Career Lab Virtual Campus Forté Foundation

Wise Words: Maya Angelou

“I am a woman, phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, that’s me.” - Maya Angelou


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Thank You to Forté Girl Talk Contributors!

May 28, 2014

We have enjoyed the opportunity to work with college student writers who have contributed articles to Girl Talk each month for this past academic year. Each writer has a unique voice and perspective and shared some incredible advice. We thank our contributors for their hard work! Now let’s meet them:

Nicole Chacin
Nicole will graduate in 2015 from George Washington University with a degree in business economics and public policy with a minor in vocal music. She plans on getting a JD/MBA after college and dreams of working in health policy and administration. She was a part of the first Forté College Leadership Conference and is the creative designer and co-founder of Chicago Boutique.

Most Popular Post: 6 Rules to Expand Your Network and Enrich Your Existing One

Nicole will return this fall as a Girl Talk contributor.

Angela Coquis
Angela will graduate Spring of 2015 from the University of Texas at Dallas. She is majoring in Management Information Systems and wants to live abroad and pursue a career in IT. She enjoys Virtual Campus and her dream job is owning a bakery.

Most Popular Post: 4 Ways to Excel in the Classroom

Angela will travel this summer and has accepted a fantastic internship opportunity this fall. Good luck in your endeavors, Angela!

Jaskamal Gill
Jaskamal will graduate in 2016 from Rutgers University with a degree in accounting and a minor in English. Jaskamal plans on working for a Big 4 firm after college and getting her MBA. She dreams of starting her own business and enjoys Virtual Campus.

Most Popular Post: The College Student’s Savings Plan for Summer Jobs

Jaskamal will continue to write over the summer break for Girl Talk and will return as a writer in the fall.

Caroline Herrmann
Caroline is a junior at Duke University majoring in Cognitive Science and minoring in German Studies. She is working on a Markets & Management Studies certificate. Her goal is to attend business school and she would love to work in marketing or consulting in the United States or Europe. She was a part of the first Forté College Leadership Conference and can be found on Twitter at @caroooline717.

Most Popular Post: The Top Five Qualities I’m Looking for in a Future Career

Caroline will write for Girl Talk over the summer break and is looking forward to her position as co-president of the Duke Association for Business Oriented Women in the fall.

Kaitlyn Lannan
Kaitlyn is a sophomore at Northwestern University. She is majoring in economics and communication and plans on attending business school. Her dream job is becoming Chief Marketing Officer at a Fortune 500 company. You can find Kaitlyn on Twitter at @KaitlynLannan.

Most Popular Post: Finding a Summer Internship After Freshman Year

We’re glad that Kaitlyn will return as a contributor this fall and write articles this summer.

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Forté C2B Conference: You Define “It”

May 28, 2014

by Ali Fraenkel

Marjie Terry’s enthusiasm spread like wildfire to a group of up-and-coming female college leaders at Forté’s New York City C2B Leadership Conference in April 2014. These individuals – whose company I was in for ten wonderfully intense hours – were also on fire in various ways… passionate, instinctively special, and BOLD.

Our morning keynote focused on taking our leadership skills to the next level. You may think, “What is this ‘next level’ and how can someone know how to get me there?” It seems like a very personal idea to focus on – and it is. Marjie’s understanding of how to present the topic of leadership to our diverse group of attendees and allowing us to own it, while still distinctly bringing us together, stood out in a powerful way.

Over the course of two hours we honed in on four unique areas of developing our leadership potential: speed networking with each other, how to establish a positive executive presence, building our own characteristic brands, and perfecting a pitch. Having extensive experience in the this field as the current VP of Leadership Development at Great on the Job, Marjie guided our paths to maximizing success in the workplace based on the various stages of work experience we were in. She set an initial expectation for the session – to help us package, process, and proceed to greatness.

What I loved about Marjie’s dynamic was her ability to encourage storytelling among our group. Every lesson she taught integrated into an activity that potentially forced us outside of our comfort zones and into larger arenas for success. Together, we connected, collaborated, and conceived plans for our future short- and long-term leadership goals.

There were numerous takeaways from this session, but upon surveying the reactions of my fellow attendees and asking what advice they would pass along to a friend, we focused on five key pieces of advice from Marjie:

“Fake it ‘til you become it.”

Let your body language, tone, and presence reflect the person you are and the person you strive to become.

“Make people love you.”

Don’t hesitate to make yourself invaluable to someone. Embrace the idea of gathering a cohort of advocates who want to see you succeed.

“Be deliberate.”

Say what you mean… and present it like you really do mean it! This attitude will make a good idea contagious.

“I am an expert in…”

We’ll never be done learning, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be young and have meaningful knowledge to share in fields we are passionate about (and skilled in).

“Connect the dots.”

In an age where self-promotion is valued, maintain mindfulness around why you’re grateful if you say you’re grateful. Know how to bring your story full-circle.

A comment I had heard at the opening of our day especially resonated with me during Marjie’s time with us. We were talking about the idea of “making it” in a career. We recognized that this concept of what “it” is often gets lost in expectations, standards, and stereotypes.

For this day and beyond, our group came together and acknowledged that we define what “it” is for ourselves – both personally and professionally. As for Marjie? She helped us bring that inner “it” out.

Ali Fraenkel a part of the class of 2016 at Northeastern University in Human Services and International Affairs. Ali plans to be in the social change arena after college either through employment or a graduate program. Her dream job would be leading a global movement of entrepreneurial philanthropy and she enjoys Forté webinars.

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Why Should a Millennial Start Investing Now?

May 22, 2014

by Jaskamal Gill

It is so easy to put off saving money for another day. We feel we need more money to start saving, or need more time to research options, or that we have all the time in the world to start. But, the sooner you start, the more money you will build up in order to live comfortably.

It doesn’t matter if it is a small amount to begin with – that money will accumulate and will be put to good use instead of lying around in a checking account.

Compound interest – often called the eighth wonder of the world – works in miraculous ways. You earn interest on the money you save and then you earn interest on the money you have originally saved plus on the interest you’ve accumulated.

It amounts to quite a bit when you earn interest on a larger and larger pool of money. It makes sense to start saving early. It is a known fact that for every ten years you delay before saving for retirement, you will need to save up to three times the original amount each month just to catch up!

Personal finance has become a neglected topic. A lot of it is not part of required education (as it should be). Millennials have been left in the lurch on how to manage money and with a slew of high-profile celebrity bankruptcies, it becomes even more prudent that we pay attention to how we manage our finances. This pertains to the usual advice of not spending beyond your means, budgeting wisely, and paying attention to the way your money is spent.

Well, investing has become easier than ever! There is no need to hire a financial advisor who takes fees, requires a minimum balance, or keeps some of the percentage return on your portfolio.

You don’t even have to handle anything yourself as to what to invest in which is convenient for those who simply do not have the time nor inclination for it! You can leave it up to professionals and still earn a sizeable return on your investment.

There have been many online investing services cropping up over the years, but one investing service that offers no traditional fees and does not require a minimum balance is WiseBanyan. The online company invests your money into a fully-diversified selection of stocks and bonds based on your investor profile. They also securely manage and monitor your investments around the clock.

WiseBanyan is just starting up and is as of now, the only free investment service. Another excellent service is LearnVest, if you’d like to start immediately and work on areas including budgets and investing. As other investing services enter the market,  investing becomes more accessible to everyone and also more important than ever.

As a Millennial, you have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to put yourself on a comfortable path to retirement. Whether you invest your money yourself or use an investing service, it is important to start now!

Jaskamal Gill will graduate in 2016 from Rutgers University with a degree in accounting and a minor in English. Jaskamal plans on working for a Big 4 firm after college and getting her MBA. She dreams of starting her own business and enjoys Virtual Campus.

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How Watching the Daily Show Might Get You a Job Someday

May 21, 2014

by Jaskamal Gill

It’s good practice for all college students – not just business students – to read the news. Knowing what goes on in the world is important since it has the potential to affect your life in drastic ways.

It does not matter whether it is about the Affordable Care Act, the government shutdown, or the Ukraine Crisis; as a citizen of the world, it is your responsibility to stay sharp and to know what is happening outside of your daily bubble.

Why is it particularly important for a business student?

A business student needs to know the latest developments happening in the marketplace. Business is fluid – information and the ways in conducting business are always changing. As an accounting major, I know the rules governing financial reporting are not set in stone yet. For financial reporting, there is IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards), the common language for business affairs and then there is GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles), the one that the United States follows. The goal is to eventually transfer to IFRS but this transformation will take many years to complete; it has been slow and uncertain but it is up to accountants to keep track of any rule changes and to incorporate this into their financial reports. Along the same lines, a business student who will soon turn into a business professional should make it her job to keep on top of any news that may affect her later on when she enters the working world.

A business professional needs to know the industry; you need to know how the top companies are performing, the issues cropping up in domestic and international markets, and the conditions of the industry before you delve into them. Graduating from college is a perplexing time and even more so if you are thrust into a job with little background information.

Can you imagine landing a job on Wall Street without knowledge of the industry – only knowing what you have learned in class? It is highly unlikely you will even get the job if you have limited knowledge. Recruiters are quizzing job applicants very closely – I’ve heard horror stories passed on from professors.

For example, an investment bank was recruiting for an entry-level position and one of the applicants was a bright student with exceptional grades and numerous leadership positions. But then the interviewer asked a question that stumped the college student: “Who is the treasurer of the United States?” (It’s Rosa Gumataotao Rios.) The interviewee was unable to answer the question so the interview ended there.

Harsh? Maybe, but this just serves to underline how important it is to know current events.

How can you make daily news a priority?

Pick up a daily newspaper and skim the headlines. Find ones that interest you and read those articles.

It is always a good idea to read the op-eds too to find out what the “hot” topics are around the world. Pay close attention to the business headlines and read the “Marketplace” section in the Wall Street Journal. Many newspapers also offer substantial discounts for college students.

I know what you’re thinking – you’re a college student, how will you find time to read all of this? Consider this as an additional one-credit class.

If you are serious about being a business professional then you must research the industry and know your facts before joining. You don’t have to read everything in detail but you should skim the headlines everyday, whether it’s on your phone or in a printed newspaper. If you’re really in a rush, try an email news service like The Skimm or spend a few minutes watching The Daily Show or your favorite news station.


Jaskamal Gill will graduate in 2016 from Rutgers University with a degree in accounting and a minor in English. Jaskamal plans on working for a Big 4 firm after college and getting her MBA. She dreams of starting her own business and enjoys Virtual Campus.

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No College Internship? No Problem!

May 20, 2014

by Kaitlyn Lannan

The job search is a long and difficult process, and your efforts can sometimes be unsuccessful, no matter how hard you try. Not landing an internship isn’t the end of the world, especially if you are a freshman or sophomore.

Here are some alternatives to keep yourself busy over the summer and prepare for your future career in a different way:

Volunteer

Volunteer positions are often less competitive than internships, and most organizations would be happy to have more help. Many nonprofits are shorthanded on the administrative side of work, so someone with business skills would be greatly appreciated.

Volunteering is also a great way to earn marketable skills while bettering your community. You’ll be surprised by the connections you make that may lead to future employment opportunities.

Attend Conferences

Lots of big companies offer one or two-day conferences for students to attend to learn more about the company or a specific career path. Attending one of these would be a great way to network for the future, and you will get an insider’s look at the company. Also, if the conference is located in a different city than your hometown, it is a smaller commitment to attend the conference for only several days than for an entire summer.

Plan for Next Summer or the Upcoming School Year

While internships are incredibly important to pursue during the summer breaks, not having one can also give you more time to plan for your future. Try making an Excel spreadsheet of companies that you are interested in, and plan on how to best go about contacting them.

If you don’t secure an internship for this summer, there are plenty of other worthwhile activities to pursue. It may lead you to something more fulfilling and even look better for your resume.


Kaitlyn Lannan is a sophomore at Northwestern University. She is majoring in economics and communication and plans on attending business school. Her dream job is becoming Chief Marketing Officer at a Fortune 500 company. You can find Kaitlyn on Twitter at @KaitlynLannan.

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Summer Workplace Apparel Tips for College Students

May 15, 2014

by Kaitlyn Lannan

Summer is the season for internships and short-term job positions. It can be a difficult time to know how to dress appropriately, given the stifling days and warm nights. Depending on your climate, it may be necessary to make some changes to what you were wearing in the spring to keep yourself comfortable and professional for the summer. Here are some tips to help you decide:

Formal is Better

This depends on the office environment in which you work, but as a rule, it is always best to be dressed too formally than not formal enough. A sundress might not fit the usual atmosphere of the office, so exercise caution when introducing new summer pieces.

A crop top, flip flops, or shorts are never acceptable in the office, even if it’s a casual environment or a Friday.

Adapt What You Currently Wear

Finding the perfect summer outfit for work might be as simple as leaving the blazer or jacket component of your favorite work outfit at home. This might not be feasible for some office environments, so if you are still required to dress in business professional, try suits made of a lighter material, like linen.

Try wearing a spring or fall dress without your bulky winter jacket and you could find that it becomes a summer staple too. Pair it with a cardigan for strapless or thin-strapped dresses.

Bring Layers

Even though you will definitely be less bundled up in summer than in winter, it can still be wise to bring some layers in to work in case the air conditioning is on high. This can also be useful if you have to work later into the night or decide to go from work to another event.

If you walk during your commute, bring your flats or heels separately if you choose to walk in lightweight footwear like sandals or canvas shoes.

Dressing for the warm summer months can be tricky, especially if you are at a new job and have not had to dress for the summer weather in that office environment yet. As you get used to your new office (and the weather in your area) you’ll establish a routine that keeps you looking professional while you endure the summer months.


Kaitlyn Lannan is a sophomore at Northwestern University. She is majoring in economics and communication and plans on attending business school. Her dream job is becoming Chief Marketing Officer at a Fortune 500 company. You can find Kaitlyn on Twitter at @KaitlynLannan.

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Take the Forté College Survey!

May 14, 2014

Do you have a few minutes to spare before taking your finals? Tell us what you think in our college survey! It’s only five short questions.

Your feedback helps us improve the resources that you get for free as a Forté member.

Take the Survey »

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