If you are a woman and considering business school, you must connect with the Forte Foundation which is a non-profit dedicated to helping women attend business school and then succeed professionally. They do this through scholarships, mentorship, conferences, workshops, networking and in other ways.
As Elissa Sangster, the Executive Director explains, “the Forte Fellowship is not only a financial incentive but is an opening to a broad network for women across many business schools who will be future business leaders.”
For most potential applicants, a good place to start a relationship with Forte is through their Forte Forums. At this event—which is held in August in cities across the country—potential business school applicants can meet with partner schools and get a better understanding of the admissions process (including test prep) and build a network of like-minded peers and veteran business leaders.
Currently, there are some 50 partner schools (including all the top ranked schools) who have all shown a commitment to increasing the number of women attending their schools and then helping them succeed once they graduate.
Following the Forte Forum, many women choose to participate in MBA Launch, a 10-month program which provides support to women throughout the application process, including finding the right schools, preparing for the GMAT, fine-tuning their applications, getting ready to tackle interviews, meeting with admission professionals and alumnae.
A nice bonus is that participants of MBA Launch receive application fee waivers at many of Forte’s partner schools.
Upon acceptance, women are eligible to receive a Forte Fellowship. These scholarships generally provide $10,000 to $20,000 to help accomplished women attend partner schools. Since 2005 over 5,000 women have received some $110 million in aid. Last year alone, Forte welcomed 1100 new fellows.
If this wasn’t enough, any women at a Forte partner school can participate in the Forte MBA Women’s Leadership Conference, a two-day conference that will help women succeed not just in business school but as a business person as well. This year’s conference is in Seattle in June, though there is a waiting list to attend. If this is something you are interested in, then time to start making plans for next year.
What Forte is all about is helping women to succeed. And everyone can use a little help. So if you are a woman thinking about business school, step one should be connecting with Forte.