Each year Reaching Out's staff selects a team made up of 8-10 current LGBTQ MBA (and related degree) students to help craft the theme and content at the annual LGBTQ MBA & Graduate Conference (ROMBA Conference), the world's largest business conference for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer MBA students and alumni. These students, who are selected via a competitive application process in mid-October, spend 9 months setting the agenda for our community. As we approach the 2018 ROMBA Conference in Minneapolis (Oct 4-6), we'd like to introduce you to this year's Student Leadership team. Each of them has worked hard to make this the best possible conference for our 1,600 student and alumni attendees. Each team member will tell you a bit about them, share what they are doing for their summer, and also offer advice to incoming LGBTQ graduate students at business schools around the world.
Kate Lohmeyer (UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA & Duke Sanford School of Public Policy MPP)
Kate Lohmeyer is pursuing a joint MBA/MPP at UNC Kenan-Flagler and Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy. As a Summer Associate at McKinsey & Company, she streamlined planned outage work and drove improvements in production and cost in the energy industry this summer. She has also completed a global policy internship at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, where she conducted economic research on trade, business strategy, and the environment. In school, Kate specializes in global business strategy, operations, and trade policy and researches entrepreneurship in emerging economies. She serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Sanford Journal of Public Policy at Duke and is the founding president of Sanford Pride. In her free time, Kate enjoys trail running, traveling internationally, and rescuing stray kittens when she's home in Durham, NC.
What is Your School (Program/ Concentrations)?
I'm simultaneously pursuing an MBA at UNC Kenan-Flagler and an MPP at Duke's Sanford School of Public Policy. I focus on global policy, strategy, and analytics.
What are you doing for your Summer?
As a Summer Associate at McKinsey & Company, I'm working with multiple sites in the energy industry to streamline planned outage work and drive improvements in production and cost.
How did your first year in business school prepare you for your summer internship?
My first year of business school taught me the power of teams—that a strong, diverse group of people can create something incredible through collaboration. Kenan-Flagler's focus on teamwork prepared me to walk into a McKinsey team room confident that we could drive substantial impact together—much more than any of us could accomplish alone.
What experience(s) do you hope to take away from your Internship this summer?
I am most excited about the opportunities I have had to connect with a talented, diverse group of interns, full time consultants, and firm alums at McKinsey. From working with an Olympic athlete to having dinner with the CEO of the Trevor Project, this summer has afforded me unparalleled opportunities to connect with bright, talented people. I am so grateful for these experiences and to have had the opportunity to learn something new from my incredible colleagues every single day at the firm.
What's the most valuable piece of advice going into summer internships you can offer the incoming Class of 2020?
Fail quickly! It honestly saves so much time. Admit when you need help with a tough problem and find the resources you need to solve it. Sometimes a brief call for help can save you an hour of frustration in excel, and that makes you a significantly stronger value add for your team.
What are you most excited about for ROMBA 2018?
I can't wait to meet the incoming class of LGBTQ+ MBA students and watch them experience the joy of ROMBA for the first time! ROMBA was the most affirming experience of my first year of business school, and it fundamentally changed how I feel about being out in the professional world. I am so excited to have the opportunity to support first-year MBA students on the same journey and to welcome them into this wonderful community.
Any advice you have for people going into the ROMBA Conference for the first time?
Connect with other LGBTQ+ MBA students! Take time to make friends at other schools and deepen your connections with your own classmates. Having a peer network within our community is incredibly powerful and can help you navigate any bumps you encounter in both business school and recruiting.