Forte Conference 2017

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Associate Dean of Programmes and Forté Foundation Board Member Diane Morgan, along with some of our current MBA students and representatives, recently attended the Forté MBA Women’s Leadership Conference in Texas. As part of Imperial’s Women in Leadership scheme, which is dedicated to the success of women at the Business School, we work together with Forté Foundation to launch women into fulfilling, significant careers by providing meaningful experiences that foster personal and professional development.

The two-day conference brought together women from around the world for a one-of-a-kind networking experience, while gaining the opportunity to learn from fellow females who are transforming their schools, workplaces and industries.

“I attended the conference as an Imperial College Business School Careers representative,” explains Zaneta Motkowicz, Employer Relations Executive at the Business School. “We have only recently become a school sponsor so it was a great opportunity to meet the Forté team and learn more about the organisation and how it can support our female MBA students in their careers.”

A common theme that appeared during most of the sessions was that no matter where in the world, women are more cautious than men in deciding on their career paths or making bold decisions. They are often afraid to ask for help or too shy to reach out to their network and generally are not as confident within themselves in comparison to their male counterparts. “The conference was a great opportunity for women to come together to address these issues and empower each other to recognise their own achievements,” says Zaneta.

In line with the conference theme of, ‘Let’s Turn It Up! Transform the power trip. Propel your career,’ women were encouraged to embrace their power to create a career of positive influence. Attendees were given the opportunity to mingle with top companies such as Whirlpool Corporation, Amazon, AT&T, IBM, Microsoft, Citibank, Google and Deloitte.

“I’m so proud to have been able to represent the Business School at this conference, an event that echoes our dedication to gender equality and women in business,” says Full-Time MBA student Nicole Moogalian.

Day one of the conference was the Career Day, where attendees took part in a number of sessions which offered insights about industries, roles and specific opportunities available to MBA students. Women had the chance to network with company representatives, MBA alumnae, recruiters and other MBA students, while learning about how best to develop their career path.

Professional Development Day took place on day two of the conference, during which workshops and panels were held with the aim of empowering women to build networks, pursue global careers, negotiate and shine in interviews. First year MBAs also heard from a panel of second year MBAs about how to navigate the demands of the programme and prepare for forthcoming challenges.

Attendees were given extensive advice and interactive experiences around creating strategic and effective plans for their personal and professional lives, and most importantly balancing the two. Women heard about ways they can leverage their skills and experience to become leaders, and also explored ways to form strong male allies in the workplace for peak performance.

“My key takeaway from these series is to know your worth and do not be afraid to ask for what you want,” explains Nicole. “You might not have every qualification in a job posting, but that does not mean you aren’t capable. You never know unless you put yourself out there and take on challenges that will allow you to grow.”

All MBA students at Imperial receive full access to Forté Foundation resources and services such as events, webinars and job postings. We are also pleased to offer Forté Fellowships of up to £22,500 to outstanding female students joining the Full-Time MBA. Fellowships are available to all women applying to the MBA programme.

“Forté Foundation does so much to promote women in business and I hope to see the Business School and our female MBA students make the most of the partnership with the organisation,” adds Zaneta.

Key takeaway quotes:

“Little choices makes big impressions” – Keith Ferrari

“The moment I regret is the moment I didn’t step up” – Lyndsey Pollack

“Be open to things you have not thought of on your own” – Pam Klyn

“Learn to own your failure; own it and share it” – Susan Majony

“You can change the world everyday through each and every person in your team” – Elisabeth wright

“If 70% of jobs are not posted then the strongest tool you have is your network” – Leigh Gauthier

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