Monday, April 5, 2010

The 2009 Forté MBA Women’s Conference: A Powerful Beginning to my MBA Career

Attending the 2009 Forté MBA Women’s Conference was one of the best decisions I made in preparation of my MBA education at Babson. After working for four years at the national women’s nonprofit Step Up Women’s Network, I was eager to gain the female perspective on the MBA experience. The Forté conference served as a MBA primer of sorts – both personally and professionally. Personally, it provided me with direct access to impressive women from across the country who were in exactly the same life phase as I was. I only knew a few other males who were about to embark on the MBA journey so connecting with these women was very important to me. As I attended workshops and listened to dynamic speakers, I was reassured that both the excitement and anxieties I felt about beginning business school were very normal. Professionally, the workshops introduced me to critical topics and skills I would need to master before school began.

In terms of networking, I met two key female allies at the conference that have proven to be valuable connections. The first was a fellow conference attendee who planned to attend a different MBA program. We certainly didn’t let the distance of our respective schools stop us. We bonded and to this day remain friends. As fate would have it, we will soon be reuniting as participants in Duke MBA Games! The second woman was a soon-to-be second year student at Babson. The time we shared at the conference provided a critical platform for our relationship throughout my first year. Since our initial meeting she has served as an incredible support by providing advice on classes, clubs and internship hunting. The conference also introduced me to leaders at key companies that proved to be valuable in my internship hunt.

All in all, the Forté conference set the stage for my MBA career. It provided me with information, access and a dose of inspiration about the exciting life that lied ahead in business school.

-Alexa Brandt, Forté Fellow, F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business, Babson College

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