Arastu Sharma is a name you’re likely to hear again. This Carey Business School MBA candidate is not only poised to enter the challenging and important field of longevity health care, but he’s doing so with a conviction that diversity, equity, and inclusion are not just a moral imperative but a strategic advantage.
Sharma is a Carey fellow with Reaching Out MBA, whose mission is to increase the influence of the LGBTQ+ community in business by educating, inspiring, and connecting MBA students and alumni. ROMBA recently held its annual conference, where Sharma and other attendees were motivated and inspired by the featured high-achieving members of the LGBTQ+ business community.
“It was encouraging to witness the success stories of those who have blazed trails and shattered stereotypes,” said Sharma.
The world’s largest gathering of LGBTQ+ business students and alumni includes a variety of panels, workshops, receptions, and a career fair with 100 corporate partners across industries recruiting LGBTQ+ MBA talent. This community and inspiration equip ROMBA students to advocate for and champion diversity as their careers take shape. For Sharma, the significant takeaway was the realization that there is still much work to be done to ensure that LGBTQ+ voices are not just heard but actively engaged in shaping the future of science, where diversity can drive innovation and contribute to better, more inclusive solutions.
“The ROMBA conference left an indelible mark on me,” he said. “It reaffirmed my commitment to advocating for DEIB in health care.”
In addition to strengthening his convictions about the importance of DEIB in health care, Sharma said the networking built into the conference was immensely valuable and will carry him forward from his degree through the next stages of his career.
“These interactions allowed me to forge connections and explore potential career opportunities in fields I'm passionate about,” he explained. " I attended numerous workshops and panel discussions that covered a diverse array of topics, including LGBTQ+ advocacy in the workplace, career development, and emerging trends in business. And the sessions provided valuable insights and practical knowledge that I can apply to my own career and advocacy efforts.”
Being a ROMBA Fellow comes with important expectations. ROMBA asks each individual to commit to being a leader, advocating for the LGBTQ+ community in industry, and being an agent of change in the world. While he already believes in this work, Sharma says his time at Carey has helped him understand why it’s valuable in organizations.
“Through my education at Carey, I’ve learned that dynamic, diverse, and inclusive environments propel innovation, and I’ve come to understand that fostering such a workplace is not only the right thing to do but it’s also a crucial component of success. Diversity is a driver of innovation in the world of business.”
In other words, DEIB is a strategic advantage. And you can count on Carey’s Arastu Sharma to make the best use of that advantage as he continues to innovate in his field and blaze trails for the LGBTQ+ community.