Queers in Business Club takes pride in bridging professional gaps

Cal Poly Pomona’s new LGBTQ club, Queers in Business, launched on Sept. 10 to offer students resources to develop and practice professional skills while providing a supportive, all-inclusive space.

The club educates its members on how to be presentable in a professional setting — including tips on dressing for an interview and methods to promote oneself.

Queers in Business President Mark Ching, a second-year management human resources student, looks forward to supporting students in their professional journeys. (Courtesy of Mark Ching)

“Part of our purpose is to bridge the gap and create relationships with people outside of the community in order to create a more positive, professional environment,” said Queers in Business President Mark Ching, a second-year management human resources student.

The club is planning to launch a virtual event series featuring guest speakers in October.

One of the speakers will include alumna Berlyn Gallardo (‘17, business administration), the founder of For We who will speak on entrepreneurship on Oct. 15.

Valuing privacy, the club also prides itself on its confidentiality and in providing discrete announcement emails to members who are not open about their sexual orientation or gender identity.

“We understand the sensitivity of having a club like this, but we also want to make a safe place for people to be able to join,” said Social Media Manager Megan Traub, a first-year business administration graduate student. “We hope it being a sensitive topic or not being able to be as open as others wouldn’t keep them from joining.”

Last spring, faculty advisors Carlos Gonzalez and Seth Ketron sent a mass email to business students wishing to start an LGBTQ club, three students — who are now the current president, vice president and treasurer — responded and initiated the paperwork to officiate the club.

“We were all interested in helping to start the organization,” said Vice President Savannah Orozco, a first-year international business student. “There’s not a lot of LGBT pride and awareness resources on Cal Poly’s campus, which is something that surprised me.”

The club is open to individuals in any major who are interested in business or marketing. It offers many opportunities for members to voice their opinions or suggest topics for meetings and discussions.

“Since it is such a sensitive subject of being out and proud with themselves, this is a whole different club where we want members to feel authentic in their business and in their career,” said Treasurer Annie Sanchez, a first-year business marketing student. “We’re just trying to get information out for them on how they can use their skills and be comfortable in business and get them into companies that will help them fulfill their career goals.”

The club meets every Thursday via Zoom during U-Hour. For more information, visit its Instagram @qibcpp and Facebook @CPPQueersinBusiness or email them at qibcpp@gmail.com.

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