Inside Undergraduate Internships at Forté

Internships at Forté Foundation provide an invaluable training ground for tomorrow’s women business leaders. Undergraduate interns have an opportunity to assist the organization with growing our college audience, reaching campus ambassadors, and coming up with innovative ways to expand our scope. Our interns are organized, self-motivated, and driven by our mission. To get the scoop on what it’s like to intern at Forté, we spoke to recent interns Nisha Patel and Mackenzie Wood.

Nisha Patel, Undergraduate Programs Intern

For Nisha Patel, a student at the New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business who has her sights set on a career in investment banking, her internship at Forté has afforded her “invaluable learning opportunities.” Working alongside professionals who have her best interest at heart has further fueled her passion for promoting women leading in the business world while getting a taste of that world herself.

“My internship helped me gain experience in completing tasks in a timely manner, improving analytical skills by paying close attention to details, contributing ideas to the team, communicating effectively with senior members, and utilizing Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint frequently,” she says.

Nisha, who will graduate next year with a Bachelor of Science in Business with concentrations in finance and economics, has been able to contribute to Forté’s community in many ways. She works with the Undergraduate Programs team to promote events and opportunities; conduct research and analysis for undergraduate students; and collect data across partner schools and universities.

“Working alongside the Forté team, the supportive community allows everyone to work closely together in promoting our mission of #MoreWomenLeading. I have been able to connect many undergraduate students with professionals in industries they are interested in, as well as with MBA partner schools to help them learn about different opportunities available upon graduating,” she says.

In addition, she helps conduct research for clubs and events at universities; tracks students’ progress and engagement with Forté offerings; creates attendee résumé books, participant summaries, and semester reports for external partners; and assists with promotion in Forté events, including college conferences, virtual Ask Me Anything sessions, and webinars.

With a packed schedule, she appreciates the flexibility her Forté internship offers and the value the organization places on academics.

“They allow me to work whenever it is convenient for me and give ample time before deadlines to ensure I am able to complete all tasks,” she explains. “If there is ever a conflict, they are always willing to move work around to make sure it does not interfere with schoolwork as they truly believe in students prioritizing academics.”

Perhaps one of the best perks of Nisha’s internship at Forté has been the mentorship she has received from Megan McMahon, Digital Marketing Specialist, and Libby Davis. Working in close collaboration with them allowed Nisha to learn more about Forté while also honing her interpersonal and project management skills, as well as her work ethic.

“No matter how big or little the task was, they were always willing to answer any questions I had and gave feedback that allowed me to continuously improve my work,” she says.

Nisha says she’ll be back to intern at Forté following a summer internship with Guggenheim Securities, where she hopes to land a full-time job after she graduates next year.

Mackenzie Wood, Marketing Intern

Interning at Forté had a big impact on Mackenzie Wood. She began working for the organization last July and says the experience changed her career outlook.

“I am much more aware of nonprofits and have genuinely developed a passion to work for one in my future. I feel my work has a purpose: being able to help more women lead in business. This experience has led me to possibly pursue a master’s degree in nonprofit administration,” she says.

Although a career involving data and analytics has long been a dream, Mackenzie says the Forté internship “helped me realize I want my work to have purpose in something I am passionate about.”

The Northwestern University graduate is somewhat of a legacy in Forté’s internship program. Her sister Kacey interned at Forté, had a good experience, and enthusiastically recommended the role. Mackenzie says her sister’s seal of approval cemented her desire to be involved in an organization that values inclusion, collaboration, and community.

Mackenzie’s intern duties included promoting Forté events and resources for undergraduate women, interpreting how well Forté reached a specific audience with social media advertisements, completing grassroots outreach by organizing data, helping with digital outreach to promote pre-MBA events, and researching or interpreting data on Forte’s audiences.

Mackenzie says she was able to learn new skills on the job, thanks to the guidance she received from Kristin Coleman.

“She and I would have regular check-in meetings to discuss any updates and to get to know each other in a remote work setting. She geared projects toward my analytical and data-based mindset,” Mackenzie says.

When Mackenzie reflects on her time with Forté, the analytical outlook she brought to projects stands out.

“[Using] my strength in statistics and analytics … in marketing helps us learn what is the most optimal way we can reach our audience,” she explains. “One project that I learned from was working with Facebook and Twitter Ads. I learned that marketing deals with a lot of analytics. It was interesting to see the demographics of how many people viewed each post and which types of posts receive more views.”

Mackenzie is currently in the Master of Data Science program at Northwestern and plans to complete the program by fall of 2023. She earned an undergraduate degree with a double major in statistics and communication studies from Northwestern in December 2021.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, she has an extra year of eligibility to play college soccer. She’s transferring to the University of Notre Dame to play one last year of college soccer this fall.

“I am currently deciding between continuing my studies in statistics by completing a Master of Business Analytics or pursuing a Masters in Nonprofit Administration at Notre Dame. These are two of my interests, and it is exciting to see how Forté has allowed me to gain a passion for more about nonprofit organizations,” she says.


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