Meet Our MBA School Captains
For each campus, a Fellow is selected as “captain” to help drive Toigo/Fellow engagement and connections. Click on the names below for captain profiles–and a look at what each values most about being a Fellow.
Richard Chiang | UCLA Anderson
UCLA Anderson | Class of 2020
Intended Industry: Investment Management
Why did you choose to be a Toigo Fellow? I wanted to be part of an organization that valued the importance of diversity in the finance industry. For many minorities who come from underprivileged backgrounds or are first generation professionals, it is challenging to break into the industry. That is why being a member of Toigo was so important to me. Toigo gave me the opportunity to lean on those who have paved the way as successful professionals for support and inspiration.
What do you wish you knew prior to attending business school? I always knew how important networking was before attending business school, but I didn’t put as much consideration into how diligent you have to be about it as I do now. This applies especially in the investment management industry where opportunities are not abundant. The action of reaching out, following up, and tracking who you’ve contacted can really be a full-time job, so preparing yourself ahead of business school and getting into a routine is very important.
Your favorite Toigo experience? My favorite Toigo experience has been the APEx events. As someone who has been the only Toigo fellow from my MBA program in the last several years, it’s great to meet people from other schools and hear about their experiences. Even though we all go to different schools and have different career aspirations, I’ve found that all of us are more similar than we are different, which is very cool.
Which firms/organizations have you been introduced to by the Fellowship? Capital Group, TCW, KKR, just to name a few.
What are your hobbies? I enjoy cooking, playing basketball, improving my golf game, and stand-up paddle boarding.
Hayley Cox | Columbia Business School
Columbia Business School | Class of 2019
Intended Industry: Urban Tech or Real Estate
Why did you choose to be a Toigo Fellow? I first learned of Toigo through another business school student. I looked into the organization’s mission and felt it was the resource and community I’d been looking for. I was impressed from my first experience meeting the Toigo team and past fellows at Catapult — it was so educational for me and I loved meeting incoming MBAs from other school. I especially value Toigo’s power to bring a community together.
What do you wish you knew prior to attending business school?Herd mentality is strong! Sometimes it has positive effects, but not always. Try not to absorb the anxiety of your peers and stay true to yourself.
Your favorite Toigo experience?Catapult was so fun, educational and connecting! I highly recommend anyone who can make it to attend.
Which firms/organizations have you been introduced to by the Fellowship? I spent my summer with Prudential, with which Toigo has strong relationship.
What are your hobbies? I enjoy reading and spending time outdoors with friends. I trained for a while as an amateur boxer–I love to stay active, which usually includes boxing, CrossFit, and other physical activities.
Dela Yaow Mortia Gbordoze | MIT Sloan
MIT Sloan | Class of 2019
Intended Industry: Tech/Media & Entertainment
Why did you choose to be a Toigo Fellow? I had heard about Toigo from a friend of mine that was a fellow (class of 2016) about how great the cohort of Toigo fellows was, and that I would be crazy to miss out on the opportunity to join an incredible network of bright peers who are looking to change the landscape of finance. I also felt a strong sense of belief in Toigo’s mission to make the financial industry more diverse and also creating mechanisms for more inclusion in the classroom.
What do you wish you knew prior to attending business school? I wish I had known that I really needed strong time management skills during my first year. It was a tough transition from not ever having kept a calendar in my life or career to becoming way more dependent on my calendar than ever before. Definitely be sure to practice your time management skills prior to school. It’ll make your life so much easier during the first few weeks.
Your favorite Toigo experience? The second APEx seminar we had Toigo Tales in which second years shared their life stories, and listening to the story of the second years and truly understanding where they came from and why they are so proud to be in Toigo. Such touching stories of triumph made me realize how far many had to come to stand in front of us and provided me perspective surrounding my own journey to a top business school.
Which firms/organizations have you been introduced to by the Fellowship? William Blair, CALPERS, and JP Morgan were the companies that I became way more familiar with during my time as a Toigo fellow. I also got to learn more about Google Ventures while on my Google internship through a Toigo alum who had worked at GV in the past.
What are your hobbies? I love to play basketball, softball and football, and I am a big Texas A&M, MLB and NBA Sports Memorabilia collector.
Adam Espino | USC Marshall
USC Marshall | Class of 2019
Intended Industry: Venture Capital
Why did you choose to be a Toigo Fellow? I chose to be a Toigo Fellow because of the unparalleled network and access to industry leaders that the Toigo Fellowship provides.
What do you wish you knew prior to attending business school? I wish I knew how fast my time at business school would go—it has flown by.
Your favorite Toigo experience? The hands-on mentorship and career counseling opportunities have been my favorite Toigo experience. I truly feel that the Toigo staff, board, and my Toigo peers have a vested interest in my success. It is a valuable bond and I am forever grateful for their support.
Which firms/organizations have you been introduced to by the Fellowship? I have been introduced to countless companies by the Fellowship, with several highlights in the real estate, private equity, and venture capital sectors. The Toigo Fellowship has connected me to industry leaders across the country with a specific emphasis on my home market of Los Angeles.
What are your hobbies? Paddle boarding, college football, and exploring new cities.
Ali Evans | HBS
Harvard Business School | Class of 2019
Intended Industry: Private Equity
Why did you choose to be a Toigo Fellow? I applied to the Toigo Fellowship because of the strength of the community. I heard from past HBS alumni that the Toigo alumni and fellow communities are a great way to meet like-minded people that have one another’s best interests at heart. Since joining the fellowship, that expectation has come true.
What do you wish you knew prior to attending business school? I wish I knew how much I would grow as a person during business school. Having extra time to reflect on past experiences, explore new interests, and build deep connections with my classmates has allowed me to mature in a way I never expected. I think I’m graduating from business school as a much more balanced person than I was coming in.
Your favorite Toigo experience? APEx weekends! Every APEx weekend (semi-annual weekend conferences for fellows) is an incredible opportunity to reconnect or meet other fellows at other business schools. Friendship with MBAs that have similar interests outside of your school is one of the huge benefits of Toigo and it all happens at MBA Catapult and APEx weekends. Beyond your peers, APEx weekends are also a great way to engage with alumni in a meaningful way.
Which firms/organizations have you been introduced to by the Fellowship? The Fellowship consistently provides access to opportunities that I had never considered, such as PGIM (Prudential’s Investment Management arm) or Ariel Investments, which are very interesting given my passion for investing. Additionally, Nancy and Angel were terrific during my private equity recruiting process including direct introductions to senior partners at my target firms like Summit Partners.
What are your hobbies? I love fitness and reading. I’m no longer as good of an athlete as I once was, but I love to play pickup basketball, football, and squash. My reading list is full of biographies because I love to learn from the lives of others.
Jelani Fenton | Tuck School of Business - Dartmouth
Tuck School of Business – Dartmouth | Class of 2019
Intended Industry: Investment Banking
Why did you choose to be a Toigo Fellow? Toigo’s strong network and interconnectedness across classes was the biggest draw. As someone who is passionate about the markets and finance as a whole, there was no more important network for me to become a part of than the Toigo network. The foundation has provided me with the opportunity to build lifelong relationships as well as to learn from the best practitioners in the world of finance.
What do you wish you knew prior to attending business school? I wish I knew how much prioritization and self-care mean for achieving a wholesome, fulfilling experience. Business school is an experience filled with stimuli that can quickly pull you in many different directions and without clear prioritization it may be difficult to achieve a truly fulfilling experience. Additionally, the rigor of the business school curriculum combined with the recruiting process can cause significant strain on your mental / emotional state, which led me to begin meditating almost daily during my first year of school.
What has been your favorite Toigo experience? The scavenger hunt at the 2017 APEx was my favorite experience to date. It provided me with the opportunity to meet other fellows whom I’d never met in a unique setting in which we were having healthy, competitive fun.
Which firms/organizations have you been introduced to by the Fellowship? I was introduced to the firm where I interned and will be rejoining upon graduation, Evercore.
What are your hobbies? Nothing is more fulfilling for me than reading a great book while in a foreign country. In addition to travelling the world, I also enjoy tailoring suits and long-distance running.
Peter Ferrara | Cornell University
Cornell University | Class of 2019
Intended Industry: Investment Banking
Why did you choose to be a Toigo Fellow?As a Cuban-American, Management Leadership of Tomorrow (MLT) Fellow, and Consortium Fellow, who aspires to develop a successful career in finance, I sought to affiliate with the nation’s leading finance focused diversity network.
What do you wish you knew prior to attending business school? Although the MLT network prepared me well for business school, I was still surprised by the difficulty in balancing competing priorities, especially in the first semester. From recruiting, to core courses, to professional and social clubs, the business school experience offers nearly limitless opportunities. Students who understood their priorities from the start seemed to be the most successful in capitalizing on those opportunities and achieving their personal goals.
What has been your favorite Toigo experience?As a first-year Toigo Fellow I was fortunate enough to receive valuable advice from second-year Toigo Fellows, especially with regards to recruiting. Therefore, when asked by Toigo during my second-year to share lessons learned with first-years on a panel at Fall APEx I was excited to return the favor. The opportunity to give back to the Toigo community has been my favorite Toigo experience so far.
Which firms/organizations have you been introduced to by the Fellowship?Starting with Catapult the Spring prior to business school, Toigo provided exposure to numerous Investment Banks and buy-side firms such as Goldman Sachs, Blackrock, and KKR. I found that exposure very valuable for my recruiting efforts, as I eventually landed a full-time offer as an associate in Credit Suisse’s Investment Bank within the Financial Sponsors Group, which supports private equity clients in executing leveraged buy-out transactions.
What are your hobbies? Karaoke, especially anything involving Migos.
Arturo Gonzalez, Jr. | Emory University - Goizueta Business School
Emory University – Goizueta Business School | Class of 2019
Intended Industry: Investment Banking – Technology
Why did you choose to be a Toigo Fellow? I was extremely impressed by everyone I met at catapult, and I knew that Nancy, Angel, Nerissa, and the rest of the team would be a great support group. My goal after starting school was to intern in investment banking so I needed a strong team that could guide me through the process. Additionally, the network and training I would have access to after graduation were a huge a selling point.
What do you wish you knew prior to attending business school? Prior to b-school I worked alone on most projects so it was an adjustment always having team projects. My advice would be to take on more roles at work that force you to work with others. Those skill will be invaluable during school, and they’ll also make for great STAR stories.
Your favorite Toigo experience? During Fall APEx 2018 we had a panel with Toigo alumni to discuss the IB lifestyle. I got more out of that conversation than I did reading 20-30 articles on M&I or WSO. Again, the network Toigo offers is so valuable. One of the panelist also became a friend and mentor during my internship this summer.
Which firms/organizations have you been introduced to by the Fellowship? RBC Capital Markets, Evercore, Vanguard, William Blair and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
What are your hobbies? I’m a huge Atlanta United fan, and I love to bike and Bird/Lime around the city of Atlanta. One of my newer hobbies is making my home smart, e.g. google home, smart lights, etc.
Linda Horner | Tuck School of Business - Dartmouth College
Tuck School of Business – Dartmouth College | Class of 2020
Intended Industry: Investment Banking
Why did you choose to be a Toigo Fellow? Toigo’s mission of greater diversity in everything from the classroom to the boardroom resounds strong with me. I know that when you become a Toigo, you become a Toigo for life. What is so powerful about that is that the support and mentorship from Toigo continues even after the MBA. Toigo empowers its Fellows to succeed in corporate America and pay it forward to future generations.
What do you wish you knew prior to attending business school? The thing that wish I knew most before attending business school, is understanding and being prepared to engage the immense and diverse opportunities at business school. I had heard people talk about the many, many opportunities you will encounter in business school, but I did not truly fathom it. What is so wonderful, and what I wished I was more prepared for, is that you can truly step out of your area of familiarity and get exposure into all any number of interesting fields. For me, that area was an entrepreneurship, which I am really enjoying exploring.
Your favorite Toigo experience? Attending Catapult in April — that wonderful experience left a lasting impression on me. The relationships I formed at Catapult with other intelligent and ambitious incoming MBAs, continued during the summer and to this day. We went through summer recruiting together and have continued to be there for each other. This group of people make me feel like I am part of something bigger. Together, we wholeheartedly intend to succeed and pay it forward in the future.
Which firms/organizations have you been introduced to by the Fellowship? Barclays, Goldman, Credit Suisse, Evercore, William Blair, PIMCO
What are your hobbies? 18th and 19th Century Period Pieces. Antiquing. Furniture Chalk Painting. Spanish Reggaetón!
Prescott Owusu | Johnson Graduate School of Management - Cornell University
Johnson Graduate School of Management – Cornell University | Class of 2020
Intended Industry: Equity Research – Buyside
Why did you choose to be a Toigo Fellow? I chose to become a Toigo fellow because it is very important to have a network that extends beyond your own business school. Having access to such a powerful network is truly a blessing, and to be able to offer myself as a resource in the future will only be because of those who have helped me in the past.
What do you wish you knew prior to attending business school? As students, we receive a lot of resources for the academic work as we complete it but help with recruiting is more self-driven. At the end of the day, we are at business school to help advance our careers, so managing the academic and recruiting aspects of business school becomes more important as time goes on.
Your favorite Toigo experience? Toigo Catapult. Not only was I introduced to so many other amazing Toigo fellows, but I got to know some of the staff as well. It was very interesting to see how small of a world it is, as most people I met have mutual friends.
Which firms/organizations have you been introduced to by the Fellowship? The Fellowship has introduced me to folks from varying companies, such as Goldman Sachs, Vanguard, T. Rowe Price, and KKR, to name a few.
What are your hobbies? I enjoy going to the gym, as well as playing basketball. In addition, I watch English Premier League soccer on the weekends, where I support Chelsea FC.
Prentis Robinson | Kellogg School of Management / Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
Kellogg School of Management / Northwestern Pritzker School of Law | JD MBA Class of 2019
Intended Industry: Law
Why did you choose to be a Toigo Fellow? Toigo has an amazing financial network and community of minority business professionals that is unmatched elsewhere. I knew that, whether I decided to pursue a career specifically in finance or as a lawyer whose clients are financial professionals, this network could give me the requisite skills and knowledge to be successful. Additionally, as I transition through my career, Toigo has the resources to help me make the best decisions for me.
What do you wish you knew prior to attending business school?I wish I did heed the warnings from others that business school can go by in the blink of an eye. Students matriculate with a kind of optimism that they think would allow them to be involved in every club, attend every networking event and still be a stellar student. However, I learned that it would be imperative to be very intentional about how I wanted to spend my time at Kellogg to extract the experience that I sought to leave with.
Your favorite Toigo experience?My favorite Toigo experience was my first APEx conference at UCLA in Fall 2017. It was the first opportunity to witness the vast network of peers and alumni that are now a part of my community. It was at that time that I realized that I made the right decision to join Toigo!
Which firms/organizations have you been introduced to by the Fellowship?Toigo has introduced me to a number of great companies such as William Blair, GCM Grosvenor and Clearlake Capital. Toigo has also strengthened my relationship with my current business partner and gave us the encouragement to start our own company, Blackgate Capital.
What are your hobbies? Ireally enjoy reading in my free time, meditating, and enjoying spending time with friends. As a former college athlete, I still enjoy lifting weights and playing basketball.
Sebastián Velez | Stanford GSB
Stanford GSB | Class of 2019
Intended Industry: Consulting
Why did you choose to be a Toigo Fellow? I chose to be a Toigo fellow because I had no previous experience or exposure to finance. I wanted to build my network with exceptional people from around the country, and world.
What do you wish you knew prior to attending business school? Business school does not make existential questions such as “What am I going to do?” any easier. If anything, it makes the selection process more difficult by giving you more options than you realize existed.
Your favorite Toigo experience? Meeting and interacting with the class, forming those connections and friendships
Which firms/organizations have you been introduced to by the Fellowship? I’ve been introduced to so many companies and firms it’s hard to keep track. Toigo really does provide exception exposure for its fellows.
What are your hobbies? I love playing video games and watching documentaries about really obscure but interesting topics.
Jerry Singh | UC Berkeley Haas
UC Berkeley Haas | Class of 2020
Intended Industry: Investment Management
Why did you choose to be a Toigo Fellow? Before business school, I spent most of my career in the Southern parts of the country working in investment banking and corporate strategy. Despite robust efforts by the organizations I worked for to promote diversity and inclusion, I consistently ended up being the only person of color on a team or in a room. After several years in such environments, I promised myself I would always be a strong advocate and promoter of diversity in the workplace. It’s a mission that has been and will continue to be very close to my heart.
When I found the Toigo Foundation, I quickly realized this was a group that shared my passion – the mission statement so closely aligned with my own philosophies. Going through the application process, I felt a great connection with the Toigo alumni I spoke with and knew this was an organization I had to join.
What do you wish you knew prior to attending business school? Network early and often. Make a goal to have at least one conversation a week with an alumnus from your school. Regardless of what school you attend, there are tons of successful people who were all in your shoes once and are now willing to talk with you. Take advantage of that unlimited calling card as soon as you can.
Your favorite Toigo experience? At our last APEx weekend there were a number of great speakers but one that really resonated with me was John Rogers of Ariel Investments. Mr. Rogers spoke about the importance of not tolerating a lack of diversity in organizations where you have the power to bring about change. He advocated for the need to champion inclusion efforts if you’re in a leadership position because if you don’t, no one else will. It was incredibly powerful to hear him speak and I’m confident everyone in that room will carry his advice with them for the rest of their careers.
Which firms/organizations have you been introduced to by the Fellowship? The Fellowship has helped me connect with countless companies in my field of interest, investment management. I’ve had conversations with T. Rowe Price, MFS Investment Management, Wellington, Capital Group, Janus Henderson, and many others in the industry because of this Fellowship. The access you get as a Toigo Fellow is simply remarkable.
What are your hobbies? The busy life of a business school student unfortunately doesn’t leave you with a lot free time but when I do have down time, I love to cook. It’s a great way to relieve some stress, be creative, and try new things. I’m by no means an expert but really enjoy the process of learning new recipes and techniques. And if things go really bad, there’s always Uber Eats.
Athena Xie | The Wharton School
The Wharton School | Class of 2020
Intended Industry: Investment Management
Why did you choose to be a Toigo Fellow? I chose to be a Toigo Fellow given its extensive alumni network, dedication to mentorship, and a strong sense of community. Coming from the financial services industry, I recognize the crucial value of mentorship in helping other minority students realize their career goals. Speaking to Toigo fellows at The Wharton School helped me understand Toigo’s powerful network and its commitment to mentorship. I joined the Toigo community to learn from talented alumni and carry forward the Toigo mission by providing mentorship to underrepresented talents in the finance industry.
What do you wish you knew prior to attending business school? I wish I knew how busy business school is! It requires strong concentration to stay focused on your career goals. It takes some time to reach a balance between the professional and social aspects of business school.
Your favorite Toigo experience? Catapult — where all the Toigo applicants gathered together for four days in Philadelphia to interact with different financial services firms and network with peers from different business schools. It was a great opportunity to learn more about different finance industries before business school and make new friends.
Which firms/organizations have you been introduced to by the Fellowship? I was introduced to T. Rowe Price through Catapult, and was fortunate to participate in the pre-MBA internship with the firm. I have learned so much from my experience there and it could not have happened without Toigo. Throughout the past couple of months I have also met representatives from other investment management firms such as MFS and Capital Group through Toigo.
What are your hobbies? Painting, scuba diving, traveling.