Aug 2017

ROMBA Student Leader Profile: Elsa Rodriguez

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In addition to Reaching Out’s staff, each year the Reaching Out LGBTQ MBA & Graduate Conference’s content is developed and produced by MBA & graduate students from business schools across the world. These core group of the students working on the ROMBA Conference are known as the “Student Leadership Committee.”  The Leadership Committee comes up with the conference’s theme, ideates all breakout sessions, and is seen prominently on the ground at the conference!

Over the next few weeks we’ll highlight each of this year’s 11 organizers and share some of their tips for those planning to attend this year’s 20th ROMBA Conference in Boston (Oct 12-14), which this year will include an inaugural Professional Day for alumni and our 20th ROMBA Gala Celebration with Anderson Cooper!  

Not only will the leaders tell you what they are most excited about for this year’s conference, but they’ll also give inbound LGBTQ MBA students tips on the summer internship search & experience!

LGBTQ MBA & business graduate students, alumni and applicants can register
for the 20th ROMBA Conference in Boston (October 12-14) here.

Name: Elsa Rodriguez

School (Program/Concentration): University of Chicago Booth School of Business Full-Time Program (Concentrations in Entrepreneurship, Strategic Management and Managerial & Organizational Behavior)

Summer Internship: Senior Program Manager at Amazon, Seattle, WA

How did your first year in business school prepare you for your summer internship?
Through coursework based in cases, lab courses and real-world projects, I learned to identify key business challenges and create a structured approach. From there, I was able to apply knowledge in identifying the necessary information and building an analysis that could give me insight or further information about the problem at hand.What experience(s) do you hope to take away from your Internship this summer?

What experience(s) do you hope to take away from your Internship this summer?
I hope to take away the ability to not only present a pitch or a deck, but truly write out a business problem and approach in a more academic fashion. I also hope to keep the spirit of driving my own investigation, finding resources and continuing to ask for support and help when needed.

What’s the most valuable piece of advice going into summer internships you can offer the Class of 2019?
The summer is a great chance to both explore the company and the location. Identify a few things you want to try or departments you want to hear about, plan some weekend adventures and go to talks at work. I would also ask yourself, “what skillset or experience do you hope to gain from this summer” and communicate that to your team or find places where you can build that space for learning for yourself.

What are you most excited about for 2017 ROMBA Conference?
Going back to ROMBA this year feels like a reunion. Over the past year we have gotten to connect with LGBTQ students from other schools at a few events, work remotely on projects or even live in the same city over the summer. It will be amazing to see everyone again and meet the new class of 1Ys!

Any advice you have for people going into the ROMBA Conference for the first time?
A big chunk of the experience will feel very recruiting-based, which can get tiring, but you get to start that process in a welcoming setting. Outside of recruiting, meet people! The MBA community is small and you will most likely get to connect with these folks again. It is a great place to forge connections outside of your own program.

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