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Nov 2017

Meet the LGBTQ MBA Fellows: Rajiv Khattar

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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.


Rajiv wants to try and change the world (just a little). Born and raised in the Chicagoland area, Rajiv attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he explored his passion for organizations and research and earned two degrees: one in Business and another in Industrial-Organizational Psychology. Not one to stay in one place, Rajiv has been in strategic consulting his entire career, traveling to and partnering with some of the biggest companies all over the world. He’s hiked up a mountain in Hong Kong in sandals because the line for the tram was too long, gotten lost in Paris (twice), and lived in China for a year for a project. Because of these experiences, Rajiv has also gained a new perspective on organizations: He hopes to revolutionize the way businesses are put together and how they operate. In his free time, Rajiv is a lifelong learner, dabbling in photography, music, and technology.

What made you consider business school?
Even though before business school I had a lot of traditional post-MBA benefits (namely a career in consulting, management experience, and a global perspective of businesses), I want to facilitate the large disruptions we’re seeing in the relationship between organizations and the people in them. I wanted: (1) to take a bet that these same organizations will finally be ready for people-focused analytics, (2) the hard skills to be at the forefront of that wave of change, and (3) the broader view of a business by interacting with a lot of intellectually curious classmates.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?
I’m looking forward to seeing people of non-traditional backgrounds (race car drivers, news producers, and even opera singers) interact with Finance, HR, and Operations people; This creates an environment where we can learn so much from each other. It’s rare to have the time and resources in such a rich environment and I’m excited to see what new ideas emerge.

Who are some of the leaders (in the LGBTQ community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
I get inspired by people like Malala Yousafzai (champion for education), Ruth Bader Ginsburg (notorious Associate Justice for the Supreme Court), and Fred Rogers (the Mr. Rogers). I also get inspired by the countless number of leaders in my community, though they may not be in the news as much.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
I’m a strong introvert. Keep saying hello. It gets better, I promise.

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