2014 Women MBA applicants in/near Chicago, D.C., and New York, listen up: You have through Monday, December 31st to submit your 2013 Forté MBALaunch for Women applications and be entered into the GMAT voucher raffle (a $250 value).
The Forté MBALaunch for Women is a 10-month program that provides female applicants with guidance and resources during the MBA application process, including a one-day event, webinars, group meetings, and one-on-one feedback from experienced advisors.
Eminent women business leaders and admission officers from top MBA programs will be available for mingling, networking, and advising on MBA admissions, financial aid, and careers for women during the upcoming Forté Forum events.
Additionally, four lucky participants will win free copies of Linda Abraham’s and Judy Gruen’s book, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top B-Schools!
The 2012 Forté Forum schedule is as follows:
August 20, Chicago
August 21, Boston
August 22, Washington, DC
August 23, Atlanta
August 27, Dallas
August 29, San Francisco
August 30, Los Angeles
September 4, New York I
September 5, New York II
September 6, Toronto
Register for free at http://www.Fortéfoundation.org/forumonline to reserve your spot now.
For more information on what the Forté Forum does and how they can help you, please see our recent podcast with Elissa Ellis Sangster, the head of Forté.
Here’s a talk with Lydia Kung, a USC Marshall student interested in pursuing a career in international business. Thank you Lydia for sharing your thoughts and experiences with us!
This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with current MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs. We hope to offer you a candid picture of student life, and what you should consider as you prepare your MBA application.
Accepted: First, can you tell us a little about yourself – where are you from? What and where did you study as an undergraduate and when did you graduate?
Lydia: My name is Lydia Kung and I was born and raised in San Francisco. I am a double Trojan so in addition to currently pursuing my MBA at USC, I also attended USC as an undergraduate student. My field of study was international business in the Marshall Business School and I graduated in May 2006. I have a background in Information Technology recruiting and non-profit event planning and fundraising.
Accepted: Why did you choose to attend Marshall? How does your graduate experience at Marshall differ from your undergraduate experience there?
Lydia: I chose to attend Marshall’s MBA program for several reasons. First, I had an amazing experience at Marshall as an undergraduate student and loved being a part of the Trojan family. Second, Marshall’s MBA curriculum was very appealing because of the diverse array of courses it offers and the flexibility for students to customize their schedules. Lastly, Marshall’s PRIME program (Pacific Rim International Management Education) was a top selling point. I have a background in international business and have always wanted to work overseas. This program, which consists of a semester-long course and 10-day excursion in the Pacific Rim, was the perfect opportunity to expand my knowledge and gain hands-on experience working on a global consulting project.
My experience at Marshall the second time around has been phenomenal, and I can honestly say I love USC even more now. The class size is much smaller compared to the undergraduate program with roughly 220 students, and the courses are more strategic and interactive. Class participation and group discussions are heavily emphasized, and a strong focus is placed on developing presentation and communication skills. There are also significantly more group projects so you learn quickly how to work in teams and collaborate with individuals with different personalities and backgrounds.
Accepted: Can you tell us about your experience with the Forte Foundation?
Lydia: My experience with the Forte Foundation has been great. I receive frequent emails with information about upcoming events (i.e. workshops, seminars, networking socials) and there are countless opportunities to get involved. I highly recommend Forte to anyone interested in pursuing business, increasing their professional development or just connecting with others.
Accepted: What’s your favorite class so far?
Lydia: My favorite class has been the Management Communications course I took my first semester. It taught me the importance of effective communication and challenged me to step outside my comfort zone to hone my “soft” skills. You are required to make numerous individual and group presentations, which greatly helped improve my public speaking and leadership abilities.
Accepted: Can you tell us about the Marshall MBA Ambassador Program and your role with the group?
Lydia: The Ambassador Program is a wonderful opportunity for prospective students to visit and interact with current MBA students to learn more about the Marshall experience. It currently consists of 26 first year full-time students who guide class visits, lead Admit Weekend and act as liaisons between the admissions office and applicants interested in Marshall. I am the Co-Director for the Ambassador Program and my responsibilities have included spearheading event logistics for Admit Weekend, scheduling class visits, conducting Q&A sessions, meeting prospective students and overseeing the Ambassador team.
Accepted: Do you have an internship lined up for the summer? What role did Marshall play in helping you secure that position?
Lydia: I am currently interning at Mattel for the summer in the Human Resources department specializing in Leadership Development and Talent Acquisition. Marshall played a significant role in helping secure my internship because I found the job posting through the school’s career services website and was able to network with Mattel employees through on-campus and off-site recruiting events.
Accepted: What are some of your favorite things about living and studying in Los Angeles?
Lydia: Los Angeles is a bustling, vibrant town and it’s exciting to be surrounded by such diverse groups of people and communities. The weather is amazing and I enjoy not only being able to hang out at the beach, but also to experience the Hollywood lifestyle since Los Angeles is the entertainment capital. Studying in the area is fantastic because there are a wide range of industries and ample opportunities to find internships and employment after graduation, especially with the help of the Trojan network which has a strong presence in the community.
Accepted: Do you have any advice for some of our applicants who will be applying to Marshall?
Lydia: I would advise prospective students to have a clear understanding of their motivation to attend business school and relay that message through their applications. You don’t have to know exactly what you want to pursue, but it will be helpful to have a pretty strong picture of the function and/or industry you are interested in so your goals for earning your MBA are evident. Marshall is also looking for well-rounded individuals that demonstrate leadership potential and a desire to make a difference in the community. Therefore, applicants should highlight their professional and extra-curricular leadership experience and be explicit about how they intend to make an impact at USC.
For complete, soup-to-nuts guidance on the MBA admissions process, please purchase Linda Abraham’s new book, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools – now available in paperback and Kindle editions!
Welcome to the first episode of Accepted Admissions Straight Talk, a biweekly podcast about what’s new, thought-provoking, and useful in the world of graduate admissions!
3:30:00 – Why are women underrepresented in MBA programs? What are the origins of Forte?
6:16:00 - What women need to hear.
8:25:00 – The virtual campus, Forte forums, MBA Women’s conference and Forte’s other awesome resources.
11:23:00- Forte Fellows- what and why.
13:12:00 - International Women’s Day- what are we celebrating anyway?
16:36:00 – Is an MBA still the gold standard? [or Are one-year programs - the new MBA? ]
18:52:00 – Women in the MBA application process- distinctive challenges?
21:40:00 – Networking is key (sound familiar?). Meet other women with similar career goals, and boost your chances for success.
22:53:00 Work-life balance- advanced planning will save the day.
25:50:00 Why entrepreneurship is a great option (and why Linda loves the number 5).
28:05:00- What Elissa wants every woman business school applicant to know.
Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes so you don’t miss any segments! Stay in the admissions know. (And while you’re there, feel free to leave us a review.)
*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.
I’m starting a podcast, Admissions Straight Talk. I plan a bi-weekly show, 20-30 minutes long, in which I will interview thought leaders in the admissions world. Each segment will be posted here on this blog. Of course, if you prefer to download the podcast automatically to your iWhatever, please subscribe in iTunes.
The first segment goes live today. Elissa Sangster, Executive Director of the Forte Foundation, graciously agreed to be the inaugural interviewee. Elissa served as the Assistant Dean and Director of the MBA Program at the McCombs School of Business at UT Austin before joining Forte. She has led Forte from its infancy to its current position of prominence, transforming it into a major resource assisting women entering the business world and applying to MBA and other business degrees.
We covered a lot of ground in the show, and I hope men and women will tune in. There is valuable info for both genders.
After you’ve listened, please provide feedback. I am new at this and welcome suggestions for improvement. You can provide your feedback below or in iTunes tomorrow after the segment goes live.
Thanks for listening.
By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted.com, and author of the recently released MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.
I came across this excellent post about MBA Fairs by MBA Podcaster and asked permission to publish as a guest post on the Accepted Admissions Blog. MBA Podcaster said “yes” so here it is.
MBA Tour season is officially here. There are some fantastic events happening all around the world and online so there’s no excuse to not chat one-on-one with your top schools. Here’s a summary of the top tours happening now.
What: ACCESS MBA TOUR
Why We Like It: You pick the schools you want to meet with, your resume will be pre-screened by the school and Access MBA and if you’re a fit you will be selected to sit down one-on-one with admission’s reps from the schools you pick. Very well represented by international schools.
Where: All across Europe, Middle East, Asia and South America
When: September through December
Etc: Access MBA events also offer prospective MBA students personalized services such as one-to-one meetings and workshops with the world’s best MBA programs, interactive panel discussions with school representative, individual MBA consulting sessions and GMAT advising.
What: The Economist’s Which MBA? MBA Fair
Why We Like It: This is the best virtual MBA Fair available. The Economist has put together an interactive web platform that’s easy and fun to use and where you can virtually chat one-on-one with admission’s reps.
Where: At your nearest computer
When: 48 hours from September 7th – 8th 2011
Etc: Talk to admissions officers one-on-one and in chat sessions, broaden your perspective and learn more about diverse MBA programs, gain insight into the MBA experience from webinars, videos and downloads. You could win a FREE iPad 2 when you log in and visit 5+ school booths
What: FORTE FORUMS
Why We Like It: Intended for women, this forum is a great way to network with high profilers from top schools and make an impression in a less crowded environment. Also, the events are well attended by alumnae who are now working at top companies across the country so it’s a chance to also make a connection for a summer internship.
Where: All across the United States plus London
Cost: Free for pre-registrants
When: September 13 – October 4th, 2011
Etc: As a special offer to MBA Podcaster users, Forte Foundation is offering half-off Premium Membership to those who register for a Forum, a $25 value. Upon registering, you’ll be sent a link to sign up for discounted membership along with the promotion code.
What: THE MBA TOUR
Why We Like It: You’ll find the largest number of schools, and the most top ranked schools, in a traditional tour environment. Walk the floor, shake hands with the full time admission staff members present and discuss your questions or application.
Where: All over the world, upcoming tours are in Latin America, Asia, India, Europe and Canada
Cost: Free for pre-registrants
When: Now – ongoing
Etc: Schools include Columbia, Cornell, University of Chicago, INSEAD, HEC, IE, Kellogg, Michigan – Ross, University of Maryland, Schulich, McGill, UBC and many others.
What: KAPLAN’S ROAD TO BUSINESS SCHOOL
Why We Like It: Kaplan has done an impressive job of breaking into the MBA touring world. They’ve put together an impressive list of schools including Stanford, Chicago Booth, Haas, Kellogg, Tuck, Duke Fuqua, IMD, INSEAD and many others.
Where: Across the United States
Cost: Free for pre-registrants
When: Ends August 23, 2011
Etc: Events include breakout sessions for GMAT training, admissions strategy and happy hours hosted by various schools.
By MBA Podcaster, which delivers relevant information and advice through excellent biweekly audio and video segments for those planning to apply for a Master in Business Administration.
Accepted.com is continuing a blog series featuring interviews with current MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at selected MBA programs. We hope to offer you a candid picture of student life, and what you should consider as you prepare your MBA application.
Here’s a talk with a student who came to Cornell Johnson with a life sciences/criminology background, then transitioned into an international career in finance.
We hear Ithaca is “gorges” but what about those winters?
I’m a native of Hong Kong and grew up in Toronto, so the winters weren’t a big deal. Cornell’s proximity to Wall Street was a major advantage during my job hunt.
What did you want out of an MBA program? Did your career goals change once you arrived?
I did want an Ivy League school — maybe it’s Asia — but people are way more aware of names than rankings, and that helps with the job search. I was deciding between Brand Management and Finance, but realized all the good brand management jobs were restricted to Americans. So I dedicated my search to finance, since I don’t have a green card and was not going to add an additional challenge to an already tough process.
What strategies helped you find a job?
Face to face time is so important. I basically commuted to New York City a lot, made countless phone calls, even flew out to Hong Kong to meet people. But the effort paid off.
What are you doing now?
I’m working in finance with the cash sales trading group in Citigroup in Hong Kong.
How did you sell yourself to them, without having a finance background?
Honestly, I think my life sciences familiarity gave me a different perspective and helped me sell myself as a special candidate. With life sciences, I’ll have a strength when selling equities in bio tech, pharmaceuticals.
What was your best day on campus at Cornell?
My best day was when I got my internship and full time offer! From then on, I could focus on my classes and social life. I was just cruising by then.
What was your worst day?
There were a few — mostly during the initial job search, when i was looking for an internship. The process was competitive, and first semester is always intense. It was very difficult to balance the academics and the job search.
Who were your favorite professors and why?
My Chinese professor was fantastic, because she really, really took the time out to make sure I learnt my Chinese well in preparation for class. I also really liked my accounting professors Margaret Shackell Dowell and Mark Nelson. Accounting wasn’t my forte, but they let me take my time to make sure I really understood the concepts.
Can you recommend any cozy places to warm up, and fill up?
Plumtrum, Sangam and State Street Diner.
And finally why do you think you got the job you want? Any tips for incoming students on the job hunt?
Yes, network early! Get your resume ready early, be confident in yourself, be realistic, and also have backup plans.
Interview conducted by Michelle Stockman, who worked in the Columbia Business School admissions office, has a Masters in Journalism from Columbia, and has assisted Accepted.com clients applying to top business schools since 2007. She is happy to help you with your application.
A lot has been written lately about equality and inequality in the business world, specifically addressing the question: has the past decade seen MBA programs and corporate businesses making more room for women or less?
Businessweek recently reported in “B-School Gender Mix Changing, Slowly” that a growing number of women are attending business school. According to the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), the number of females taking the GMAT in the U.S. has risen 10 percent in 2010 in comparison with the numbers from 2000. Elissa Ellis-Sangster, director of the Forte Foundation—a consortium of 36 business schools working to increase the number of women pursuing MBAs—noted that 31.2 percent of applicants to Forte-member schools were women in 2010, which is a step up from 28.5 percent in 2005.
Moreover, GMAC notes that around 54 percent of full-time MBA programs in 2010 said they implemented “special recruitment efforts” to try and bring more women to their schools. An even more impressive statistic comes from Forte-member institutions, which found that 100% of schools host women’s outreach programs.
Rosabeth Moss Kanter, a Harvard Business School professor who wrote the book Men and Women of the Corporation, comments that there has been a great amount of progress since she began teaching. Now 36 percent of Harvard’s incoming class is comprised of women, a step up from 25 percent in 1985.
Yet, another article, this time in the Financial Times, discusses the difficulties around convincing boards to include larger numbers of women. Former UK minister, Lord Davies, wrote an independent review of women on boards, suggesting that a voluntary target of 25 percent be implemented for FTSE 1000 boards by the year 2015. However, Penny de Valk, chief executive of the Institute of Leadership and Management, has spoken to many business leaders who claim they “find it very difficult to find women for senior leadership positions.”
There is clearly a connection between the low numbers of women in top management positions and the difficult time business schools have recruiting female students. Most believe the main reason is that women want a balance between their work and family life. Another reason cited is the cutthroat environment on Wall Street, which fits more of a male then a female stereotype. Lastly, business school is expensive and since women have a stronger aversion to risk according to the FT article, they are less likely to make the commitment.
However, the business world needs to meet Lord Davies’s goals. It clearly must begin thinking in more creative ways about how to make more room for women at the top of the corporate ladder – as well as on the way up.
Accepted.com ~ Helping You Write Your Best
According to a Forbes article, “Why Business Schools Are Failing Women,” top b-schools have failed to attract enough female students, despite specific initiatives to recruit women.
In general, according to the Forbes article, there is still not enough effort being poured into outreach actions. There are, however, some organizations that do bolster the image and morale of female business executives and other women who are navigating the business school and career path. These groups, that include the National Association of Women MBAs (NAWMBA) and the Forte Foundation, also provide scholarships for women and run events and information sessions to further encourage the growth of the female population in MBA programs.
Men considering an MBA program don’t ask themselves the same questions as women do, such as, “Can I be liked and respected?” and “How do I project a firm, credible presence so that I’m taken seriously?” and “How feminine can I be in this largely male environment?” among many others.
A possible solution? Gender-specific leadership training, an initiative that would provide women with a forum in which they could discuss their concerns, and the opportunity for a female executive speaker series, in addition to other endeavors that would support the advancement of women in business. Business school curriculums need to address the need for gender-specific leadership training by implementing programs that work to equip women with the gender-specific tools necessary to pierce corporate America.
Another problem is clear: There is a definite lack of female mentors and role models for women pursuing (or considering pursuing) MBAs. Only 17% of Columbia Business School is female; Stanford GSB is only slightly better at 19%. How are women supposed to feel like they fit into the corporate world if they have so few of examples of women who have actually accomplished such a feat?
According to the Forbes article the number of women in law school and med school is almost on par with men. The b-school gender gap remains much wider. It seems that the post-MBA job search favors male MBAs, reminding women why they were hesitant to apply to b-school in the first place.
Related Accepted.com Resources:
- Women MBA Applicants
- GMAC Reports Record-Breaking Number of Women GMAT Test-takers
- Reflecting Back on 1970s Women’s Colleges
- The MBA Value Proposition for Women, chat transcript
- The MBA Value Proposition for Women Internationally, chat transcript
- The MBA Value Proposition for Women of Color, chat transcript
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Accepted.com ~ Helping You Write Your Best