Straight out of undergrad I was not looking to apply to business school right away, but I always knew I would eventually apply.
I quickly learned about Forté and volunteered to help with their events. I volunteered for my first Forté Forum in 2014 and was blown away by what the Forum included. There were MBA programs from all around the world that were represented at the Forum including all of the top programs.
What stood out to me the most though, which was different than all the other MBA or college fairs I had previously attended, was the sense of community. Through the hustle and bustle of talking to one admission officer to the next, I noticed so many of the women talking to each other sharing MBA goals and tips.
Usually the big draw to these types of events is the MBA fair where candidates walk around to each school they are interested in. At the Forté Forum there is also an admissions and an alumni panel where admissions officers and then alumni talk about their specific experiences. I was surprised to see the room so full!
I got the chance to listen in to the panels for a little and I immediately understood why so many had chosen to stay for the panels. The admission officers and alumni where very open and honest with the group about everything MBA and the audience was very involved asking well thought out and helpful questions. The panel discussions further added to that feel of community and welcoming atmosphere.
I volunteered again the following year and was not at all surprised to see a record turnout even though there was a huge thunderstorm causing traffic to make it miserable to get to the event. This year I was again able to see and feel the strong sense of community that was present throughout the Forum.
Rarely did I see someone sitting alone for very long before someone came over and started a conversation. This is what makes the Forté Forum and the Forté community so special. Candidates at the Forté Forum see the value in networking and helping their peers rather than viewing everyone around them as competition.
This year I will be going to the Forté Forum as an MBA candidate and I cannot wait for not only the schools I will interact with, but for the new connections I will be able to make.
Kristin Tassini is in the 2016 MBALaunch program, and lives in Atlanta. She graduated from Emory University in 2013, and works at PwC as a M&A Associate.