Miami Herbert partners with Reaching Out MBA to support LGBT+ students

Miami Herbert partners with Reaching Out MBA to support LGBT+ students

By Marlen Lebish

Miami Herbert partners with Reaching Out MBA to support LGBT+ students

By Marlen Lebish
The new partnership will allow the School to name two ROMBA fellows

ROMBA is the national organization that for two decades has been dedicated to increasing the influence of the LGBT+ community in business through educating, inspiring, and connecting MBA students and alumni.

Miami Herbert MBA students have been attending the annual ROMBA conference for years, and now, as official partners, the School is able to offer its students a range of leadership and professional development opportunities.

Those selected as ROMBA fellows will have access to networking opportunities through the organization, including at its annual conference, leadership summit, and they will serve as student representatives of both Miami Herbert and ROMBA.

In 2019, with the encouragement and support of Miami Herbert’s Graduate Career Advancement team, Michael Hajjar ’21 entered a ROMBA essay competition in hopes of winning an all-expense-paid trip (travel, lodging, and admission) to the ROMBA Conference. The conference is the largest gathering of LGBT+ MBA students and professionals in the world.

A few weeks later, he received an email notifying him that his essay was selected as a winning essay and that he would be attending the 2019 ROMBA Conference.

“After attending ROMBA, I knew I wanted to be a part of the organization in any way I could and found that I could apply to help organize the 2020 conference,” Hajjar said.

The 2020 conference was to be held in Los Angeles, and the organizers wanted an entertainment track. Again, with the help of Miami Herbert, Hajjar applied and was chosen to lead the committee.

“Working on this committee with nine other MBAs from around the country was an amazing gift,” he said. “The pandemic hampered our original plans, but we pivoted and transitioned to the virtual space seamlessly. To this day, I call several of those committee members my closest friends, and I now have another community to rely on and to network with outside of the Miami Herbert sphere.”

Hajjar says that having ROMBA Fellows at Miami Herbert will attract amazing talent, and he hopes that having more queer-identifying students in cohorts at Miami Herbert will enrich and diversify perspectives and the classroom experience.

Since its inception in 2015, the ROMBA Fellowship has grown to include 63 top business schools from around the world. This competitive scholarship is awarded to MBA students who have demonstrated strong academic skills as well as leadership in the LGBT+ community.