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Fellows of the Month: Simone Washington

Simone WashingtonWashington University in St. Louis, BSBA in Marketing, 2008
University of Michigan-Ross School of Business, 2014
Hometown: Fort Washington, MD
Pre-MBA Work Experience: Coordinator at a healthcare research and consulting firm, knowledge management consulting in the federal sector

Why did you decide to pursue an MBA?
I decided to attend business school because I knew marketing was my first love and while I worked in a different industry post-undergrad, I ultimately wanted to be in a position where I can directly impact consumer choice. The more I learned about brand management in the consumer goods industry, the more I knew that the MBA would be the key stepping stone that would allow me to continue my business education and grow as a leader, providing me with the necessary skills to succeed in this career path. I view these two years as the perfect opportunity for me to truly focus on developing myself personally and professionally.

What advice do you have for women who are considering business school?
Take the time to have those candid conversations with current students to really figure out if business school is right for you. It is very easy to get caught up in all the prep required to apply, but I urge you to do some soul searching on the front end. If you know what you want to get out of the business school experience, you will be better equipped to sift through all the many opportunities that will come your way when you join a top MBA program so you can stay true to yourself. Also, try to visit the schools you are considering to make sure they are the right fit.

What’s the most surprising you learned about business school during the application process?
During the application process, I was surprised to learn about the differences between the schools. Every school will say they are collaborative and innovative, but once you visit and talk to the students, you can really start to understand the nuances of the school’s culture.

Do you feel prepared for business school?
I do feel prepared for business school because I talked to so many students as I was applying. They were very candid about what business school would be like and I have found those things to be true now that I’m here. The most important thing you can do to prepare for business school is to work on your time management skills. You will have a lot of things coming at you and not enough time to do them all, so prioritization is key. I also feel prepared because I know that I have the support I need to be successful from the administration and the student community.

What do you do in your free time?
In my free time, I really enjoy cooking and exploring new restaurants. I also enjoy traveling and had the opportunity to go to Indonesia on a pre-school trek with some of my classmates to kick-off my business school experience–it was amazing!

Please share something about your experience with Forté.
I attended my first Forté Forum two years before I matriculated to business school and was inspired by all the successful and ambitious women who spoke about how business school had positively impacted their lives and careers. It definitely solidified my decision to apply.

I am just getting started, but I feel that business school is one of the best decisions I’ve made so far. I would definitely recommend it.

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