Josh Wright-Huynh, MBA’22 (Data Analystics; Strategy and Innovation)

I'm from Grand Rapids, Michigan, and went to Michigan Tech for chemical engineering. Prior to Brandeis, I worked for three companies — Kimberly Clark, Unilever and Conagra — as an engineer, doing a variety of things such as building and fixing machines, doing branch rebuilds and launching new product lines.

Josh Wright-Huyn wearing multicolored wig and sunglassesBut the things that aren't being told here is pretty much the reason why I'm actually going for an MBA. These companies are supposedly liberal and gay-friendly. However, at one of the companies I was referred to as a "fag" on one of production floors. One of the companies put in my performance review, "Your lifestyle may not be appropriate or acceptable for this organization."

One time a manager saw I was wearing nail polish. He approached me and said, "You're not dressed appropriately for this office," proceeded to walk me out of the building and put me on the next flight back home. All of this happened in the last nine years. All three of these incidents are atrocious, especially with the liberal reputations of these organizations.

I think to myself, how does that happen? That's when I had to take a step back and ask, why is this happening? Why me? I was the only LGBTQ, and the only gay guy, in all three of those organizations in engineering. It’s really hard to be the only one. They don't know how to deal with you.

That's when I decided I'm not going to take the chance of it happening again. Instead, I’m going to get my MBA and pivot out into upper management where I can. Hopefully, I can rise to the rank of a vice president, where I have the opportunity to sit in those types of conversations with the heads of HR and push for appropriate, progressive policies in your department.

I learned about Brandeis at an LGBTQ MBA conference called "ROMBA: Reaching Out MBA." Brandeis stood out as a good university, but it also stood out for what it didn't have — an LGBTQ club for graduate students or business students.

I thought to myself, if I truly want to change an engineering organization or any organization to become friendly, I need to gain real-life experience with it. So in conjunction with my studies, I’ve worked on creating an LGBTQ club for grad students at the business school.