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Jul 2016

ROMBA Student Leader Profile: Ned Mitchell

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In addition to Reaching Out’s staff, each year the Reaching Out LGBT MBA & Graduate Conference’s content is developed and produced by MBA & graduate students from 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 ROMBA Conference in Dallas (Oct 6-8)!  Not only will they tell you what they are most excited about for this year’s conference, but they’ll also give inbound LGBT MBA students tips on the summer internship search & experience!

Name: Ned Mitchell

School (Program/Concentration): UCLA Anderson

Summer Internship:  Sr. Product Manager, Amazon Video, Seattle

How did your first year in business school prepared you for your summer internship?
Before I started my MBA, I had no idea that I wanted to work in tech or entertainment, let alone at the intersection of the two! My first year introduced me to a function that was a much better fit for who I am and helped me connect with peers, professors, and alums who are passionate about the industry I was passionate about. School also made me aware of (note that I didn’t say “an expert in”!) a number of tools and techniques that I recalled and dove into after starting my internship. Things you learn in school, whether that’s understanding incentive structures in an organization or cluster analysis in marketing, really add value to any team.

What experience(s) do you hope to take away from your Internship this summer?
A sense of resourcefulness that came from asking for meetings with people all across Amazon who I thought might have a unique insight for my project. A sense of ownership that came from making decisions myself as long as I could explain them with data. And a need for speed – failing fast feels so much better than failing slowly!

What’s the most valuable piece of advice going into summer internships you can offer the Class of 2018?
Learn and absorb! It’s one of the rarest opportunities you’ll have in your life to grow quickly.

What are you most excited about for 2016 ROMBA Conference?
This will be the best conference ever – how could I not be excited?

Any advice you have for people going into the ROMBA Conference for the first time?
Take any and every meeting and coffee chat you can. Opportunities will develop in the weeks and months after ROMBA as a result of your simply doing that. Also, you can (and should!) still follow a path that is wholly your own at any size company, not just the smaller ones. Get the inside scoop from people working at these companies about the scale and impact they feel their work touches on, how dynamically they think, and how much support they get from their managers to do things that are outside of the box.

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