I first attended the Forté Forum in 2011, shortly after a friend told me about the Forté Foundation. At the time, I was only a year out of college and was thinking about attending business school but had not decided for sure if or when I would go.
Between the school fair and the panels, I figured the Forum would be a great way for me to gather more information as I thought about whether business school was a good fit for me.
I will admit, when I first got to the Forum, I was a little overwhelmed. There were so many schools and people who knew exactly who they wanted to meet with and the questions that they wanted to ask. But by stepping back and listening, I gained insight into what the MBA application process would look like, if I decided it was something I wanted to undertake.
I found the Alumnae Panel particularly helpful and enjoyed hearing the perspective of the women on why they decided to go business school and what they were doing with an MBA. The Forté Forum was a great way for me to gather a lot of information that I could digest later when I was ready to make a decision about my future career path.
Last summer, for a variety of reasons, I decided that I would apply to business school in the 2014 – 2015 application cycle. Over the past two years, I had been using the information I had gathered at the Forté Forum, as well as other resources, to think about what I might want to study, what I might want to do after business school, and what school I might want to attend.
Armed with a list of schools I was interested in, I went back to the Forté Forum for the second time. This time, I felt much more prepared to interact with the school representatives, ask them questions, and learn more about which programs might be a good fit for me and my professional goals. While there are a lot of people who attend the Forum, I found it surprisingly easy to have time with each of the schools that I was interested in.
It was also a great opportunity to interact with women who were further along in the admissions process than I was and get a sense of how the admissions process might unfold for me over the next year. Being further along in my own process of applying than I was the last time I attended the Forum, the Admissions Panel was a great resource and I know that I picked up some valuable tips about how I could prepare my best possible application this year.
Last year’s Forum is also where I learned about Forté’s MBALaunch, which has been a unique opportunity to prepare for the business school application process with other women.
I am looking forward to returning to Forté Forum for the third time this year. With my applications already underway for Round 1 deadlines, I will probably focus my time on talking to representatives from the schools that I know I am applying to as well as networking with women who may be my classmates next year, including my fellow Launchers. I’ll be at the Boston Forum next week – feel free to say hi and find out more about my experience with Forté!
As I hope my experiences with the Forté Forum show, the event can really be whatever you want to make it, based on your goals and where you are in the process of applying to business school.
If you just want to go to gather information and decide if business school is right for you, it’s a great place to do that. If you know you are applying and looking to interact one on one with your top choice schools, you will definitely get that opportunity. And if you are somewhere in between, it will be a valuable experience as well.
Maureen Keegan is a graduate of Boston College and currently works as the Senior Program Coordinator for the Talloires Network, a global coalition of engaged universities. In her free time, she volunteers with the BC Alumni Association, is training for her first half marathon and enjoys photography, traveling, and bad reality TV.