The Reaching Out LGBT MBA Fellowship is a scholarship and leadership development program for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and active ally MBAs in full-time programs. Each Fellows receives at least $10,000 funding per academic year (or $20,000 total for his/her/their two years) in addition free access to all Reaching Out programming (including the ROMBA Conference), LGBTQ mentors, digital programming, and a leadership summit exclusively for the Fellows. Since the inception of the ROMBA Fellowship 129 students have received over US$6.2M in scholarship support from participating schools.
This fall Reaching Out welcomed the third class of the ROMBA Fellows. These 56 fellows come from 35 top business schools and over the next month we’ll introduce each of them to you.
41 MBA programs will be part of the Fellowship for the 2017-2018 application cycle. To learn about the Fellowship and let schools know of your interest here.
MEET BLANCA AGUADO (MIT, SLOAN SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT)
For the past three years, Blanca has worked in the aerospace/aviation sector, advising high level executives and bridging the gap between industry and government with the goal of successfully implementing new technologies that benefit all users. During her time at a Federal Advisory Body in Washington DC, she engaged with foreign governments to work with the US in implementing new tech systems. Most recently, Blanca worked as a consultant for an inter-governmental organization in Brussels, Belgium, leading the expansion of the organization’s ties with regions across the world. For the past six years, Blanca has served as an advocate and volunteer for air crash victims and their families around the world, helping to create an international federation and advising them throughout their meetings with world government leaders and United Nations’ officials. A native of Madrid, Spain and a graduate of McGill University with a BA in Political Science and Psychology, you are most likely going to find Blanca discovering new places, drinking coffee (cortados!) and extensively explaining the benefits of siestas.
What made you consider business school?
For the past three years I worked in teams where I was the only non-engineer. By steering away from a purely technical approach, I gained insight into the important mechanics of the decision-making process that allows technology to foster social change. Working with governments, industry and civil society made me aware of the stark difference between good and excellent leaders, as well as how that can impact individuals and results. I soon understood that an MBA would significantly add to my background, allowing me to broaden my perspective of problems as well as my ability to formulate sensible solutions. For me, it all boiled down to one thing: in order to understand the world, I need to understand business.
What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?Without a doubt – the people. People with different backgrounds and curiosities with whom I will be able to share the common goal of always striving to make things better.
Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
I’m inspired by leaders who are able to unite a large group of different stakeholders around a table and get results. Adolfo Suarez, Spain’s first democratic Prime Minister after 40 years of dictatorship who forged an exemplary political transition, is an example of that.
What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
Don’t ask me how, but I can fit everything I own in a medium sized suitcase.