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.
Andrew Kwan (NYU Stern School of Business)
Andrew is a MBA-candidate at NYU Stern, where he is the recipient of the Elizabeth Wolfe Morrison Faculty Scholarship and is a ROMBA Fellow. Andrew was born in the United Kingdom, but grew up mostly in New Jersey. He graduated from the University of Southern California in 2012, with a triple major in Accounting, Business Administration, and Sociology. Upon graduation, Andrew started in Citi's Los Angeles offices, as an analyst in it's Private Banking division and eventually transferred up to San Francisco where he became an Investment Associate, working with his ultra-high net worth clients in managing their investment portfolios. At Citi, he was one of the first members of the Citi Pride Network in San Francisco, the firm's LGBT ERG. Eventually, Andrew became President and partnered with colleagues and external organizations to drive the group's mission. He is an avid supporter of the arts and previously performed as a member of the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus.
What are you doing for your Summer?
I was at NBCUniversal focusing on product development and strategy
How did your first year in business school prepare you for your summer internship?
It allowed me to explore areas that were distinctively different from my previous career. I've been fortunate to supplement my previously more analytical skill set with a broader thinking cap though more strategy and innovation focused courses. Additionally, business school involves a lot of team work and learning how to receive feedback, something that's been incredibly useful in interacting with my coworkers.
What experience(s) do you hope to take away from your Internship this summer?
As a career changer, I'm hoping this summer allows me the opportunity to explore challenges and projects outside the realm of possible in my previous career. I believe that a summer internship is an incredible opportunity to try something outside your normal comfort zone and to push your limits on what's possible.
What's the most valuable piece of advice going into summer internships you can offer the incoming Class of 2020?
Express your opinions and know that your ideas are valuable. Recruiting and training an intern requires a lot of time and money on an employers part. Companies realize that MBA candidates bring valuable experience to the table and are eager to hear our thoughts on the problems they face.
What are you most excited about for ROMBA 2018?
Reconnecting with all the incredible LGBTQ+ MBA candidates and professionals I've had the opportunity to meet and to create relationships with the newest MBAs!
Any advice you have for people going into the ROMBA Conference for the first time?
Your schedule will be jam packed, so make sure to take a breather, relax, and meet others! ROMBA provides an incredible opportunity to grew professionally, but it's also a time to connect with the LGBTQ+ community and the incredible people at the conference. Take time to chat with someone new and learn a little about them!