2018 Fall Conference Update

2018 Fall Conference Update:

Having a steady presence and representation from the Office of Career Services at MBA diversity conferences nationwide is making an impression and is creating a key differentiator for our students and the business school among our employer partners.

An encouraging refrain from employers rang throughout all the conferences, “It’s good to see you guys again!” “Wow you guys are everywhere.”, “Your students are so well prepared, they clearly have done their research and present so well.”, “Your team does a great job!”

The conferences clearly continue to provide a great opportunity for the Employer Development team to build the Smith brand, as employer relationships are clearly being built, rejuvenated, and enhanced with every touchpoint from the entire team.


Prospanica provides a culturally relevant development experience designed to educate, inspire, and connect business leaders, entrepreneurs, seasoned and young professionals, and students. The 2018 Prospanica Conference & Career Expo marked Prospanica’s 30th anniversary, where we celebrated the ever-growing Latino ¡IMPACTO!.

The Prospanica Conference provided an excellent opportunity for our 7 students who attended to connect with their targeted employers. The more than 75 companies in attendance covered a wide range of industries, which provided the opportunity for the employer development team to have some excellent conversations. Employers who exhibited include Discover Financial Services, American Airlines, Bloomberg, John Deere, ExxonMobil, Ford, Google and Proctor & Gamble to name a few.

While the overall student attendance was not as large as expected by the organization or employers it did provide ample opportunity for student attendees to have a lot of face time with recruiters and expand their network with targeted employers.  

However, while speaking with many of the employers a theme did emerge, as they were very disappointed about the student attendance. Some were questioning if the Milwaukee location had something to do with the student attendance (2019 is scheduled for Orlando). Students would be wise to review the list of employers who register for the 2019 Conference to determine their potential ROI.

National Black MBA Conference

The 40th Annual NBMBAA® Conference & Exposition convened our members, corporate and university partners, and some of the world’s most sought after thought leaders at the Cobo Center for a week of exploration in the areas of education, leadership, career opportunities, and networking connections that enable professional development. More than 10,000 professionals traveled to Detroit this September to gain access to opportunities that only our national conference can offer. 

The National Black MBA Conference proved to be quite worthwhile for both the Employer Development team as well as the roughly forty Smith MBAs in attendance. With over 170 employers interested in hiring MBA talent for both internship and full-time opportunities present, the Career Expo created ample engagement opportunities for both Smith students and staff. Our students came well prepared and were focused on making the most of the opportunity.  Throughout the event, the Employer Development team was active in identifying opportunities to provide our students with warm introductions from our networks of employers and alumni which was greatly appreciated by the students participating.  Our entire contingent was also quite active on WhatsApp with students and staff constantly sharing updates and offering encouragement.  The coaches in attendance were steadfast in helping students with their SAR stories and preparing for interviews.  

Overall, it seemed that most every student had at least one interview while many reported multiple, including both domestic and international students. Considering the number of employers at the NBMBAA Career Expo and the diversity of the positions being offered, this conference seems to be the optimal conference for both student and staff.  

MBA Veterans Career Conference

The MBA Veterans Career Conference is the nation’s leading military and MBA diversity conference. Every Fall, it connects 350+ 1st and 2nd year MBA students, all of whom are military veterans enrolled at the Top-75 ranked programs with more than 50 of America’s leading MBA employers.

The MBA Veterans proved a fruitful engagement for both Employer Development as well as the seven Smith MBAs in attendance. The event’s Career Expo, in combination with the Undergraduvets Expo the following day, brought Smith face-to-face with a laundry list of top employers from tech giants Microsoft and Facebook to CPG leaders J&J and SC Johnson to retail leaders Amazon and Walmart. Amongst others, student interviews were secured with Accenture, Google, and Republic Services.

ROMBA Conference

The Reaching Out LGBTQ MBA & Business Graduate Conference (also known at the ROMBA Conference) is the annual conference of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) graduate business school students – the world’s largest gathering of LGBTQ business students in the world.  The ROMBA Conference provides future lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender leaders from around the world the opportunity to network, learn, and improve their skills so they will emerge stronger and more confident in the business world. Leading businesses partner with the conference to show support for the LGBTQ community and recruit top level talent.

For the first time, Smith OCS was represented at the 2018 ROMBA Conference.   After attending, we asked ourselves, “Why did it take us so long to participate?!”  The conference was amazing from a student development and employer engagement perspective. Over 90 companies participated in the conference covering a variety of industries such as Consulting, Transportation, Consumer Packaged Goods, Financial Services, and Technology.  Some of the companies represented were Bain, BCG, McKinsey, AT Kearney, Delta, United, Southwest, L’Oréal, General Mills, P&G, M&T Bank, Credit Suisse, JP Morgan, Apple, Microsoft, and Salesforce.

ROMBA offers a variety of opportunities for students to engage with employers which include participating in employer sponsored workshops or being invited to sit at an employer table during one of the conference’s lunches or dinners.  Also unique to the conference was the employer sponsored “Coffee Chats” which were invite-only opportunities to meet with recruiters and professionals from participating companies. Many of these coffee chats led to additional rounds of interviews.  Lastly, the three-hour career fair allowed all the attendees to have access to all the participating companies. The energy and camaraderie at the conference was supportive and electrifying. We can’t wait to support our students at ROMBA in 2019!

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