA ’22

Hometown: Cliffside Park, New Jersey 

Post-graduate interest: Finance 

Why did you join OFB?

I joined Out For Business because of the support system, other students, and resources the club offers. 

What has been your favorite part of being a member of OFB?

Being a member of OFB has allowed me better understand what it's like to be queer and work in a corporate environment. Through having calls with OFB alumni, I learned how to better navigate recruiting and to be myself. 

How has being in OFB impacted your BBA experience?

OFB has allowed me to meet a great community of students that I would not have otherwise. Through social events and coffee chats, I really bonded with members. 

Learn more about Out for business