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Tips for First Time Attendees

The students who organize the Reaching Out LGBT MBA Conference spend months preparing for the event and want you to get the most out of it. Particularly if this is your first Reaching Out conference, we’ve designed this page to provide you with the basics for making the most of the weekend.


  • Spend time on the Reaching Out website. Familiarize yourself with the conference’s events so that you don’t miss out on anything important.
  • Bring your business cards. You’ll meet plenty of people whom you’ll want to stay in touch with. Be sure to bring a supply of professional, accurate business cards for easy networking.
  • Upload your resume and apply for jobs. Companies are reviewing resumes daily, and many will conduct interviews during the conference.
  • Check out the Reaching Out website for the latest job postings, and be in touch with different firms. They’re coming to the conference to meet you!


  • Register as soon as you arrive at the hotel. At registration you will receive the conference binder, which includes details such as panelist bios, company contacts, attendee lists, and a photobook.
  • Meet new people. It’s easy to remain in your comfort zone and chat only with students from your program, but you’ll miss out on a terrific opportunity to network. Don’t be afraid to sit next to someone new and introduce yourself!
  • Attend as many events as possible. The daytime sessions are a key element of the conference. In the workshops and panels you will get more informal and valuable one-on-one time with others. Show up early to sessions and get to know a few people in the room.
  • Have fun and go out. Information about the local clubs is included in the conference binder.
  • Get involved. If you are a first-year student, consider getting involved in planning the next conference! Attend the prospective organizers’ meeting on Saturday afternoon to learn more.

If you still have questions about the conference and how your should prepare, please send us an email.


The heart of the Reaching Out Conference is the opportunity for students to network with potential employers in an environment specifically conducive for LGBT candidates. We suspect that most candidates will also use their school’s on-campus recruiting office and resources, but have compiled the following information as a supplement for those who are new to the MBA Job Search process.

± How Out Should I Be?

One question which students often ask is, “How out should I be on my resume and in the application process?“ This is clearly a personal choice and one question to which there is no right answer. It varies with each individual, but clearly the year-on-year growth and success of the Reaching Out Conference indicates employers are searching for qualified candidates who are out and engaged in the LGBT Community. For that reason, we urge MBA students to look at where, appropriately, you can indicate your leadership and active participation in the LGBT Community.

The easiest way to do this is to be a visible and active member in your school’s LGBT student organization. If your school doesn’t have one, you might consider founding one or networking with other organizations at other professional schools at your university (law, medicine, social work, etc.). Additionally you may want to look at national organizations like GLAAD, HRC, Out and Equal. Don’t, however, simply join a gay group to put it on your resume, but rather consider how you can offer your unique skills and talents to a group to further a cause or charity which you are passionate about within our large and diverse community. (Marriage Rights, AIDS Advocacy, Homeless Gay Youth, Pride Celebrations, etc.)

You can often list your involvement under a section of “interests” or “volunteer work” and allow an interviewer to ask you about your leadership in this field. We have generally found that even straight allies who work in recruiting will be sensitive and aware of the various ways that LGBT candidates can distinguish themselves in service to our community. Should you be personally uncomfortable with this level of “outing yourself” on your resume, we suggest you chat with a mentor or advisor you trust and choose a pathway and strategy which is authentic for you.

We urge you to consider reading Kirk Snyder’s book, The Lavender Guide To Success: The Career Guide for the Gay Community (2003 Ten Speed Press), for more information about career searching for LGBT Candidates.

± Writing a Targeted Resume

1. Research your target functions skill set and highlight similar skills from your past on your resume.

2. Familiarize yourself with the language of the business associated with your area/areas of interest. For example: if you are targeting Marketing, using skills and wording like; cross-functional teams, branding and P&L responsibility, will can strengthen your resume. Analyze and review job descriptions posted on company websites and job websites to give you ideas of wording and skills needed for similar types of jobs in your area. Ask yourself if you have done any of those activities that you are reading or if you have transferable experience you can highlight so it relates to your area of interest.

3. Access the resume writing resources available through your school’s Career Development office.

4. Keep your communication open with your network! For example, student clubs, and peers may be able to give you tips on positioning your skill set for a particular industry or function. Touch base with previous employers, co-workers, and/or other professional relationships. The ability to sell yourself to yourself and network are an asset! Ask these people for feedback on your resume (career counselors, mentors, classmates, professors).

5. Be honest with yourself about what you are writing. Be prepared to explain why you have highlighted certain experiences as relevant bullet points. In the Additional section, if you list you are conversant in German, make sure that you are! Everything on your resume is fair game.

6. Your resume is a work in progress! It is okay to make adjustments as you continue honing your skills and knowledge throughout the year.

± Resume Format Basics

• One page only
• Bullet format
• Use school e-mail address
• Include phone number (only one number should be given)
• No abbreviations
• Plain text – Times New Roman is easiest to read
• GPA and GMAT scores are usually not used on resumes – check with your school
• Use of periods at the end of bullets is optional, but be consistent
• All Education and Experiences must have dates and locations listed

± Other Tips

• Make sure the experience is listed in the past tense

• Listing of a website on a resume is acceptable only if it is relevant to your experience (i.e. you were the Founder of the .com or took part in the creation of the web site). In addition, it is not suggested that students list their own personal web sites on their resume since many of those sites contain personal information.

• You may Googled by a recruiter or contact. Make sure you represent yourself positively on sites such as Facebook.


± Analysis – Rating Agency

Useful Resources:,

Important skills to highlight: Ability to make recommendations and to stand behind them, industry expertise, understanding of financial statement analysis (most importantly fixed income/credit) markets, writing ability, intellectual curiosity as it relates to research.

Key phrases/words: Recommend, valuation, assess, risk analysis, credit exposure, credit, research

± Consulting

Useful Resources: Association of Management Consulting Firms –, Institute of Management Consultants – Vault consulting Industry Guide:

Important skills to highlight: quantitative, qualitative, conceptual ability, detail orientation, service orientation.

Key phrases/words: delivering value, problem solving, objectivity, solution orientation, flexibility, leadership, assessing solutions, making recommendations, client relationship orientation and credibility.

± Corporate Finance

Useful Resources: Vault Guides to Investment Banking

Important skills to highlight: Modeling experience, Accounting Background, Team work, Preparation of pitchbooks and/or presentations, analytical writing skills.

Key phrases/words: Performed analysis, Executed Transactions, Teamwork.

± Marketing

Useful Resources: Vault’s Marketing Industry Guide: , Vault’s Guide to Consumer Products:

Important skills to highlight: analytical skills, creativity, leadership, project management, strong communication skills, teamwork

Key phrases/words: analyze P&L (profit and loss), worked with a cross-functional team, launched a new product, negotiated with vendors, managed project from inception through creation and implementation

± Media and Entertainment

Useful Resources: Vault’s Guide to Media and Entertainment

Important skills to highlight: financial analysis, project management, communication skills, leadership, teamwork, relationship management, developing strategies, creativity

Key phrases/words: led and managed the contract development and due diligence process, negotiated deal, developed relationship with, identified potential growth opportunities

± Research – Sell Side and Buy Side

Useful Resources: Vault Guides to Investment Management:

Important skills to highlight: understanding of financial statement analysis (most importantly fixed income/credit) markets, writing ability.

Key phrases/words: Problem solver, Ability to think on your feet, team player, demonstrated previous record of financial analysis, demonstrate ability to understand corporate strategies (capital structure and growth strategy).

± Sales and Trading

Useful Resources: Vault Guide to Sales and Trading:

Important skills to highlight: Sales and the ability to increase sales (quantify when possible), relationship management, and ability to “get to the point” which is demonstrated by having really short and succinct sentences

Key phrases/words: Percent sales increased, financial modeling, credit derivatives, asset backed securities, trades, valuation, P&L, risk, exposure