Annelise Wipfli


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Imperial College Business School is a proud partner of the Forté Foundation, a non-profit organisation that champions women’s progression within business through access to education. In addition to the financial support provided, Forté Fellows have access to several unique resources from Forté Foundation including participation in their annual conference, exclusive networking groups, free lifetime premium membership and more. 

Annelise Wipfli, Full-Time MBA student attended Forté’s 20th anniversary celebration event, held at Imperial College  Business School.  As a Forté fellowship holder herself, she shares her motivations for applying for this scheme, what this fellowship means to her and the key highlights of this event. She also shares her advice for women who are considering applying for the Forté Fellowship.  

Why I applied for the Forté Fellowship 

My motivations for studying a Full-Time MBA at Imperial College Business School include gaining career acceleration, international work and life experience and to build a network of international professionals who share a similar growth mindset.  My long-term goals include being a leader in Marketing working for a global FMCG or Tech firm.  

I first heard about the  Forté Foundation when I began to research MBA programmes. It was an organisation that immediately captivated my attention and was something I wanted to be a part of. Being surrounded by women seeking similar career goals but also to get involved to help pave the way for women of the future was a motivation for applying.  

forte fellowship event group shot

What the Forté Fellowship means to me 

As someone who is funding my own studies, receiving this fellowship has had a significant impact on me being able to support myself through my MBA journey. Just six weeks underway, the Imperial Full-Time MBA is already proving to be a deeply transformational and rewarding experience and I am energised to see what the rest of the year and beyond has in store. Becoming a  Forté Fellow not only has enabled this journey to happen but will pay dividends in the future as I extend my reach and connect with other women apart of this organisation.  

What the Fellowship means to my peers 

As I talked with my other forte fellows in my cohort, Maria Luisa Mena said, “The Forté Fellowship  not only enabled me to pursue my MBA dream but also provided me with a sense of companionship and support throughout the entire journey. This support came not only from their platform and a variety of discussions and resources but also from the camaraderie of fellow Forte women who, like me, are on the same path.” -Maria Luisa Mena, Current Full-time MBA student  

Another member of cohort and  Forté Fellow Nga “Perry” states: "Coming from a developing country with the majority of women being underserved, I have been striving to utilise my expertise and network to help the women in my community, whether they're my family members, my colleagues, my mentees, or my customers. Aiming to become one of the leaders in the local financial industry and a part-time professor for public schools, Imperial’s Full-Time MBA programme is a life-changing experience that will enable me to make a bigger impact. I'm truly grateful for being one of the Forté Foundation Fellowship recipients as the fellowship not only supported me financially for higher education but also expanded my network with other women leaders, encouraging me to learn from the finest practices and drive positive changes in my local community in the future." - Nga Nguyen, current Full-Time MBA Student. 

My Advice 

My advice to women considering applying for this type of scholarship would be, know what makes you unique and know that what you are bringing to the table is unique and valuable. Bet on yourself. 

Forte fellowship event students crowd

The 20th Anniversary Event of the Forté Fellowship 

I really enjoyed attending the event at Imperial College, celebrating 20 years of Forté. The event was about recognising the achievements that have been made, the women in our Imperial community who have contributed to this mission and connecting with others so we may work together to continue to pave the way for the future.  

The event included speakers like Leila Guerra, Vice Dean (Education) at Imperial College Business School and Krystal Brooks, Director of Development at Forte.  

Krystal Brooks, Director of Development at Forté highlighted Forte's accomplishments over the past 20 years. Krystal then introduced two women who had received the Edie Hunt award for their contributions in pushing forward to mission and vision of Forte across the UK, Aoife Considine & Alberta Asafo-Asamoah.  

Forte fellowship event speakers

Feeling inspired by the Forté Foundation 

I was blown away by the incredible women at this event and by and the impact they have had while also recognising the work is never done. I plan to apply this into my academic journey through my positions as a Student Ambassador and Vice President of the FMCG, Luxury and Retail Club. I will connect with prospective students about Imperial College Business School and the Forté Foundation. I will help them understand how they may bring their own experiences and goals to create an impact in this space, as well as supporting the women within the club  to create new connections, network, and secure a role within the FMCG industry.