My Life as An Out, LGBTQ Woman, and a Ross MBA
By Dayna Hine, MBA ‘19
I vividly remember the first day of orientation at Ross.
It reminded me of the first day of middle school – everyone had on their best clothes, a fresh haircut and everyone was thinking the same thing: “I hope I fit in!” I was no different.
I made sure to go to my barber back in NYC so when I walked into Ross my haircut was perfectly in place, outfit on point.
But there was one thought always in the back of my mind: Will I make friends as an out, androgynous-presenting woman?
Everything from that moment on has pointed to one answer – totally!
The University of Michigan community was the deciding factor in why I chose to attend Ross. It’s exceptionally welcoming and supportive, something I thought was very special, especially being a skeptical New Yorker. My section quickly became my family, and I was honored when they elected me as their president this fall. I’ve always loved football, so I jumped right in to join The Bus.
Ross quickly became a place where I felt at home and free to be myself.
I remember also feeling truly supported during my fiancé’s first visit to Ross this school year. My section went above and beyond to help me throw a “Welcome to Ross” happy-hour at Garage Bar, and the Bus crew welcomed her with open arms. By the end of the weekend she understood why I raved about the people and she left Ann Arbor very much looking forward to her next visit.
Now, looking back to my experience during the admissions experience, the Ross community has shown their acceptance and support at every step of process. When my fiancé came with me to GBR, we were fully accepted by the Out for Business students, making it incredibly clear that the LGBTQ community was supported by the larger Ross and UM communities.
But this warm welcome is not something I and many others in the LGBTQ community consistently experience, which is why I take the quote “you can’t be what you can’t see” to heart and truly believe in the importance of National Coming Out Day.
National Coming Out Day, celebrated on October 11, is the day to celebrate coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) or as an ally to provide visibility and support to the LGBTQ community.
Out for Business, the LGBT advocacy group at Ross, has partnered with Amazon and the University of Michigan’s Spectrum Center to host a series of events last week in observance of National Coming Out Week.
Events kicked off this week and included Coming Out Stories, an intimate event where Ross LGBTQ community members shared their coming out stories, and an Ally Training for those interested in learning how to be better advocates for the community.
Sponsoring events like National Coming Out week is just one of the many ways Ross works to ensure an inclusive environment. But most importantly, it’s the inclusiveness I see the student body exhibit year-round that makes me proud to be a Wolverine every day.
Dayna Hine is a first-year MBA student at Michigan Ross. She serves as the Class of 2019 Section 4 President & Director of Admissions for Out for Business. Prior to Ross, Dayna worked for Girls Who Code in New York City.