While this year’s Pride Month has looked a little different than in the past, there was still cause to celebrate this June. In a landmark civil right ruling, the Supreme Court voted to protect LGBT people from discrimination in the workplace. This victory was a reminder that we’re headed in the right direction but that there is still work to be done.
This past fall, thanks to the hard work of several recent graduates, the Eccles School also helped increase the voices of the LGBTQ+ students, alumni, faculty, and staff in our own community and helped build an organization that ensures members of the LGBTQ+ community are always welcome on campus.
When Austin Hendrickson, Addison Hunter, and Dylan Gillette saw there was a need at the Eccles School for a place where LGBTQ+ voices could be heard, they did something. In true Eccles School “Doer” spirit, the three students took over the small student organization called Out for Business at the end of the 2019 school year with only 17 members and almost no name recognition. Now, only one year later, Out for Business has 80+ members and was recently named the David Eccles School of Business Student Organization of the year.
Out for Business is defined as a professional development and community outreach group that develops relationships, resources, and education among students, alumni, faculty, staff, and companies for the benefit of LGBTQ+ business students.
In addition to the Out for Business student club and in partnership with the Alumni Relations and Development Office, an Out for Business Alumni Affinity Network also was created in the process. The goal of the affinity network is to provide LGBTQ+ alumni and LGBTQ+ alumni allies with opportunities to develop relationships, resources, and education among each other, the school, and current Eccles students.
The club’s first event last November brought together students, alumni, faculty, and staff to discuss the topic of “working with empathy.” A panel of esteemed members of the LGBTQ+ business community offered their perspectives and ideas for creating a culture of inclusivity through empathy and understanding.
This year, the Out for Business student club and alumni affinity network hope to continue expanding their reach and provide a place for meaningful conversations, events, and content. Six passionate Eccles School students will be serving as directors for the Out for Business student club. Molly Whittington, senior marketing student and Director of Outreach, is excited to be on the team and help make a difference in the community.
“I saw a gap in our business community and what better way to be inclusive of all mindsets than to engage with the community head-on,” explained Whittington. “The LGBTQI+ community is one that has overcome an adverse amount of scrutiny, and I believe that engaging and educating the whole Eccles community will better all of us as business leaders as we step out of education and into the workforce.”
Nolan Phan, junior finance and information systems student and Director of Finance added, “I want to help students feel part of the Eccles School through recognizing LGBTQ diversity and bringing awareness among the students at the university. Creating a strong support system for the LGBTQ population through fellow peers and allies has a huge impact on their experience and success; it’s something that I am greatly looking forward to being involved in this coming year.”
Read on to learn more about the 2020-2021 Out for Business student club directors.
2020-2021 Out for Business Directors
Brian Pham – Executive Director
Dream job: Director of Brand Strategy
Favorite class you’ve taken at the Eccles School and why: Goff Scholars—an incredibly rewarding experience that gave me opportunities to work on amazing real-world projects. The people that I’ve met in the class are people I know I will be connected to for my entire career.
Favorite Quote: “If the only thing you learn in this life is love, that is good, and that is enough.”
Nolan Phan – Director of Finance
Major: Finance/Information Systems
Dream Job: SEC General Attorney
Favorite class you’ve taken at the Eccles School and why: My favorite class that I’ve been able to take at the Eccles School has been Finance 3041 with Professor Brogaard. It was one of the most challenging and rewarding classes that I have taken. The skills and knowledge of not only in-class material but also real-world applications have been immensely beneficial for my career both inside and outside of the classroom. The class helped me truly understand the events and data in my field of interest.
Favorite Quote: “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” – Socrates
I love this quote because it highlights how people can always be better and pushes me to never stay complacent and to always grow/learn. It represents a core philosophy of mine and instills a frame of humility.
Molly Whittington – Director of Outreach
Dream Job: Working for Patagonia as a marketing representative.
Favorite class you’ve taken at the Eccles School and why: Either Marketing with Sheena McFarland or Business Scholars with Alayna Williamson. It’s hard to pick between two very knowledgeable and open professors with some of the best real-world experience.
Favorite Quote: “If you can’t get out of it, get into it” – Unknown
Dillon McClelland – Director of Marketing
Majors: Marketing and Information Systems
Dream job: My dream job after graduation is to become a brand manager; the idea of developing a brand image to create and maintain a sense of meaning to a specific demographic is very interesting to me.
Favorite class you’ve taken at the Eccles School and why: My favorite class I have taken at the Eccles School so far is Information System 2010. This class introduced me to the world of Information Systems. The possibilities are endless and span the world, this all became so intriguing and created my interest to make it my double major!
Favorite Quote: “I refuse to be the reason I’m unhappy” – Tan France
Kristie Ho – Director of Events
Majors: Operations and Supply Chain and Kinesiology
Dream job: Healthcare administration
Favorite class you’ve taken at the Eccles School and why: My favorite class I’ve taken at the Eccles School is Operations Management (OIS 3661) because we learned how to make things more efficient, both in terms of time and cost, and we did factory simulations that let us put what we learned into practice.
Favorite Quote: “Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”
Elizabeth Porter – Co-Director of Events
Majors: Operations and Supply Chain; Health, Society, and Policy
Dream job: I would love to work in a nonprofit organization in the UK helping refugees within the LGBTQ+ community.
Favorite class you’ve taken at the Eccles School and why: My favorite class was either ACCTG 3601 or my community engagement course while on a study abroad. Not only did I love my professors for each of these courses, but both challenged my ways of thinking and opened me up to new ideas.
Favorite Quote: From my high school soccer coach Lee Mitchell, “There’s no growth in the comfort zone, and there’s no comfort in the growth zone.”