Reaching Out MBA Conference: A Student Perspective
Two Babson graduate students, Haotian Wu (M’16) and Satveer Singh (M’16) recently attended the 18th Annual Reaching Out MBA Conference (“ROMBA Conference”) at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Chicago, Illinois. This year’s event drew over 1400 attendees from the LGBTQ community including students who traveled from as far as the United Kingdom and Australia.
Wu and Singh had very positive experiences as a result of the three-day conference. While in town, they heard from four keynote speakers from different industries. The speakers – Tim Gill, George Kalogridis, Laverne Cox, and Morgana Bailey – are stars in their respective industries which ranged from entrepreneurial endeavors and finance to media and entertainment.
In addition to the keynote presentations, the ROMBA Conference provided opportunities for networking, career fairs, and dinner events. Wu encouraged other students to attend next year because “…this conference was really organized. Everyone was so helpful and willing to help. It was so easy to meet and network with everyone, regardless of industry, company, or position. It was the best conference I have attended in the United States.” During the trek, Wu and Singh had the opportunity to network extensively. Each expressed similar sentiments – namely, that the conference helped to expand their views of professional leadership within the LGBTQ community. While at the conference, Singh met with employees from the PA Consulting Group. He gathered valuable information and eventually accepted a full-time position with the firm.
Wu had meetings with marketing managers and executives from American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and Delta Airlines. As a result of meetings with company executives, he was able to gather insights on social media best practices. The recommendations he received were immediately applied in a MCFE (Management Consulting Field Experience) that he worked on during the fall semester. He credits the eventual success of the MCFE in part to the perspectives and knowledge he gained during the conference.
Wu and Singh are members of the Babson Out Network. Specifically, Wu is the club president and says that the group meets regularly on campus to organize similar events. In fact, the group financed his trip to Chicago. Similarly, Singh participated as a recipient of Babson’s Graduate Affinity Conference Scholarship. Other Babson Out Network-sponsored events include the Fenway Men’s Event and the Women’s Dinner Party, the Creating Change Conference, and Boston Pride which collaborates with other LGBTQ groups from business schools in the greater Boston area.
Ken Mattsson of Graduate CCD and Bob Turner of the Accounting and Law Department are the staff and faculty advisors for the Out Network. Turner explains “…the Out Network focuses on engaging current students and alumni to build a community dedicated to creating awareness as well as opportunities for personal and professional development for LGBTQ individuals and allies. The club also works with the campus-wide LGBTQ Action Committee on activities and program development.”
If you’re interested in joining the Babson Out Network and attending future events, Wu, Singh, Mattsson, and Turner encourage you to reach out with any questions and inquiries. The next ROMBA conference will be October 6-8, 2016 in Los Angeles with the 2017 Conference in Boston on October 12-15, 2017.
Written by Greg McQuade (M’16), Graduate CCD Fellow