MBA - Application Process

Why Forté MBALaunch is a REALLY Good Idea

Kofi-KankamI already know. Not another group to join! After being a semi-professional joiner of every imaginable club since you first had to remember your school locker code, who wants to do another one? Working 15 to 20 hours a week in addition to being a film production assistant, Campus Tour Guide, Treasurer of the Consulting Club, and Vice President of the Women’s Keynote Speaker Club was exhausting. Aging. Sometimes, pretty un-fun.

So, now you’re dominating at work, serving on your CEO’s “Young Leadership Council,” learning every new function of Excel that those pesky Microsoft engineers created, and hitting the gym on Saturday when that Friday night wasn’t too intense. And, some nobody is telling you to join Forté MBALaunch? You can’t just apply to business school on your own? Really? I know, I get it.

But, hear me out. It’s a really good idea for which I’d like to take credit, but I can’t.

Here’s why you should consider it:

So many candidates get denied from school because they make simple mistakes.

70% of applicants to top schools are qualified and yet only 10 to 25% get in. These numbers imply there are many good candidates who don’t make the cut – they don’t even get an interview. What’s a surefire way to become part of the majority who don’t sniff their dream school’s campus?

Make uninformed mistakes about how you represent your job, some class you took, key activities, and what you’re bringing to campus. MBALaunch will lessen those odds dramatically as you learn from experts on key mistakes that were made. We’ve got lots of examples, and many of them are not as obvious as you think. With MBALaunch, you’ll reduce the chances of being one of the great applicants who doesn’t get in due to silly errors.

You will get the structure you need to plow through your application.

When you’re applying to 5 schools, working a job, studying for your GMAT, and trying to remain somewhat human, structure is highly important. Getting organized, having your calendar mapped to take care of critical tasks on time, and learning the pace of the multi-month application process is so important. Many folks don’t make it all the way through. MBALaunch will give you the essential framework to be successful.

Inspiration: Like carbs before a marathon.

This is a long race. You could have structure and direction on your every MBA move, but if you don’t have a bit of intrinsic motivation, you’re done. Being immersed with all of these dynamic women, having a chance to call someone when you’re feeling unmotivated, and getting that competitive spirit stroked are invaluable assets.   You’ll meet some amazing people, realize you’re part of that crew yourself, and do what it takes to remain as one of the best.

Gain the opportunity to build a network in many different schools.

Most of you will get into school across a wide variety of top 30 programs.   Many of you are going to school largely to build a great network. Why not expand beyond one school to 20+ other programs represented by your class at Forté?

If you’re deliberate in Forté MBALaunch, you will have people in every major city around the world. Okay – maybe not every city, but you’ll have a person you can call in some pretty great places. If a firm isn’t recruiting at your MBA program, don’t you think it would be invaluable to have a friend at a school where they are? It would – trust me. MBALaunch will give you that.   Frankly, that’s only the beginning because you will have that network beyond the days you mark on campus into your post-MBA career. Take advantage.

You can ask a dumb question of experts and your peers.

When my mom told me that “no question is a dumb question,” unfortunately she wasn’t being truthful.   There are certain questions that you really cannot ask of an admissions officer (unless you’re behind a black screen with your voice altered). MBALaunch is not one of those places. You can ask question of your peers and MBA experts in a safe environment with no snickers, eye rolls, glances at your nametag, or chances of getting into a school damaged. That’s a huge opportunity.

The experts who have been to business school and helped many other people are a perfect audience to ask how to describe your open clashes with your boss, your brief pause in activities for 3 years, and about that darn organic chemistry class that defeated you in college.   The experts can give perspective on what other candidates have done and your peer group will nod their head and be thankful you asked their question for you.   I personally have been in some of these MBALaunch sessions and witnessed this dynamic, and it’s pretty phenomenal.

The time to learn about your career is before you apply.

Strangely, you need to have an idea of what you want to do prior to setting foot on campus. Actually, ideally – prior to submitting your application. It’s quite hard to know what you are interested in when you’re not even aware of the options.   Have a guess who can help describe certain careers, give you the ins-and-outs to get hired, and offer a real perspective on a certain job or company? That’s right – other Launchers.

You’ll feel a lot more confident stating your interest in becoming a venture capitalist when you actually have spoken to one or five in detail and are informed about the reality of working in “the valley.”  You will the opportunity to learn about careers in a way you cannot do in business school.

It’s fun – seriously.

Being around motivated people all learning about something new and trying to improve themselves is highly stimulating. That’s what you’re super-motivated to do in attempting to get into business school. Well, that environment is exactly what MBALaunch offers. I’ve been fortunate to spend some time with the women of MBALaunch and been late to a lot of meetings afterwards because we were all having such a good time that time passed by too quickly.   It’s a great time and you’re moving your life forward. That’s a hard combo to pass up.

I look forward to seeing you at a Forté MBALaunch event!

Kofi Kankam is the CEO of, a free admissions social community with tools to help applicants achieve their dreams. He is married to an NYU Stern MBA who swears she is smarter than he is. Kofi received his MBA from Wharton, and his Master of Education and Bachelor degrees from Harvard.

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