Dec 14, 2022

Connecting with the LGBTQ+ MBA Community

By Aaron Carrillo T’23

In October, LGBTQ+ Tuck students like myself headed to the in-person ROMBA (Reaching Out MBA) Conference in Washington DC. We had the chance to connect with old friends, make new LGBTQ+ friends at other peer MBA programs, and interact with Tuck LGBTQ+ alumni. ROMBA’s mission is to increase the influence of the LGBT+ community in business by educating, inspiring, and connecting MBA students and alumni. Tuck plays a vital role in developing LGBTQ+ wise, decisive leaders that better the world through business.

Tuck supports our LGBTQ+ community by being a partner school with ROMBA, granting a fellowship for students that identify as LGBTQ+ and that have shown leadership for the community. Moreover, our school is quite unique among the top business schools, supporting ROMBA attendees with paid lunch sessions prior to the conference to discuss how to make the most out of it and providing financial assistance for LGBTQ+ students to attend the conference. Tuck truly embraces our LGBTQ+ community as part of its DEI goals.

The ROMBA conference has a robust program that connects, educates, and mentors LGBTQ+ MBAs to be better-prepared leaders in the business world, while also providing the tools necessary for people to feel more comfortable being “out.” The conference includes:

  1. Breakout sessions: to bring perspectives about different career paths 
  2. Receptions for ROMBA Fellows and conference volunteers: to connect with speakers, MBA students, and staff, fostering social and professional relationships
  3. Interview opportunities and career fairs: to connect MBA talent with prospective employers in both traditional and non-traditional career paths—including investment banking, private equity, consulting, tech, general management, consumer goods, and more
  4. Industry competitions: to give students an opportunity to gain exposure to different careers and connect with potential future employers
  5. Diverse perspective leadership sessions: to discuss and connect individuals across the many lenses of diversity

My favorite part of the ROMBA conference was connecting with other LGBTQ+ MBAs. ROMBA allowed us to connect with fellow students from all over the world, making us feel like we are not alone in our MBA journey.

During the conference, I had also the pleasure of being a session director for Day in the Life: Finance, where panelists conversed in a casual manner with current LGBTQ+ MBAs about the different paths MBAs can pursue in the financial industry. Attendees were able to connect with current employees and recruiters at Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, BlackRock, UBS, Amazon, Exxon Mobil, and Walker & Dunlop.

Lastly, as a ROMBA Fellow and one of the co-chairs of Tuck Pride, I would encourage prospective applicants to visit the Tuck Pride website, touch base with Tuck Ambassadors affiliated with Tuck Pride, and apply for the Reaching Out Fellowship, where you can demonstrate your interest in obtaining the ROMBA Fellowship prior to submitting your application to Tuck.

We also encourage anyone to reach out to the Tuck Pride members—we want to make you feel welcome in our safe community. We understand that everyone is in a different place in their journey as an LGBTQ+ individual, and we treat any conversation with alums and current and prospective LGBTQ+ students as private and confidential.