The ROMBA Conference was originally created as a conference for LGBTQ students by LGBTQ students. To maintain that spirit each year Reaching Out's staff selects a team of 10 students to form a leadership team that drives the conference's content. This team is responsible for setting the theme, coming up with breakout content, and more. Similarly, student teams are selected for the Out Women in Business Conference and Club Leadership Summit.
We owe a tremendous thank you to the 186 students from 36 schools who have served on Student Leadership Committees since 1999. Meet the 10 students leading ROMBA 2020 below.
Originally from Providence, RI, Andre Adeyemi is a graduate of Wabash College (IN) with a major in Rhetoric and minor in Political Science & Philosophy. Post college, Andre was the Staff Assistant for Senator Joe Donnelly’s (D-IN), congressional office, Executive Assistant/Director of Special Projects and Interim Deputy Chief of Staff for Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, IN and Operations Manager for the Democratic Attorneys General Association. Currently, Andre serves as the assistant to former Mayor of Houston and current President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund and Victory Institute, Annise Parker, as well as board liaison in Washington, D.C.
While a first year MBA student at the Mason School of Business at the College of William & Mary, Andre holds interests in airline economics and aviation industry regulation. In his spare time, Andre enjoys traveling, exercising and is a volunteer board member for the DC State Fair non-profit organization.
College of William & Mary, Mason
Zach is a first-year MBA/MPH candidate at Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School and Bloomberg School of Public Health. Originally from south central Michigan, Zach spent his undergraduate years at the University of Michigan studying microbiology and political science, while also being engaged in clinical epidemiology and immunology research. After completing his undergraduate degree in 2012, Zach moved to Washington, D.C. where he worked at the Physician Assistant Education Association overseeing several education and talent development programs. Prior to starting his MBA, Zach served as PAEA’s chief of staff, managing the C-Suite and Board of Directors, and still serves as a part-time internal consultant. At Hopkins, Zach focuses on public health, business, and sustainable development in order to build a career in sustainability and social impact. Zach is currently the Director of Case Competition and Employer Relations for the Johns Hopkins Graduate Consulting Club, as well as the Vice President of External Relations for the Net Impact club. In his spare time, Zach enjoys cooking, a great cup of coffee, spending time with his husband and dog, and watching the Great British Baking Show.
Johns Hopkins University, Carey
Nik is an Evening MBA candidate at Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business. Hailing from Jacksonville, Florida, he earned a BA in Journalism and Sociology from New York University and an MS in Information and Library Science from Pratt Institute. He worked in e-commerce and retail systems for several small businesses in New York. Nik is currently a Product Manager at Emory University, where he has worked on open-source technology projects and contributed to diversity efforts in the library profession. Outside of work and school, he is parent to a retired racing Greyhound named Toby.
Georgia Institute of Technology, Scheller
Matt is an MBA candidate at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. Born and raised in Fairfax Station, Virginia, Matt moved to Happy Valley where he received his B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University. Realizing his passion for working with others to solve business problems, Matt changed course from a traditional engineering path to work for KPMG in their tax practice in Dallas, Texas. At KPMG, Matt worked with companies primarily in the energy industry to take advantage of a variety of tax incentives including the Research & Development tax credit to reduce their tax liabilities. Matt loves to travel and hopes someday to visit Wimbledon and the College Football Playoff National Championship game. At McCombs, Matt enjoys exploring Austin and attending live music events with his classmates. Matt is also a member of the McCombs Ambassador Committee to meet with prospective MBA students.
University of Texas at Austin, McCombs
Alex is an MBA candidate at Texas A&M University Mays Business School. Originally from Dallas, Texas, Alex spent her undergraduate years at Southwestern University (Austin, Tx) studying communications and sociology, and engaging in research with the sociology/anthropology department. She also served as President of her sorority, Kappa Delta Chi, and Finance chair for the campus LGBTQIA+ organization. After completing her undergrad, she worked as a private equity fund analyst for a venture capital firm in Austin, Texas. Prior to starting her MBA, Alex was a broker at Charles Schwab (Series 7 & 66) and was chapter president of a Schwab employee resource group, dedicated to promoting diversity, employee retention and upskilling. At Mays Business School, Alex focuses on finance, valuation and transactions and is preparing for a career in strategy and consulting. Alex also serves as the President of the Mays Business School MBA Consulting Club; and in her spare time, Alex enjoys traveling to the Netherlands to visit family, drawing and painting, trying new craft beer, and building a mean charcuterie board.
Texas A&M University, Mays
Michael Hajjar is an MBA Candidate at the University of Miami Herbert School of Business. Although he currently lives in sunny Miami, Florida, he is originally from the greatest state in the union- New Jersey! At 18, he moved to New York City to study at New York University where he received his Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance/Musical Theater with a minor in TV/ Film Production. Upon graduation, Michael toured the world performing with some of his idols. In between touring, he worked in the literary department at the Atlantic Theater Company, an Off-Broadway house in downtown Manhattan. There, he read incoming script submissions from various well-known writers around the country, then worked closely with the Artistic Director about which productions to mount. He realized that the business end of the entertainment industry became even more enjoyable than performing when he created his own sold out New York City cabaret tour. A few months later he took the plunge and started applying for his MBA.
The main reason for obtaining his MBA is to continue his passion for telling stories. Michael aims to work in the corporate entertainment sector in Programming Acquisitions for major entertainment companies or streaming services. For ROMBA 2019, Michael was one of the three UPS writing competition winners. In his spare time, Michael enjoys playing Pokémon Sword, making his own cold brew, and watching vintage SNL re-runs.
University of Miami, Herbert
Kate is an MBA candidate at the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota. Prior to graduate school, Kate received her BA of Computer Science from Grinnell College, before serving two years in Lutheran Volunteer Corp, a service-year program in Washington D.C. that partners with local social service agencies to meet human needs with an anti-racist lens. Since then, Kate has worked for the ACLU of Minnesota and Minnesota Housing Partnership, bringing her professional passions for strategic leadership, technology management, and operations design to a wide range of projects and teams. Raised in the Twin Ports, Kate is glad to be in Minnesota for grad school, and is excited to use her next two years to connect Carlson to the broader nonprofit community of the Twin Cities.
Sandra Luo (they/them/theirs) is an MBA candidate and ROMBA fellow at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. They originally grew up in Northern California and moved to Boston to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Business at Brandeis University. Prior to attending business school, Sandra worked as a data analyst for four years at Liberty Mutual Insurance, focusing on improving employee efficiency and streamlining reporting capabilities. They also were actively involved in diversity and inclusion efforts within their department, even coming out to 400 of their closest friends at work over webcast on a diversity and inclusion panel. Sandra is incredibly excited to be back in California after spending nearly eight years in Boston.
Sandra also serves at the Treasurer on the Board of Directors for the Bisexual Resource Center, a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to providing support to the bisexual community and raising public awareness about bisexuality and bisexual people. They are passionate about LBGTQ+ advocacy and activism and runs a blog detailing their experiences as a genderqueer, bisexual person navigating business school. Sandra lives in Los Angeles, CA with their cat, Plumette and is excited to bring ROMBA to their new home, in sunny Los Angeles.
University of Minnesota, Carlson
University of Southern California, Marshall
Joann Stephen is an energetic and enthusiastic member of the 2020 ROMBA Student Leaders. She is a first year MBA candidate at Rice University – Jones Graduate School of Business. She is also a Chemical Engineer from the Government Engineering College- Thrissur, India. Prior to her MBA, she spent three years commissioning the world’s largest Gasification unit in Gujarat India. She is currently pursuing an MBA to boost her technical skills with business acumen so that she can facilitate projects that can positively impact the world. She is passionate about moving into consulting and having an impact on various organizations.
She is originally from India but has lived across various parts of the world – Oman, Qatar, UAE, various parts of India, Germany; she currently lives in Houston, Texas. She is very passionate about making positive impacts on the world and is especially passionate about the causes of children, LGBTQ+ community and animals. She loves spreading positivity, travelling, reading and meeting new people. She is actively look for opportunities and inspirations to dedicate herself to, to leave a positive footprint on the world.
Rice University, Jones
Eric Michael Sweeney is an MBA candidate at the University of Notre Dame preparing for a role in strategy/consulting. Eric hails from New York City by way of Portland, OR. His experience includes managing, negotiating, and licensing a portfolio of award-winning Broadway shows and
talent throughout the US, Europe, and Asia, as well as creative planning and execution of theatrical events in New York City. In his free-time, Eric enjoys going to the theater, cooking for friends, and traveling. At 6, Eric told his grandmother he wanted to be famous like Britney
Spears. He’s still working on it.
University of Notre Dame, Mendoza