Divinity Matovu begins University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton MBA program this fall with a focus on finance and entrepreneurial management—not to mention one of Wharton’s esteemed Howard E. Mitchell Fellowships covering her full tuition. She participated in the Forté 2014 MBALaunch for Women to network with ambitious women, get GMAT resources, and access training and coaching to navigate the rigorous MBA admissions process. Ultimately, Divinity was admitted to three MBA programs with full rides.
HOW FORTÉ HELPED
Her dedicated MBALaunch mentor, Class of 2015 Yale MBA Margaret Farquharson, has been an invaluable resource and friend. They talked regularly and texted frequently. Margaret helped Divinity prepare for MBA interviews and enhance her essays as Divinity worked on Round 2 MBA applications.
Divinity also received guidance from Jennifer May, an alumna of USC’s Marshall School of Business, where she was a Forté Fellow. Jennifer served as Divinity’s MBALaunch peer group captain and helped her identify MBA programs that matched her selection criteria.
The exceptional support didn’t stop there: “I’ve had a 100% response rate with Forté’s network, reaching beyond the typical 90% response rate leading business schools promise from their alumni networks.”
She also contacted Forté Fellows at other schools of interest, and connected with Forté sponsor school admissions officers.
Her test prep strategy began with Forté’s GMAT module. She utilized the webinars and practice tests, and organized study sessions with other MBALaunch participants. Separately, she also invested in a private tutor, among other efforts. She applied to business school with a 640 score after taking the test three times and increasing her score by 120 points through these combined resources.
Divinity also saved money through Forté sponsor school application fee waivers, praising these exponential benefits in a blog post.
ADVICE FOR OTHERS
“MBALaunch is worth the time and financial investment,” she said. “It prepares you for the application process. The support network connected me with other women who helped me navigate struggles and celebrate successes in this process.”
She advises participants to always make time for the valuable webinars, Forté’s LinkedIn group, and women’s or diversity weekends at schools of interest.
Overall, her advice is simple but proven: “Be different. It pays off.”
Her track record as a serial entrepreneur stood out: she launched a fashion company in Los Angeles at age 19; a youth development non-profit in Uganda after graduating from the University of Southern California in 2008; a consulting firm with clients in Africa and the U.S.; and MBAMama.com, a new blog that provides Millennial moms with tools and resources to pursue an MBA.
Her unique perspectives as a single mom to Nyah, age 3, and Shafiq, age 7—and her conscious choice to push back against advice to avoid talking about her children professionally—also set her apart. Forté connected her with MBA moms who demonstrated this difference as an asset, not a limitation.
“I see reflections of myself in these role models,” she said. “Forté gave me the confidence to know I can do this.”
During her MBA program, she aims to monetize MBAMama.com. Post-MBA, she hopes to transition into a career in venture capital or investment management, and eventually launch a women’s leadership institute in Uganda.