Aug 2017

ROMBA Student Leader Profile: Fred Gehrig

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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: Fred Gehrig

School (Program/Concentration): Owen Graduate School of Management (Vanderbilt University) – Strategy and Marketing

Summer Internship: Business Development and Supply Chain Analyst at Cotopaxi in Salt Lake City, UT

How did your first year in business school prepare you for your summer internship?
My first year at Owen changed my perspective on how to approach problems and projects. More often than not, there will be a large amount of ambiguity when beginning a new project. Owen taught me tools to create an initial framework for solving the problem, and then techniques to identify the important and relevant factors that drive success. I learned how to quickly analyze a large amount of data, parse out pieces of information that were specifically relevant to the company and/or market, and then test that against my initial hypothesis to derive a conclusion.

What experience(s) do you hope to take away from your Internship this summer?
I’m excited to gain a better perspective on how to coalesce multiple moving parts into the development of a new supply chain. I want to figure out how to design a plan to do so, and then execute that plan.

What’s the most valuable piece of advice going into summer internships you can offer the Class of 2019?
Never be afraid to ask for advice from co-workers, alumni, 2nd years, etc. When you are a student, people in your network will be more open to help than at any other point in your career. Take advantage of this and book every coffee chat, informational interview, prep help session that you can with whomever you can.

What are you most excited about for 2017 ROMBA Conference?
I am most excited about meeting other LGBTQ individuals from schools across the country. I found that doing so at last year’s conference broadened my perspective on a lot of issues.

Any advice you have for people going into the ROMBA Conference for the first time?
Make sure that you have an up-to-date resume posted to the website as soon as possible. Employers are aggressively attempting to lock down candidates early for interviews, dinners, lunches, etc.

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