On Fostering Allyship, Acceptance & Connection
Creating community is such an integral part of our students' MBA experience. They come to Kellogg knowing they will receive a world-class education and a plethora of global opportunities. Many of them also find a home away from home. Finding a support system will give you the confidence needed to succeed in life, and Paul Mannix (Evening & Weekend Program) and Matt Moschella (Evening & Weekend Program) discuss how they embrace themselves fully and how Kellogg has played a part in their growth.
How has being at Kellogg supported your growth?
MM: Kellogg has positively influenced me to be more engaged and bring my full self to everything I do – professionally and personally. I’ve never been one to blend in with the masses, despite how hard I try sometimes, so I’ve learned to embrace that creativity, charisma, and personality more. Being shy and reserved does not reap as many benefits as being outgoing, taking chances, and showing some initiative. I’ve also taken a much more active approach to my professional journey, whereas I was somewhat passive beforehand. I’m substantially more honest with myself about what I want to do in my career and what types of industries I want to work in. I embrace what I like and am bold enough to admit what I don’t.
PM: Kellogg has tremendously supported my growth as a leader, especially through the Kellogg Leadership Journey (KLJ) and leadership development coursework. The Leadership Journey has been a combination of tactics I’ve been able to apply immediately at work and theories behind leadership. Due to KLJ, I approach teams I lead and am a part of with a fresh perspective enabling me to deliver results more effectively.
Why is PRIDE important to you?
MM: It takes a lot of guts to exist as the “only one” in any endeavor, space, or social circle we’re involved in. You never know if one of your peers just might be self-conscious about being the “only one.” Whether that’s related to race, sexual orientation, gender, or really any other identifier we associate with. That’s why PRIDE, and more specifically, allyship, is so critical. PRIDE is also a key catalyst for many of us to find community and make friends. I found the most impactful way to make friends when I moved to Chicago a year ago was to get involved in LGBT activities. Through various sports leagues, music groups, social outings, and other activities, I was introduced to hundreds of people, and most notably, some of my best friends to this day. Even at Kellogg, PRIDE has provided a great outlet to meet more peers than I normally would have otherwise. It’s given me friends to hang out with, commiserate over coursework with and longingly discuss our post-Kellogg futures with. For that, I am grateful.
PM: PRIDE is important to me because it builds the LGBT community and helps everyone make connections, have fun and feel accepted. Along the same lines, Kellogg has resources and PRIDE embedded into its culture. I think this creates a space for everyone to feel accepted at Kellogg.
How will your experience at Kellogg and in Pride inform your values as a present and future leader?
MM: I’m fortunate enough to experience inclusivity both at work and at Kellogg. I work for an outstanding organization that really walks the walk when it comes to DEI efforts, but many others are not as privileged. As a leader, some of my core values include engagement and inclusivity. I want those values to permeate everything I do.
PM: My Kellogg experience and PRIDE inform my values as a leader because they reinforce the notion that I want to bring my whole self to work. I want my colleagues to know about my soon-to-be husband. Furthermore, I want to enable my teammates to feel open to bringing their whole selves to work as well.