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Oct 2017

Meet the LGBTQ MBA Fellows: Blanca Aguado

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The Reaching Out LGBT MBA Fellowship is a scholarship and leadership development program for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and active ally MBAs in full-time programs. Each Fellows receives at least $10,000 funding per academic year (or $20,000 total for his/her/their two years) in addition free access to all Reaching Out programming (including the ROMBA Conference), LGBTQ mentors, digital programming, and a leadership summit exclusively for the Fellows.  Since the inception of the ROMBA Fellowship 129 students have received over US$6.2M in scholarship support from participating schools.

This fall Reaching Out welcomed the third class of the ROMBA Fellows. These 56 fellows come from 35 top business schools and over the next month we’ll introduce each of them to you.

41 MBA programs will be part of the Fellowship for the 2017-2018 application cycle. To learn about the Fellowship and let schools know of your interest here.


For the past three years, Blanca has worked in the aerospace/aviation sector, advising high level executives and bridging the gap between industry and government with the goal of successfully implementing new technologies that benefit all users. During her time at a Federal Advisory Body in Washington DC, she engaged with foreign governments to work with the US in implementing new tech systems. Most recently, Blanca worked as a consultant for an inter-governmental organization in Brussels, Belgium, leading the expansion of the organization’s ties with regions across the world.  For the past six years, Blanca has served as an advocate and volunteer for air crash victims and their families around the world, helping to create an international federation and advising them throughout their meetings with world government leaders and United Nations’ officials.   A native of Madrid, Spain and a graduate of McGill University with a BA in Political Science and Psychology, you are most likely going to find Blanca discovering new places, drinking coffee (cortados!) and extensively explaining the benefits of siestas.

What made you consider business school?
For the past three years I worked in teams where I was the only non-engineer. By steering away from a purely technical approach, I gained insight into the important mechanics of the decision-making process that allows technology to foster social change. Working with governments, industry and civil society made me aware of the stark difference between good and excellent leaders, as well as how that can impact individuals and results. I soon understood that an MBA would significantly add to my background, allowing me to broaden my perspective of problems as well as my ability to formulate sensible solutions. For me, it all boiled down to one thing: in order to understand the world, I need to understand business.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?Without a doubt – the people. People with different backgrounds and curiosities with whom I will be able to share the common goal of always striving to make things better.

Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
I’m inspired by leaders who are able to unite a large group of different stakeholders around a table and get results. Adolfo Suarez, Spain’s first democratic Prime Minister after 40 years of dictatorship who forged an exemplary political transition, is an example of that.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
Don’t ask me how, but I can fit everything I own in a medium sized suitcase.

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Sep 2017

KKR Invitation: MBA Diversity Programs Insight, November 3rd

Posted by / in LGBTQ BUSINESS STUDENT BLOG, Uncategorized / No comments yet

MBA Diversity Insights Program

At Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR), Inclusion and Diversity are high priorities for the Firm. Building an organization that is diverse is a key strategic imperative. One way in which we demonstrate this commitment is through our US MBA Diversity Insights Program, an integral part of our diversity recruiting efforts to attract top talent. Eligible candidates are Black, Hispanic and/or Female 1st year MBA students.

This full-day program is designed to provide an opportunity to learn about our Firm’s culture and our various businesses, including: Client and Partner Group, Credit & Markets, Infrastructure, Private Equity and Real Estate, as well as KKR Capstone, a team of operational executives dedicated to creating value across KKR’s portfolio companies. Through a variety of presentations and interactive sessions, you will gain insight into our business model, network with KKR executives and learn about our internship opportunities and some keys to success in our industry.

Event Details

Friday, November 3, 2017
10:00 AM – 4:30 PM

KKR NYC Headquarters
New York, NY

Application deadline:
Wednesday, October 11th

Participation is limited. To apply, please click this link.

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Aug 2017

ROMBA Student Leader Profile: Yetunde Abass

Posted by / in LGBTQ BUSINESS STUDENT BLOG / No comments yet

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: Yetunde Abass

School (Program/Concentration): Boston University Questrom School of Business (dual degree candidate MBA/ MS in Digital Innovation)

Summer Internship: MBA Intern, Contact Engagement Program at Pegasystems in Cambridge, MA

How did your first year in business school prepare you for your summer internship?
Although I wasn’t particularly fond of it at the time, most of my classes at BU required me to do a lot of presenting. It really strengthened my ability to orally communicate complex ideas. I’m grateful I got that experience because in my internship I regularly have to present — formally and informally — on the research that I am doing. I am much more confident than I think I would have been otherwise.

What experience(s) do you hope to take away from your Internship this summer?
(1) I am working for a company that is working to change the way it presents and positions itself against its competitors. It has been interesting to observe this first hand; I think this is a valuable exercise to keep in mind regardless of any future career choice I make. (2) The level of responsibility I have been given in this internship is new and unfamiliar to me. I’m hoping to use this experience to become more persuasive and lead projects more confidently.

What’s the most valuable piece of advice going into summer internships you can offer the Class of 2019?
Get to know people working outside of your functional group—especially if what they’re doing interests or excites you.

What are you most excited about for 2017 ROMBA Conference?
Meeting up with some of the cool folks I met last year! Also after all of the phone calls, brainstorming sessions, and organizing committee retreat, I’m excited to see these sessions finally come alive.

Any advice you have for people going into the ROMBA Conference for the first time?
Don’t feel bad if you don’t end up attending every session or event you originally intended. Meeting and networking with LGBT students and professionals from around the country (and world!) is an equally valuable use of your time.

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