Impact Stories
Mia Loiferman, MBALaunch Participant

Mia Loiferman Has a Professional Network for Life Thanks to MBALaunch

A second-year student at Dartmouth College (Tuck School of Business), Mia Loiferman participated in Forté MBALaunch in 2019 in New York City. Today she recalls how valuable Forté was in creating a network of women with similar goals that she cherishes to this today.

Her family made multiple sacrifices and big investments to make it possible for her and her sisters to leave Brazil and pursue an education in the United States. After graduating with a degree in economics from Northeastern University, Mia took a full-time job as a project manager for the United Nations.

“I did love my job at the United Nations. I was able to travel the world and work in causes that were important to me such as humanitarian action and disaster relief. I’ve always been curious about the world, and geography was one of my favorite subjects. After working in the Middle East and learning French and Spanish, I decided to prepare for entrance exams for diplomatic positions at the U.N.,” she recalls.

After working for the U.N. for nearly five years, Mia says she felt stuck, unable to earn a promotion and move up the professional ladder. With some encouragement from her parents, she decided to pursue a professional degree.

She explains, “I decided it was time to change industries and get new skills, hence the MBA was the best program going forward.”

With a nontraditional background in public service, Mia says she felt overwhelmed and lost trying to navigate the long MBA application process.

“I had no idea where to start. I looked into other programs, but I was not able to apply as an international student living in New York City,” she says.

After doing some online research, she discovered Forté and decided to apply for the 2019 MBALaunch cohort in New York City. She joined the program, and later earned a Forté Fellowship to help with b-school tuition and expenses.

It opened doors to find the right help during my journey and understand how I could further myself with an MBA.

Forming a Strong Network

As she embarked on her quest to obtain an MBA, Mia acquired a support system she describes as essential to her success. Mia and five other women in her MBALaunch cohort spent mornings together for months studying for the GMAT, discussing admissions consultants, and sharing resources. They also attended info sessions about MBA programs available in New York City.

“Little did I know, they would be crucial to my MBA experience, cheering and helping me every step of the way,” Mia says. “Applying to business school can be cumbersome, and many people give up during the process. Having these five women by my side and knowing I could count on them was essential to my preparation.”

Mia says the b-school application process was easier and more fun, thanks to the strong network she formed of pre-MBA women.

“I saw each of these women grow by learning new skills, going into different professional areas, and finding their passions. We also had difficult times together as we went through the admission process and received a denial from schools. We were there for each other each step of the process, and this is truly priceless,” she recalls.

Based on advice from an MBALaunch webinar speaker, Mia and her friends decided to brand themselves the “board of directors.” They created a WhatsApp group by the same name three years ago and continue to use it to communicate.

“Since 2019, we have scheduled a monthly meeting to discuss wages, MBA classes, and professional careers. And we help one another with key decisions such as how to negotiate a raise or how to write the best email for a scholarship. It has been an honor to follow these five amazing women through their life journeys for four years,” Mia says.

Thanks to MBALaunch, Mia and her close-knit network got accepted to six different powerhouse b-schools: Columbia Business School, Dartmouth College (Tuck School of Business), Harvard Business School, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan), University of Pennsylvania (The Wharton School), and Yale School of Management. Having her own board of directors to call on every month has broadened Mia’s MBA perspective and shown her how different professional programs manage socialization, curriculum, and other components of student life.

Since their time together in MBALaunch, Mia and her fellow board of directors have volunteered together at a Forté event in New York. They also traveled to Miami after the coronavirus quarantine and went on a gastronomic tour of Chinese restaurants in Flushing, N.Y.

“Although we do not live in the same city, we try to meet often in New York City or catch up during our monthly meetings, and these women are incredibly successful,” she says.

Take advantage of all the resources available in the program, and do not be afraid of asking alumni and speakers questions. Reach out to peers often and find advisors who can guide you toward the finish line.

Tools to Succeed

In addition to exposing Mia to like-minded women pursuing the same goal, MBALaunch broke down the b-school application process into manageable steps. And Mia appreciated the program’s women-focused approach.

“At Tuck we are still working toward attaining 50% of women in the program, and very few top 10 schools have achieved that. The approach to taking risks, the art of negotiation, and leadership skills were all subjects we discussed during our weekly MBALaunch chats,” Mia recalls.

Mia is grateful to MBALaunch for giving her the tools she needed to succeed.

“It opened doors to find the right help during my journey and understand how I could further myself with an MBA. I also got the chance to meet a lot of other women going through the same program,” she says.

Mia has a bright professional future. When she graduates next year, she plans to join an economic consulting firm and work in Boston. And she has some words of wisdom for women who are in the MBALaunch program.

“Take advantage of all the resources available in the program, and do not be afraid of asking alumni and speakers questions. Reach out to peers often and find advisors who can guide you toward the finish line,” she advises.

Support for Your MBA Journey

If you’re planning to apply to business school, improve your chances of getting in with Forté MBALaunch. Get access to a comprehensive application prep road map, supportive peer community, fee waivers to 40+ top b-schools, and more. Get started today!

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