Breaking Barriers and Building Bridges: My Experience with EUROUT’s Corporate Engagement Team

Diving into the intricate process of orchestrating the annual EUROUT conference alongside the Out in Business Club at London Business School has been an immensely transformative journey. In a world that is gradually recognizing the importance of diversity and inclusion, this experience has allowed me to witness the pivotal role played by the corporate sector in fostering an inclusive environment for everyone. In this blog post, I invite you to join me as I reflect on my time within EUROUT’s Corporate Engagement Team, working collaboratively to bridge the gap between corporate worlds and diverse talents.

EUROUT: A Beacon for diversity and inclusion on a global scale

The Out in Business Club at London Business School (LBS) is a vibrant and inclusive community dedicated to empowering LGBTQ+ students and allies. Beyond its role in organizing the EUROUT conference, the club plays a crucial year-round role in creating a supportive environment within the academic realm. The Out in Business Club (OiB) serves as a nexus for networking, mentorship, and skill-building, providing its members with resources to navigate and thrive in the corporate landscape. Committed to fostering dialogue and promoting diversity, the club organizes a myriad of events, from insightful speaker series to skill development workshops. These initiatives not only enrich the academic experience but also contribute to the broader goal of creating a more inclusive corporate world.

The main event organized by OiB is EUROUT—an annual conference designed to empower LGBTQ+ graduate business students to build the life and career they want. EUROUT stands as a beacon for diversity and inclusion on a global scale, striving to create spaces where individuals from all walks of life feel valued and empowered.

Day-to-Day Efforts: Forging partnerships and breaking barriers

EUROUT is orchestrated by an executive committee within the Out in Business Club, uniting members of the community and allies who collaborate within designated sub-teams. I am proud to be a member of the Corporate Engagement Team, where our mission is to forge connections within the corporate sphere to make EUROUT successful. Our goals are multifaceted. Firstly, we work to raise funds for the organization of EUROUT, the running of the club year-round, and the scholarships put in place by OiB. Additionally, we engage with companies to organise corporate events such as the careers fair and coffee chats during the conference.

Most of our work within the Corporate Engagement Team took place in the months leading up to the conference. We diligently reached out to prior sponsors and compiled a list of potential companies to collaborate with. Actively seeking partnerships with organizations committed to fostering diversity and inclusion on a global scale became our mission.

Then came the outreach phase, where I sent hundreds of emails and LinkedIn messages in hopes that they would reach the right person. Here, I learned that persistence and personalizing messages are key to breaking through. Understanding the individuals, I was reaching out to allowed me to adapt my message so that it would stand out amidst their busy schedules. Follow-up, I discovered, is also essential, given that these professionals have varied priorities. It became clear that maintaining a continuous dialogue and demonstrating genuine interest were critical elements in building successful partnerships.

The outreach efforts from the Corporate Engagement Team were truly a collaborative endeavour. Every member of the Out in Business Club contributed by reaching out to their contacts, expanding our outreach to more companies. The collective effort was palpable as individuals outside the Corporate Engagement Team generously offered their support, leading pitching calls when needed. Valuable advice poured in from various corners, guiding the organization of the career fair and coffee chats. It was heartening to witness the commitment of everyone involved, transcending their responsibilities in other EUROUT sub-teams to ensure the success of these events. This collective dedication made EUROUT not just an event but a transformative experience for all involved. Thanks to this collective effort, we managed to raise £ 100,000 for EUROUT and the scholarship.

The Executive Committee: A story of collaboration

One of the most profound learnings from my experience within EUROUT’s Corporate Engagement Team has been the undeniable power and benefits of collaboration. As we worked diligently to forge connections with corporate partners, I witnessed firsthand how collaboration amplifies our collective impact. Collaborating within the CE team and more broadly with members of the club, not only expanded our reach but also enriched the depth of our initiatives. Through these collaborations, we discovered innovative approaches to fundraising, gained access to a broader network of potential sponsors, and enhanced the overall quality of the conference experience.

Moreover, the synergy generated by collaborative efforts fostered a sense of unity and shared purpose. The exchange of ideas and perspectives within our team and with our corporate partners led to creative solutions and a more inclusive approach to our outreach. This experience reinforced the notion that true progress in fostering diversity and inclusion is achieved through cooperative endeavours.

The collaborative ethos wasn’t restricted to specific roles either; it manifested in an open exchange of ideas and resources, especially during the three days of the conference. This collaborative spirit wasn’t confined to scheduled meetings or official channels; it became an organic part of our day-to-day interactions. In brainstorming sessions, quick problem-solving meetings, and last-minute communication requests, team members consistently pitched in to support one another, creating a collaborative environment that went beyond assigned roles.

The benefits of collaboration extended beyond the immediate goals of EUROUT, permeating into the broader mission of the Out in Business Club. Our collaborative efforts laid the foundation for lasting relationships with corporate partners who share our commitment to creating an inclusive corporate landscape. These partnerships extend beyond the conference, contributing to the year-round support and mentorship programs facilitated by the club.

The collective readiness to face challenges at any time and help where needed transformed EUROUT into more than just a conference; it became a community driven by a shared commitment to inclusivity and empowerment. As I reflect on this aspect of the journey, I am struck by the realization that the true success of EUROUT lies not just in the execution of the conference but in the bonds of collaboration that were forged, laying the groundwork for a legacy of unity and support within the Out in Business Club.

In conclusion, working with EUROUT’s Corporate Engagement Team has been a global journey of growth, learning, and connection. If you are enthusiastic about fostering diversity, inclusion, and positive change on a global scale, consider joining similar initiatives. Together, let’s continue to pave the way for a more inclusive future, transcending borders and building bridges that connect us all.

Written By Bianca-Rose Mao, MiM 2024

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