Laju Obasaju. New York University College of Arts & Sciences – BA, Journalism/Politics, 2004 New York University School of Law – JD, 2007 University of Southern California Marshall School of Business, 2017 Hometown: Bellmore, NY Pre-MBA Work Experience: Entertainment Attorney Forté impacted my career goals and student launch experience in immense ways. Through participation in the Forté MBA Women's Leadership Conference in Washington D.C. in 2015, I began business school with a huge edge on the competition. First, of course, is the exposure to a number of fantastic companies even before the start of class. Forté Fellows have the opportunity to network and form meaningful connections with recruiters and employees at top companies with demonstrated commitments to gender diversity in the business field. At a time when many of my classmates were just beginning their internship searches, I already had connections and informational interviews set up with several industry leaders. This has provided me with a huge edge (and a few early internship offers!) in fall recruitment. The Conference also offered unparalleled breakout sessions and discussions. I have participated in several conferences now and the sessions offered by Forté have been the most informative thus far. I attended sessions that ranged from industry and functional focuses to a day in the classroom and best practices to succeed. From participation in the Forté Conference, I was able to learn more about positioning myself for rotational programs, deepen my understanding of how position myself as a career switcher in the tech and media industries and learn how to thrive in classroom settings. I did not fully realize how valuable these were until I began classes and was able to implement what I had learned. Finally, there was the connections with other attendees. I met several amazing women from my USC class and had a built in friend group before school began. I also was able to network with amazing women from other business schools across the country and have remained friends with several of them to this day. I have been able to reconnect with my Forté Friends at events and conferences around the country. Considering that USC Marshall is only 29% female, having this strong connection of smart, wonderful, successful women around the country has been enormously helpful!