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!
Name: Rhett Chase
School (Program/Concentration): Rice University – Jones School of Business: Finance
Summer Internship: Senior Consultant at EY’s M&A Transaction Advisory practice in NYC. I travel weekly to the client site in Delaware and stay there Monday – Thursday.
How did your first year in business school prepare you for your summer internship?
Beyond the fundamentals of business that we learned in class, my first year prepared me by giving me new ways to look at problems. It taught me that the first place to start may be to question why the question is being asked because context is everything. I learned to ask the right questions and use my curiosity as a tool to get beyond the surface level problem statement. I learned that my greatest resource is the team of smart and driven people around me who offered new perspectives and insights. My first year also taught me the importance of building a professional network and how these connections can help you develop, open doors, and be personally satisfying.
What experience(s) do you hope to take away from your Internship this summer?
I hope to take away three things from my summer: (1) learn if consulting – particularly in the mergers, acquisitions and divestitures space – is something that excites me and gives me the constant challenge and dynamic aspect that was lacking in my previous roles; (2) learn if EY is the firm I can picture myself at long-term – get to know the culture, people and form relationships with my colleagues and intern class; (3) get one data point on the lifestyle of weekly travel and living in NYC to help me decide if it’s for me.
What’s the most valuable piece of advice going into summer internships you can offer the Class of 2019
Pick your head up – there is so much more going on around you beyond what task/workstream you are working on during the summer. Learn as much as you can from others and pick their brains on what other projects they have worked on and the challenges/successes they have experienced.
What are you most excited about for 2017 ROMBA Conference?
To see everyone’s hard work come together! It is truly a team effort to get this done: from the brainstorming sessions (keeping session content relevant and thought provoking), all the way down to coordinating to get the right company representatives on the panels and logistics to run smoothly – we are excited to make the 20th ROMBA one for the books!
I’m also excited about reuniting with my ROMBA friends from around the world! Something that is unique about this conference is that it fosters organic connections and focuses on advancing the LGBTQ community in business by supporting each other.
Any advice you have for people going into the ROMBA Conference for the first time?
Prioritize! Decide what your top two goals are for the conference and plan your time accordingly. There is so much to do that you can’t do it all – so decide up front which areas you want to focus your time and energy on so that you don’t walk away three days later disappointed that you missed an opportunity that was important to you. Remember to make some time to have fun (i.e., don’t schedule two straight days of all interviews). If you are recruiting, get your resume in the database ASAP and check the boxes on your registration for all the companies you are interested in.