Dear Incoming MBA Women, Congratulations on the following: a. Getting accepted into your dream school; b. Receiving financial support for your MBA; c. Starting the next phase of your career; d. All of the above? Some of the above? Now that the obligatory congrats is out of the way, let’s get real. How many of you are: a. Worried that you can’t live up to those goals you laid out so thoughtfully during the application process? b. Nervous that you won’t have time to focus on everything that will need your attention during b-school? c. Anxious that your classmates are so much smarter and more talented than you are? d. All of the above? Some of the above? Have you heard the statistic that women only apply for a job when they have 100% of the skills and competencies required, whereas men will apply with only 60% of those same skills and competencies? This number, which comes from a Hewlett Packard internal report — and has been quoted in dozens of articles — is usually highlighted as evidence that women lack confidence. But a 2014 Harvard Business Review piece by Tara Sofia Mohr reported that it isn’t a lack of confidence that keeps women from applying, but a lack of information about the hiring process. “This is why, I think, the Hewlett Packard report finding is so often quoted, so eagerly shared amongst women, and so helpful. For those women who have not been applying for jobs because they believe the stated qualifications must be met, the statistic is a wake-up call that not everyone is playing the game that way.” Just as women may be empowered to apply for a job that seems out of reach after hearing that stat, think about how you could benefit (even before you arrived on campus) from critical information about the b-school experience or how to mentally best prepare. Think about how you might benefit from a network of other women who share your goals for a bright post-MBA future but also your concerns about succeeding in b-school. Think about having access to this knowledge and network not only ramping up to your MBA, but throughout your first year of the program. What you are thinking about is Forté’s new MBA Takeoff program. MBA Takeoff not only provides self-directed learning and reflection exercises designed to support MBA women in negotiations, communications, and goal-setting, it provides the space and community to digest them and revisit throughout your first year. As part of the MBA Takeoff learning community, you will also receive a Forté Executive Access Pass which includes access to our Women Lead webinar series, all of Franklin-Covey’s learning modules, and Jhana, an online resource which provides practical tips and advice through an engaging email newsletter and access to a robust library of nearly 2,000 videos, articles, and tools. (On a personal note, the staff at Forté receives Jhana updates on Wednesdays and their leadership tips are usually a topic of conversation on Thursday mornings.) In addition to the self-guided learning and MBA Takeoff community, there will be online sessions in May-June exploring: Online presence Positioning yourself as a great intern candidate Women’s MBA student networks and support Speaking up in the classroom Introducing yourself with confidence Career exploration and change Job searching as an international non-US MBA Student Diversity, equity, and inclusion in the classroom We hope you will join us for MBA Takeoff this spring. We are confident you will soar in your MBA program and we want to support you on that flight. MBA Takeoff is $199 individually; or $189 if you register for the Forté MBA Leadership Conference or attend an MBA Takeoff information session on April 21 at 11 am ET or May 4 at 11 am ET. Register for the April 21 session here. Register for the May 4 session here. For more information, visit the MBA Takeoff website.