September 26-28, 2024 // Los Angeles, CA

ROMBA 2024 Agenda

1:00 pm Duration 420 min

Attendee Registration/Check-in

Your first stop! Check in to receive your conference badge and welcome bag.

3:00 pm Duration 60 min

Breakout Sessions

Recruiting at ROMBA

Get ready to ROMBA! Recent graduates and recruiters share insights on how to navigate recruiting at ROMBA: who to talk to, what questions to ask, and how to get yourself closer to an internship or full-time offer.

“Reverse Panel”: Student Perspectives on Diversity Recruiting

This panel is for employers, especially those working in diversity recruiting. Students and recent grads will form the panel, sharing their experiences of diversity recruiting and offering feedback on what worked well, opportunity areas, and suggestions on new initiatives for employers to try.

3:00 pm Duration 75 min

Peter K Consulting 1on1s (15 mins each)

Consulting expert Peter K will meet 1on1 with students for 15 minutes each to provide feedback on their consulting case framework presentations.

4:15 pm Duration 90 min

Ace the Case

Are you interested in becoming a consultant? The case interview is an integral portion of the interview process for both an internship and full-time position. PwC will lead their annual session providing frameworks and best practices to help you ‘Ace the Case’. This 90-minute interactive workshop provides you the chance to hear from experts and ask questions so you leave prepared for your upcoming interviews.

Presented by:
4:30 pm Duration 60 min

Breakout Sessions

Queer Transitions: Career Pivoting with an MBA

This session offers advice on how to use your MBA as leverage for changing industries or roles. Learn from the experiences of those who have successfully pivoted, understand how to market your transferable skills, and navigate the opportunities and challenges of career transformation as a queer individual.

A Day in the Life: Diverse Careers in Finance

This panel offers attendees an exclusive look into the day-to-day of professionals across a variety of finance sectors. Speakers will share insights about their roles, the challenges they face, and the impact they make in their fields. Attendees will gain a better understanding of the differences between different areas in finance, helping them navigate their career paths during their MBA and beyond.

Serving Realness: Authenticity and Organic Marketing in the Creator Economy

This panel will explore the power of organic marketing and user-generated content to engage LGBTQ+ audiences. Learn about strategic collaborations between brands and LGBTQ+ content creators, best practices for authentic storytelling, and the role of social platforms in amplifying diverse voices.

6:30 pm Duration 60 min

Fellows Reception

This reception brings together current ROMBA Fellows to reconnect and meet new members of the cohort. Emerald, Diamond, and Underwriting partners are also invited to join this talented group!

7:00 pm Duration 60 min

Trans, Nonbinary, GNC Reception

Join us at this reception with trans, nonbinary, and GNC folks to network and build new connections!

8:00 pm Duration 60 min

Welcome Reception

The official opening of the 2024 ROMBA Conference! This year’s theme is Rainbow Connection. Enjoy light bites, music, and cocktails as you see old friends, meet new ones, and kick off the conference in style.

7:00 am Duration 60 min

12 Step Meeting

Start the day in the supportive environment of a 12-step meeting. This is a closed meeting for those in recovery.

8:00 am Duration 600 min

Attendee Check-in

Your first stop! Check in to receive your conference badge and welcome bag.

8:00 am Duration 600 min

Interview Zone

ROMBA Conference attendees seeking internships land an average of four coffee chats/informational interviews. These conversations and interviews are by invite only, and many are sourced from our GradLeaders jobs board — so get your resume in the database ASAP. NOTE: Some of our corporate partners don’t post jobs but do screen our resumes!

8:00 am Duration 75 min

Breakfast & Opening Keynote Panel

The LGBTQ+ community – and the broader world of DE&I – has faced strong headwinds in 2024, with several states removing diversity programs and offices in their schools and colleges. The threat to our rights to show up as ourselves in many public spaces can be overwhelming. Join us for a conversation on how we as individuals and part of larger LGBTQ+ and business communities can advocate for our community.

9:00 am Duration 360 min

Networking Lounge

The Networking Lounge makes its spectacular return at the ROMBA Conference! Appropriate for professional networking, small group meet-ups, affinity groups, and/or work space for individuals and small groups (up to six folks). Reaching Out will offer coffee breaks in the Lounge on Friday (presented by PwC) and Saturday (presented by Pfizer). Come snap a picture or two with new friends in front of our step-and-repeat and celebrate our Rainbow Connection conference theme. Free conference WiFi available.

9:30 am Duration 60 min

Breakout Sessions

Recruiting for a Role in Consulting

Dive into the world of consulting with this panel discussion featuring consultants involved in recruitment from various firms across the consulting world. Our panelists will cover essential topics such as key technical and soft skills to highlight in your resume and the nuances of professional communication. Learn directly from the source what sets a candidate apart and how to make a memorable impression when approaching recruiters at events like ROMBA. While this session is geared primarily towards those just beginning their consulting journey, the final 10 minutes will address the recruiting queries geared toward second-year students and experienced hires.

Is Healthcare for Me?

Discover the multifaceted world of careers in healthcare. We bring together a diverse panel of experts to discuss the myriad opportunities within the healthcare sector, providing a unique blend of insights, experiences, and professional wisdom. Perfect for those poised to integrate their business skills with a passion for making an impact in healthcare, this session provides a closer look at how to navigate and contribute to this vital industry. Get ready to be inspired and discover where your MBA can take you in the ever-evolving world of healthcare.

Demystifying Investment Banking

Are you interested in the joining the world of investment banking? This panel will feature several IB professionals sharing their experiences, challenges, and successes in this fast paced field. Attendees will gain insights into the various roles, expectations, and skills needed in investment banking, helping them navigate their career paths during their MBA and beyond.

Highway to Hire: The 101 on Tech Recruitment

Rev your engines for a journey along The 101, where industry experts share insights  on navigating the recruitment process in the tech industry. Learn about building your resume, essential skills, and practical tips to enhance your chance of landing a role. Open to all students interested in the tech industry, regardless of background or program type!

Somewhere Over the Rainbow: LGBTQ+ Narratives in Media and Marketing

This session will explore LGBTQ+ stories in media and entertainment, including how characters and plotlines from our community have evolved over time. We’ll also look at the opportunities and challenges for marketers in shaping public perception and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community.

Global Queer Perspectives: Navigating US Job Market

This session provides invaluable insights for queer international students on effectively approaching the US job market. Explore strategies for recruiting, engaging in coffee chats, and negotiating job offers. Learn how to present your international background as a unique asset, understand cultural nuances, and overcome potential challenges in the US professional environment.

10:30 am Duration 105 min

Peter K Consulting 1on1s (15 mins each)

Consulting expert Peter K will meet 1on1 with students for 15 minutes each to provide feedback on their consulting case framework presentations.

11:00 am Duration 60 min

Breakout Sessions

Life in the World of Consulting: A Town Hall Meeting

Join us for an interactive session to foster dialogue between aspiring consultants and seasoned professionals from the consulting industry. This innovative format features a panel of consultants from a variety of firms and specialties on stage, ready to answer your questions and share insights into the consulting world. With microphones available in the aisles, attendees are encouraged to participate actively, bringing forward their queries and topics for discussion. The session aims to cover a wide range of topics, including the day-to-day realities of consulting, career progression paths, and personal experiences that shape a consultant’s journey. In the final 20 minutes, speakers will join the audience, creating a unique opportunity for attendees to engage in personal conversations with consultants. Whether you are considering a career in consulting or aiming to enhance your network within the industry, this town hall meeting offers a wealth of insights and valuable connections.

Paths Less Traveled: Embracing Non-Traditional Careers Post-MBA

Explore the vast possibilities of non-traditional career paths post-MBA for queer students. This session sheds light on opportunities outside of investment banking, consulting, and other mainstream choices. Discover how to find fulfilling roles that align with your passions and how to leverage your MBA in unconventional sectors.

The Future of LGBTQ+ Entrepreneurship: Trends and Opportunities

LGBTQ+ entrepreneurship is evolving rapidly, driven by changing social attitudes, cross-national queer community, and market trends. This panel will explore emerging opportunities, and challenges in LGBTQ+ entrepreneurship, providing insights and inspiration for the future generation of LGBTQ+ founders.

Empowering GNC Individuals in Business and Beyond

This session is designed to celebrate and support gender non-conforming (GNC) individuals in the face of increasing discrimination and violence against the queer community. In this inclusive space, we’ll reflect on the state of the queer community, discussing the rise of anti-trans and anti-LGBTQ legislation and the challenges faced, from bullying to barriers in accessing medical care. Our panelists will explore diverse experiences, challenges, and triumphs. Together, we’ll delve into what we should be watching out for, what actions we can take, and where we can find hope.

Tech to Exec: Skills, Strategies, and Insights from Industry Leaders

Discover a myriad of tech career trajectories, from program to product management and beyond. Employees from various companies will share their experiences in moving into the tech sector and how you can as well.

AI in Healthcare: Innovations and Challenges from an LGBTQ+ MBA Perspective

How is AI transforming the healthcare industry? We will explore this question as it pertains to healthcare technology, service delivery, and the business of healthcare. Discussions will include the preparation necessary for AI adoption, ethical considerations in managing patient data, and the unique challenges and perspectives of the LGBTQ+ community. This session aims to equip future leaders with insights into these pressing questions and the potential of AI to shape the future of healthcare.

12:30 pm Duration 90 min

Leadership Lunch & Keynote Plenary

According to recent GLAAD reports, diverse representation of the LGBTQ+ community in American film and television are at all-time highs. Hollywood is truly starting to recognize the power of telling LGBTQ+ stories with which audiences around the world connect. A panel of industry experts will explore opportunities and challenges as we look toward the next frontiers of queer representation. We are looking to assemble a panel of approximately 3 subject matter experts for a moderated conversation on the current dynamics of LGBTQ+ representation in film, television, and media. The panel will ideally consist of a diverse group who can speak to their experience through lenses such as advocacy, business, and creative.

2:15 pm Duration 240 min

Career Expo

ROMBA’s pre-eminent career expo hosts 85 top companies – many of which do not visit campuses – looking to recruit LGBTQ+ MBA and graduate talent. A must for all job-seeking attendees.

6:30 pm Duration 60 min

Veterans Reception

The Veterans’ Reception brings together all those who have served their country in the military to celebrate their commitment and other Veterans.

7:00 pm Duration 60 min

Women's Reception

For anyone who identifies as a woman, we invite you to join the ROMBA Women’s Reception and meet folks from across the globe! This reception is designed to start new conversations and build connections that can continue once the ROMBA conference is over.

8:00 pm Duration 90 min

Friday Fest

After a full day of learning, join us for food, drinks, and dancing at our Friday night Fest. Theme and contest to be announced over the summer!

7:30 am Duration 210 min

Case Competition Preliminaries

In the 23rd annual ROMBA Consulting Case Competition, sponsored by Bain & Co., students will solve for challenges of a small business in the LA area and present recommendations to a panel of seasoned consultants and the business owners. This competition enables participants to display their business acumen and strategic thinking. Preliminary rounds are for competing teams only.

8:00 am Duration 360 min

Attendee Check-in

Your first stop! Check in to receive your conference badge and welcome bag.

8:00 am Duration 360 min

Interview Zone

Did you know that 60% of companies at the ROMBA Conference hold either coffee chats/informational conversations or interviews with LGBTQ+ MBAs and other grads at the event? These conversations and interviews are by invite only, and many are sourced from our GradLeaders jobs board — so get your resume in the database asap (hint: some companies don’t post jobs but do screen through resumes!)

9:00 am Duration 60 min

12 Step Meeting

Start the day in the supportive environment of a 12-step meeting. This is a closed meeting for those in recovery.

9:00 am Duration 360 min

Networking Lounge

The Networking Lounge makes its spectacular return at the ROMBA Conference! Appropriate for professional networking, small group meet-ups, affinity groups, and/or work space for individuals and small groups (up to six folks). Reaching Out will offer coffee breaks in the Lounge on Friday (presented by PwC) and Saturday (presented by Pfizer). Come snap a picture or two with new friends in front of our step-and-repeat and celebrate our Rainbow Connection conference theme. Free conference WiFi available.

10:00 am Duration 120 min

Entrepreneurship Expert Zone

Attendees with ‘pitch ready’ new venture ideas will have a 15 minute slot with VC and entrepreneurial mentors to construct the next steps in their roadmap to success. Participants will not only walk away with a clearer vision for their venture, but also solid business contacts for the future. There are a limited number of slots, sign up will be available by early August.

10:30 am Duration 60 min

Breakout Sessions

Negotiate with Pride: Maximizing Your Worth

Master the art of pay negotiation as a queer professional. This session teaches how to leverage your experience, background, and queer perspective to negotiate better pay and benefits. Learn negotiation strategies, understand your value in the marketplace, and gain the confidence to advocate for what you deserve.

Family Planning: Navigating Parenthood and Reproductive Health in the LGBTQ Community

Whether you’re considering starting a family, expanding your current one, or exploring options for reproductive health, this session is for you. Navigating parenthood and reproductive health can present unique challenges and considerations for LGBTQ+ individuals and families. We’ll explore a range of topics, from assisted reproductive technologies to legal considerations and beyond. Our expert panelists will provide valuable insights and resources to help you make informed decisions about your reproductive journey.

Pride in Finance: Navigating Queerness in the Corporate World

This panel will feature finance professionals who are openly LGBTQ+ in the workplace. They will share their experiences, challenges, and successes of being out in the finance sector, which aims to provide practical advice, support, and strategies for attendees on how to foster an inclusive environment for themselves and others in the finance industry.

12:00 pm Duration 75 min

Case Competition Finals

In the 23rd annual ROMBA Consulting Case Competition, sponsored by Bain & Co., students will solve for challenges of a small business in the LA area and present recommendations to a panel of seasoned consultants and the business owners. This competition enables participants to display their business acumen and strategic thinking. Final round presentations are open for anyone to attend.

12:00 pm Duration 60 min

Breakout Sessions

Social Impact Entrepreneurship: Driving Change and Innovation

Social impact entrepreneurship offers a unique opportunity to create positive change while building successful businesses. This panel will highlight LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs who are driving social impact through their ventures, discussing their missions, strategies, and the intersectionality of identity and impact.

Beyond Tomorrow: AI’s Next Frontier

Industry leaders will share their insights on artificial intelligence today and it’s future in the tech space and how that impacts our community. How do we use AI to uplift LGBTQ+  voices in our community and apply these tools to our personal and professional lives? Join us to find out the latest thinking.

12:30 pm Duration 75 min

Networking Lunch

1:30 pm Duration 90 min

Startup Pitch Competition

How good is your idea or business plan? Pitch it to a panel of judges that include the industry’s top VCs and hear feedback that will help you no matter where you fall. Win and walk away with $5,000 to help get your venture running!

Presented by:start out
1:45 pm Duration 60 min

Breakout Sessions

Queer Money: How to Make Your Finances Fabulous

From covering daily living expenses to paying back student loans to saving for retirement (that’s decades away), being an MBA student or recent graduate can have its challenges. Being an LGBTQ+ MBA student or recent graduate can be more challenging due to historical discrimination and exclusion by the financial services sector. This session will help you lay a solid financial foundation starting with your first job and cover higher-level strategies for building a life of financial security and even wealth.

This workshop will be led by David & John Auten-Schneider, who are the founders of Debt Free Guys® and the hosts of the Queer Money® podcast.

Presented by:

Queer Excellence Beyond Rankings: Leveraging Diversity in Job Hunting

Discover how queer students from non-Top 20 schools can stand out in the job market. This session focuses on strategies to leverage your queer identity and educational background to secure job opportunities. Gain insights into crafting compelling narratives, networking effectively, and presenting your unique experiences as strengths to prospective employers.

Celebrating Body Positivity

This session explores the vital topic of body positivity within the LGBTQ+ community. We will examine the historical and modern influences on body image, discuss the impact of body discrimination in the workplace, and share other personal stories of identity and authenticity challenges related to appearance. This session aims to foster a supportive environment through a panel discussion followed by interactive small group conversations, encouraging participants to share experiences and strategies for embracing diversity in body and identity.

2:00 pm Duration 135 min

Peter K Consulting 1on1s (15 mins each)

Consulting expert Peter K will meet 1on1 with students for 15 minutes each to provide feedback on their framework presentations.

3:15 pm Duration 60 min

ROMBA Perspectives: A Series of TED-Style Talks from the ROMBA Community

More information on program and speakers to come.

4:30 pm Duration 60 min

Prospective Student Organizer Info Session

Much of Reaching Out’s content, including the ROMBA Conference, is developed by LGBTQ+ MBA students just like you! If you are interested in being an organizer for the 2025 ROMBA Conference, the Out Women in Business Conference (students & alumni), or the Club Leadership Summit, join this session to learn about the benefits, the application process, and to hear from this year’s leadership teams.

6:00 pm Duration 60 min

MBAs of Color Reception

Did you know that more than 60% of student attendees at the ROMBA Conference identify as BIPOC? This reception welcomes those of diverse backgrounds and anyone committed to diversity for a fun-filled hour of conversation and celebration!

7:00 pm Duration 60 min

Pre-dinner Reception

Kick off a celebration of everything that was ROMBA 2024 with a pre-dinner libation and mingle with other guests before the Marquee dinner!

8:00 pm Duration 120 min

Marquee Dinner & Keynote

Sponsored by Boston Consulting Group, the Marquee Dinner is the grand finale of ROMBA 2024, one last chance to connect with your peers, learn what Reaching Out has in store for the next year, and hear from our esteemed keynote speakers!