This summer Reaching Out traveled with over 70 admitted MBA students to attend the LGBTQ MBA Career Treks in five major cities. The treks are designed to give admits early exposure to the top companies in specific industries during the summer before business school. With that experience they can begin their MBA with a better understanding of what they can pursue as an LGBTQ professional.
Marketing & Retail: Minneapolis, Minnesota
(General Mills, UnitedHealth Group, Target, 3M, Land O’Lakes, McKinsey & Company, PwC Strategy &)
Occurring in the middle of Pride Month, the twin-cities professional network and the trek students were invited to the General Mills Pride Reception which kicked off with an improv skit centered around LGBTQ identities. The reception also had a cocktail hour and interview with the Honorable Margaret Chutich, the first openly gay Minnesota Supreme Court Justice. The following day found the group back at General Mills where they walked through the marketing strategy of a new product, met with members of their Pride group, and toured the campus. Unitedhealth Group was up next and delivered an engaging look at the history of healthcare marketing and the recent viral campaign that launched UHG into mainstream media. The day ended at Target’s headquarters where a presentation on their Pride Month marketing led to a brainstorming session about retail strategy and pitfalls. The last day of the trek took students to 3M, Land O’Lakes, McKinsey & Company, and PwC Strategy &.
Finance: New York City, NY
(EY, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, Bank of America, JP Morgan, Barclays, Morgan Stanley, PIMCO)
Just after New York City Pride weekend, Reaching Out and 12 admits walked up and down the city visiting eight companies over two days. Areas of focus covered venture capitalism, asset management, investment banking, and corporate finance. Individual staff members presented an overview of what a typical day in their job entailed and spoke about the specific culture of their team. Several Reaching Out members were also on-hand to discuss their internship experience. At one company, the group was invited to attend the morning address which covered the latest findings and numbers for a large client.
Technology & Retail: Seattle, WA
(T-Mobile, Expedia, Microsoft, Starbucks, Amazon, Slalom)
The Seattle trek took admits to the sites of several large tech and retail companies where they learned about the various backgrounds and roles of their LGBTQ staff, how teams accomplished their projects, and gained some exciting insights on new developments. The first day started off with a T-Mobile presentation on coming back as a leader in telecommunications after nearly shutting down and becoming acquired. Expedia shared processes on how they function as an organization of travel aggregators with different markets and the demographics they serve. Microsoft, Starbucks, and Amazon gave tours of their large headquarters and discussed the technology they use and create to drive sales forward.
Technology: San Francisco, CA
(Apple, Genentech, Facebook, Google, Walmart, Salesforce, Boston Consulting Group)
Students on this trek were able to speak with top tech companies about how their latest developments are doing on the market. Discussions also focused on products and technology that launched with higher- or lower-than expected success and the processes to correct or continue those models.
Consulting: Chicago, IL
(Kraft Heinz, United Airlines, PwC Strategy &, A.T. Kearney, McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group)
Admits were taken through several personal experiences of consultants, ranging from exploring the cases that brought their clients massive success, the cases that stuck with them long after completion, expectations and realities of traveling, and ways they have learned to manage and adapt their work/life balance. Several Reaching Out members who are currently interning were also able to join the presentations and answer questions that the admits had about pursuing a consulting career and how their first year prepared them for the experience.
As the admits start their programs in the fall, we hope that they take the experiences of the treks into their classes, share what they learned, and bring visibility to the many opportunities and paths available for LGBTQ MBAs.