Imagine working in an environment where you're not only accepted but celebrated for who you are, where your differences are recognized as strengths. That's the kind of workplace In Good Company has set out to create. Founded by Sarah Naumann and Amanda Shojaee, this innovative startup is setting a new standard for inclusivity and diversity in the job market. Unlocking Impact: How an MBA Empowers You to Catalyze Change on a Large Scale Sometimes life-altering experiences come from the most unexpected places. For Sarah Naumann, it was a high school elective class that dramatically shifted her perspective and ignited her life’s mission. Sarah recalls, “My senior year in high school was very pivotal for me because I got to serve as a student aid for the special education classes…I came into it with the mentality that I am here to help them…however, during the course of the year, they ended up encouraging me. I began to realize that I needed them as much as they needed me.” One particularly memorable moment was when Sarah helped put together a show to highlight the talents of these often-overlooked students. It was a transformative experience for everyone involved, spotlighting the potential and capabilities of each student. Sarah’s early experience had a ripple effect on her career choices. She began her professional journey as a teacher for students with learning differences. However, she quickly recognized that the classroom walls limited the impact she wanted to make. She decided to get an MBA at Georgia Tech's Scheller College of Business to gain the necessary skills to effect change on a much larger scale. Sarah’s goal was to not only advocate for people with disabilities but to fundamentally change the narrative around them. She wanted to make them an integral part of society—especially in the job market. Sarah states, “One of my mentors taught me that we are not the heroes. We are the investigators, we are the listeners; through learning about their needs we can then start to support the delivery of those solutions. Sarah’s high school experience was the seed, but her time at Scheller College was the fertile ground that allowed that seed to grow. She met like-minded individuals who were equally passionate about social change. These relationships, along with her coursework in entrepreneurship and social impact, laid the foundation for In Good Company. She collaborated with fellow MBA graduates, professors, and industry experts to bring In Good Company to life. Building Partnerships: The Impact of Georgia Tech's MBA Program In Good Company co-founders Amanda and Sarah discovered the transformative power of business for social good while they were pursuing their MBA. Sarah, close to taking a break, found renewed purpose through Amanda's encouragement. Sarah recalls, “I was going it alone for the majority of the first year of the MBA…She approached me and ever since then it has been a perfect match.” Amanda and Sarah attribute much of their success to robust networking and mentorship, pillars that influenced their company's name. Networking and mentorship are essential components of success, particularly in the professional world. It can be overwhelming to navigate the complexities of building a career, but Forté is here to help. Whether you're just starting or looking to make a change, Forté is committed to helping you achieve your goals and reach your full potential. So don't hesitate - let Forté be your partner in success. Georgia Tech's vast network of alumni has also been crucial in scaling the impact of In Good Company. Alumni engage as mentors, advisors, and even sponsors helping to expand the initiative's reach. In return, the program keeps alumni connected to a cause that's both socially significant and aligned with their educational background. Breaking Barriers: Bridging the Gap for Inclusive Employment One of the most striking challenges facing adults with disabilities is the high unemployment rate— a staggering 80%. An entire segment of the population is being marginalized, unable to contribute their unique skills and perspectives to the workforce. This is where In Good Company steps in, challenging conventional views and offering innovative solutions. Instead of solely focusing on preparing disabled job seekers, the startup targets the other end of the employment spectrum—employers. Amanda states, “We are not alone in this, we are in the good company of a lot of partners and mentors… Our networking began with them, with getting to know them. Getting to know the organization that serves this population, and then immersing ourselves in the industry that we are telling people we want to serve. We can’t do that unless we genuinely make the effort to understand them.” By connecting a group that's eager to work with an industry that's desperate for reliable employees, In Good Company is forging a path to mutual benefit. A compelling example of their approach in action is their partnership with the restaurant "El Viñedo Local." Facing chronic staffing issues, the restaurant's owners were open to new solutions. In Good Company didn't just offer a candidate; they offered a comprehensive plan to ensure successful, sustainable employment. They helped tailor interview questions and job roles to suit both the employer's needs and the unique strengths of the disabled employee. The result? A more organized restaurant, a more focused team, and an employee who can participate in meaningful work. The young man with autism who joined the team has held his role for 10 months, far exceeding the previous 1-2 week norm before the position needed refilling. It's a win-win scenario that speaks volumes about the possibilities of inclusive employment. Women Supporting Women At the helm of In Good Company are two co-founders who admit they wouldn’t be here without the support of the other. These women are not only breaking barriers but also making room for others to follow. In a landscape where women entrepreneurs still face significant challenges, their success is a crucial piece of evidence that sisterhood in business isn't just a catchphrase—it's a catalyst for change. The story of In Good Company is an exhilarating blend of ingenuity, community, and sheer determination. It's a powerful reminder of the societal importance of inclusivity and diversity, not just as buzzwords, but as foundational elements for a better future. As we honor National Disability Employment Awareness Month, let's also celebrate the empowering narrative of In Good Company and its founders. If you're an aspiring MBA woman contemplating how best to advance your career to the next level, heed Amanda's words, “Now is the perfect time to do it. It’s when you are having all these questions about what I should do next. That is when you absolutely need to do it.” Forté is committed to launching women, just like Sarah and Amanda, into fulfilling, significant careers through access to business education, professional development, and a supportive community. Take part in upsetting the status quo. Join Forté today and make your mark in shaping a more inclusive and empowering business world.