Last April, I was fortunate enough to have been a participant at the inaugural Forté College Leadership Launch for Women, which was generously sponsored by the Forté Foundation and hosted in our nation’s capital. At this event, I was joined by 93 of my collegiate peers who stemmed from 37 universities and represented 42 unique majors for a day-long conference that covered areas pertinent for emerging business leaders.
In an increasingly diverse corporate world, I found it important that we were not only encouraged to meet and engage with one another, but to also work together in order to better hone our leadership skills along with build confidence in our decision-making abilities.
Critical to the event were several of the resources provided by the event’s speakers and corporate sponsors. Following an initial breakfast and official welcome, we were treated to a presentation from Jodi Glickman and Marjie Terry, the respective Founder and President along with VP of Client Service Development of the communication training firm Great on the Job.
In their discussion, both Glickman and Terry addressed several strategies to enhance young professionals’ leadership skills. Topics discussed included tips for speed networking, establishing leadership, displaying confidence and self-awareness, maintaining a strong physical presence, and lastly, speaking with authority. This presentation was followed by one delivered by Deloitte Consulting LLP representatives Humbelina Sanchez Mohnkern, Director, and Lauren Thomas, Manager.
The primary topic discussed here involved developing decision-making skills to maximize performance. This portion of the day was particularly beneficial for attendees interested in pursuing management consulting, as strategies for forming structured approaches to problem-solving and applying different problem-solving techniques were explored.
Most fundamental to the day’s activities, in my opinion, was the business simulation organized by BTS Consulting Group, LTD. In The World of Work™, groups of approximately six attendees participated in a fun and interactive board game that challenged us to employ corporate strategy in order to reach key objectives such as revenue growth, innovation, cost control, talent development, and shareholder value creation.
With limited time to learn the ropes of the situation we’d been tasked with, utilizing strong teamwork was imperative to succeed and the guidance we received from BTS representatives proved invaluable. Despite the compressed nature of the assignment itself, it without a doubt made a lasting impact on all who participated.
Following the team presentations, the day’s activities concluded with a Career Expo. After having familiarized ourselves with some of the company representatives present over the course of the day, it was great to be able to reach out on a more personal basis to the plethora of professionals attending the event. With the range of industries represented, it was hard to speak with only one individual.
For those looking for summer internship and full time opportunities, this was a great opportunity to learn about the different skill sets critical to the firms sponsoring the conference. Along with this, the Career Expo proved to be an excellent time to apply the different leadership and social networking techniques that we had learned about earlier – in a real-world setting!
For anyone curious to learn about the diverse offerings in business and to meet incredible student leaders and professionals in one jam-packed day, I would highly encourage applying to this year’s Forté College 2 Business (C2B) Leadership Conference, now offered in two locations. Be sure to apply by Friday, February 14th for first round consideration, and by March 1st for second round consideration!
Caroline Herrmann is a junior at Duke University majoring in Cognitive Science and minoring in German Studies. She is working on a Markets & Management Studies certificate. Her goal is to attend business school and she would love to work in marketing or consulting in the United States or Europe. She was a part of the first Forté College Leadership Conference and can be found on Twitter at @caroooline717.