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Forté Fellow of the Month: Claire Labrom

Claire Labrom

McGill University, BCOM, Marketing, 2003
Queen’s School of Business, Class of 2014
Hometown: Montreal, QC
Pre-MBA Work Experience: Marketing Manager, ALDO Group Inc.

Why did you decide to pursue an MBA?
After nearly ten years of work experience in the skincare and fashion footwear industries, I chose to pursue an MBA to widen my knowledge base, further my expertise and polish my business skills, while gaining the increased self-confidence to bring my career to new heights.

What advice do you have for women who are considering business school?
Focus on finding a school that’s right for you. Don’t get side-tracked by rankings and reviews. Rather, take the time to visit each campus, get to know the admissions team and reach out to current students or alumni who can speak directly to the program – this is the only way you will get a true feel for the school’s culture and philosophy. Your MBA experience will be much more rewarding if you find a school that shares your values and cares about your success.

What’s the most surprising thing you learned about business school during the application process?
It’s not just about the grades and GMAT scores. Most business schools are seeking well-rounded individuals who demonstrate initiative through their past roles and experiences. They are focused on finding the leaders of tomorrow – ‘brains’ alone will only get you so far.

Do you feel prepared for business school?
One will never feel 100% prepared for business school, but with marketing experience in wide-ranging roles under my belt, I felt I could make a real contribution to the classroom. I knew my experience would influence the way I would absorb and digest information, and bring perspective to new concepts and notions. I also knew I would have the know-how, the maturity and the motivation to challenge my peers and my professors in every which way I could, while being curious and eager to learn from the experiences of my fellow students.

What do you do in your free time?
Yoga is my go-to activity to rejuvenate my mind and body when I need some ‘me-time’. I also love movies, theatre and comedy. Most importantly, I enjoy spending time with my friends and family, especially with my niece and three nephews who are all between the ages of 2 and 7 – they really know how to keep me grounded and always remind me not to sweat the small stuff!

What would you tell your younger self about the MBA application process and being an MBA student?
Don’t hesitate, just go for it! As women, we tend to question our abilities and feel the need to know we have the required skill set to do something before we actually do it. Don’t overthink it – you deserve it and are capable.

Please share something about your experience with Forté.
Earlier this year, I got the opportunity to attend the 2013 annual Forté conference in New York City. The weekend was truly inspiring. Roundtables, panel discussions, guest speakers and workshops – all led by a roster of truly impressive women. Each tackled the latest trends and issues facing women in today’s workplace, while providing insightful tips on how to step up your game and become a successful business leader. Plus, I got to discover a pretty cool city!


Being a Forté Fellow inspired me to play my part in raising awareness on the topic of women in leadership in my own community and surroundings. I therefore became President of the Queen’s MBA Women in Leadership Club, whose mission it is to help motivate and empower women to seek challenging careers and make their mark in today’s business world. I am very grateful to the Queen’s School of Business for being fully committed to helping women expand their horizons through meaningful and fulfilling careers. The school’s ongoing support has been invaluable in helping our club members reach their personal and professional goals.

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