Finding Community in the In-Between Spaces
By Christina Weiberg, MBA '22
“There are so few of you in business leadership positions that we aren’t able to create any studies or analyses off of your group.”
Hearing that at an MLT MBA Prep Seminar as a LatinX and prospective student was another reminder that business school was going to be hard.
I already recognized a lack of representation before entering business school, and those words keep resounding in my head as I considered a career trajectory of seeing even less of those who look like me in leadership positions. Throwing in a pandemic and social uprising was never part of my already stressful MBA plan, but provided ample information to reflect on during my move from Minneapolis to Ann Arbor this past summer. It helped to solidify that my experience of completing an MBA was one of necessity and hope for the future.
Being a LatinX in the business, technology, and non-profit spaces for the last eight years has shown me the myriad of career opportunities available, but also how those opportunities lack access and accountability to ensure equality isn’t just another company buzzword. Particularly, in a time when cultural affinity is being valued and dissected in the public eye, my hidden identities have caused increased feelings of imposter syndrome and anxiety. As a multiethnic adoptee with a privileged upbringing, the current cultural conversations shine a light on my habit of reassessing and questioning my experience and legitimacy as a woman of color.
Which is why during my MBA experience I am taking advantage of pursuing classes outside of Ross. The one personal goal I have set for myself is to complete the Graduate Certificate in Community Action and Research from the School of Social Work. I want to ensure that I have the language and skills to communicate my needs and experiences both in personal and professional spheres, while also using my privilege and opportunities to create safe spaces for others to bring their full selves to the table.
As I look toward the future, it is even more vital for me to see myself reflected and uplifted across industries and roles. I was so excited to attend an event with Maria Hinojosa hosted by the Hispanic Business Students Association (HBSA) at Ross. As a LatinX woman, she didn’t see a space for herself so she created her own space. As an award-winning expert in her field, she is giving back to her community by simply showing up. She is ensuring that the LatinX story, my story, is reflected in the cultural, familial, and international face of the U.S.
Graduating as one of the Leaders and Best means that Ross students have the opportunity to change the face of an industry, role, or country.
For some communities, like the LatinX community, I have the opportunity and privilege to carry their voices with me to ensure active representation and inclusion happens across all areas of my life. Within the Ross community, organizations like the HBSA and the Business Beyond Usual Podcast club have provided me safe spaces to use my voice, grow my expertise, and find like-minded individuals that are dedicated to leaving this world better than we found it.
There are rarely any easy answers for how to show up in the world, how to communicate our needs, or how to accomplish our goals. Looking ahead to the next two years, I’m really excited to continue to explore how leadership can be as diverse as our identities through the Ross Leaders Academy, the Tauber Institute for Global Operations, and developing friendships with people who continue to reflect my values and strengths in a community where I have found a home and hope.