As a female MBA and entrepreneur and businessperson, I know that women can more than handle business school and the application process just as well or better than anyone. Going through an MBA program helped me to think creatively. I gained a broad range of skills needed to work on strategy, marketing, management and accounting issues, and developed a network that I have tapped into and relied upon every step of the way as I’ve built up my company these past 15 years. Most importantly, the MBA brought about a mind-shift which allowed me to come up with an idea and believe that I could be the one to make it happen… and then actually go for it and make it a reality.
Business schools have made significant efforts to increase female enrollment in recent years, and while the percentages are much higher than when I was at Kellogg School of Management, we haven’t reached parity yet. In b-school as in the working world, a woman might find herself in a position where she is the only female at the table or in the minority. So, you need to do all that you can to feel comfortable and confident in those situations. That’s why I think the Forté MBALaunch program is such a worthwhile experience for female applicants.
Participating in MBALaunch is almost like going through a mini MBA program.
This 10-month program pairs women seeking an MBA with a support network and provides a structured roadmap for applying to business schools. Stacy Blackman Consulting hosts two webinars during the program, and I’m always blown away by the energy, dedication, and interests of the women participating. The cohort is different each season, and my team loves meeting this pool of dynamic applicants and hearing about their professional goals.
Participating in MBALaunch is almost like going through a mini MBA program, offering the chance to learn from a group of impressive women with unique life experiences. It gets you thinking about the MBA and your career goals far in advance of the application deadlines, so that you have a solid and compelling answer to that inevitable “Why an MBA?” question the admissions committee asks.
MBA essays, interviews and recommendations need to indicate that the applicant already has a comfort level with speaking out, defending points of view, and collaborating with all types of people. MBALaunch will help participants bolster those traits where needed, provide invaluable guidance on the MBA essays, and basically coach you through every step of the application process.
One of the most priceless benefits of going through the program is that it’s a place where you can make meaningful professional connections that will create as much value for you as your future MBA degree.
We love working with clients who have gone through the MBALaunch program because they’re thoroughly prepared when the time comes to apply. These women have done a lot of the initial brainstorming and soul searching up front that can actually take a lot of time, and shouldn’t be squeezed into the month right before applying. They’ve already fleshed out several key ideas they plan to convey to the admissions committee, they have an accurate sense of where they stand and where they want to go. With their heads ready to embark on the application, they end up being that much more successful.
In addition to the educational resources provided (which are substantial), one of the most priceless benefits of going through the program is that it’s a place where you can make meaningful professional connections that will create as much value for you as your future MBA degree. While it’s possible to gain considerable knowledge about the application process from a book or an Internet search, the camaraderie and mutual learning that you’ll experience is irreplaceable. You probably already know that many new businesses start as a result of a current professional connection, and MBALaunch is an ideal place to begin to seek out mentors, groom your relationships, and become a resource for others as well.
Having the support of other women during the MBALaunch program really buoys up female candidates and helps them persevere as they determine whether this is the right path for them. This network can help as you research schools, decide where to apply, and support you throughout your candidacy. We advise female applicants to take a closer look at what efforts of inclusion are happening on campus at your target MBA programs, and share those observations with your peers. In addition to making those two years at business school a whole lot of fun, these relationships will become a lasting set of connections that have the potential to change the course of your professional life forever.
Women considering business school should know the MBA degree truly is the one of the best ways to transform their career by giving them the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful. The intention of this 10-month journey is to make you the best MBA candidate possible. The lineup of speakers, workshops, resources, and advisors at MBALaunch will certainly help you “get it done,” but will also inspire you along the way so that you feel good about your future and how the MBA will support your personal and professional goals.
Stacy Blackman Consulting is also thrilled to support women on their MBA journey. Schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our experts.