Forté Foundation
Career Lab Virtual Campus

New Year, New You

By Aury Cifuentes

February 1, 2018

Happy New Year Forte friends and beyond! May 2018 be YOUR year and if you made a New Year’s resolution keep on reading for some great tried and true tips on keeping them! If you are not a fan of resolutions and instead crafted some goals for 2018 then the article still holds true so you are in luck.

1.    Write it out!

While you might have done this already, writing your goals has been scientifically proven to be much more effective than just thinking about them. So grab your favorite pen and whether it is on a sticky note, planner, or poster writing can help you achieve what ever is on your mind. For example if you are trying to be healthier this year and one way to do that is to stop late night snacking, there is a tip to place a post it on places reminding you of this goal. But there are endless ways to really write things into existence so feel free to get creative with this one.

2.    Phone a friend

What if you and your best friend have the same resolution? While you might find a new gym buddy sharing your resolutions with your friend group is also a great way to create some friendly accountability. And for those of us with a slight competitive streak this can turn into a contest but remember to respect everyone’s limits and abilities when comparing your progress!

3.    Make a plan!

Let’s say you have a huge goal in mind but making a plan on the small steps you will take to achieve it is just as important. Maybe you need to meet with some key people or mark your calendar accordingly and that is where a plan can be your hidden trick to staying on track. This can also be useful for those of us who might need an extra app or two to do this planning and managing for us.

Remember, whatever your resolutions to keep and open mind that the mentality toward accomplishing them is just as important and any of the tips above. If you made goals for the year all of the above still apply so go get those dreams!

  Aury Cifuentes is a very bubbly senior at The College of New Jersey. As an Economics major with a concentration in Social Justice she is happily working on a capstone project, internship, and thesis this year. When she isn’t studying, Aury is actively participating in the community through the Bonner Service program and working closely with her E-Board as president of Women in Business this year.

Read More  0 Comments
Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Email More…

My 10 Day Adventure in Israel with Caravan for Democracy

By Megha Karthikeyan

January 30, 2018

Here is a group picture of some of the Caravan for Democracy participants at the Wadi Attir farm in the Negev Desert.

This winter break I had the opportunity to spend 10 days in Israel through the Caravan for Democracy Student Leadership Mission to Israel. It is a fully sponsored trip by the Jewish National Fund for non-Jewish students to understand the complexities of Israel as well as learn about the ethnic diversity of the country. Being a leader is important in any field, and having the opportunity to practice my leadership and communication skills in a global setting was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Participating in Caravan for Democracy gave me the chance to network with student leaders from all over the country. It is very important to develop a wide social network of individuals from many different fields, and this program gave me the chance to talk with pre-med, pre-law, business, and arts students. I was able to learn about what college is like in other parts of the country while simultaneously hearing from leaders in Israel about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as well as other domestic issues.

One of the most important concepts I learned on this trip was the idea that Israel is a startup nation. As a business student, I usually only think of companies in the Silicon Valley as startups. However, Israel is very unique in that it literally “started up” around 70 years ago from empty desert, to a thriving country. Through numerous presentations and meetings, I learned about how the entrepreneurial spirit and grit of the people coupled with innovation, allowed Israel to rise to the top and succeed in such a short period of time.

For example, Israel has world class irrigation techniques like drip irrigation. One of the places our group visited was the Netafim Factory where they make drip irrigation parts to ship all over the world. This factory is in a kibbutz in the desert, and the area where it’s located is quite green, although it is in the arid Negev Desert. A man from the kibbutz invented a special type of drip technology that then grew to a factory that has international clients. This type of drip irrigation is used in all parts of Israel to grow crops as well as in other parts of the world.

Another example of innovation is the start up culture in Israel. In Tel Aviv there are so many new businesses and tech companies that are gaining ground, and we visited one of them. We went to a maker space that allowed people to make and design their own furniture. Although this isn’t a tech start up, the entrepreneurial spirit in the company was still there. They have a maker space where people can make their own furniture and products with the help of the experts in the startup. We were able to get a tour of their space and equipment and it was cool to see how many unique ideas there were in one area.

When we visited Independence Hall in Tel Aviv where Israel was declared a state, our guide noted to us that the Tel Aviv was once just a tiny street with a few homes on it. It took years to build the city up into the metropolitan area that it is today, but that was done with the hard work of the people who lived there. However, just like any startup, Israel faced many difficulties including wars and conflicts. The people and government are still struggling with what to do with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Some argue for a two-state solution while others think there are better ways to solve the conflict. One of the great aspects of this program was how honest we could be with our questions. We were able to ask the tough questions to the speakers that came to us, even if the topics were controversial ones. For example, we met with the designer of the security wall between the West Bank and Israel and went to the site itself. The wall itself is controversial because of the strict separation between the Palestinians who live in the West Bank and the Israelis.  Although I don’t have the answer to Israel-Palestine conflict, I have more background on the history and geopolitics of the region.

In addition to learning about the economic and political aspects of Israel, we also got understand the history. We visited Jerusalem and saw many of the holy sites as well as other historic sites near the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River. This program gave me the chance to get a well-rounded view of Israel and provided me the opportunity to make new friends from all over the country. For those who are student leaders on their college campuses who are interested in exploring other parts of the world, I highly recommend doing this program as it definitely impacted my way of thinking.

Megha Karthikeyan is from Vienna, Virginia and attends the University of Virginia. She intends to double major in Economics and Commerce at the McIntire School of Commerce with finance and information technology concentrations. Megha will graduate from UVA in 2020. She hopes to work in the finance industry as a finance or risk analyst, but is also looking at working in investment banking.

Read More  0 Comments
Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Email More…

Beauty Products You Need For Your Next Professional Event

By Casey Tsamis

January 25, 2018

It’s always important to put your best face forward (quite literally) for a professional conference, networking event, or job interview. It’s sometimes difficult to find a product that will conceal under eye bags, but also seem like you’re not wearing tons of makeup. This list of beauty products will be sure to have you feeling your best and ace your next professional event.

This color corrector is a must-have since it can brighten any under eye area, and make sure you’re looking awake, refreshed, and ready to tackle on question that’s thrown your way. It comes in a small packaging, but the product itself lasts for months.

After correcting with BECCA’s corrector, polish it off with this concealer. This is perfect to hide any blemishes or to start the first step of contouring. The applicator brush creates a smooth, matte finish that will even out different skin tones and look natural as ever.


It’s definitely more on the pricier side, but for three products that can be thrown into your bag, it’s a steal. This trio includes a concealer, a bronzed contour stick, and a highlighter. Depending on the event or what industry the interview is for, a touch of highlighter on the cheekbones is completely okay. For all three stix, a little goes a long way, so use small amounts to start.

Drybar Travel Size Detox Dry Shampoo-$13
The travel size version of this product is perfect for fitting in your bag in case of a hair emergency. It has an amazing salon smell to it and will last for the next two days. Use this for the roots to mask any oils that may appear.

Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Lengthening Mascara-$24
This award-winning mascara is good for opening the eyes by lengthening the lashes and giving a dramatic, yet professional, look to the eyes. It won’t smudge or dry out either, and it’ll last for four months, tops.

It’s hard not to be nervous or intimidated before an interview or an event, but it’s proven that you will automatically feel more confident in a professional space if you believe you look your best. These products are used to enhance the features, not hide them. Show your best self and you’re guaranteed to do well.

Casey Tsamis is a senior journalism student at Emerson College in Boston, MA. She is a Division III athlete as well as the Vice President of her sorority, Xi Gamma Nu. Casey spends her free time exploring the latest fashion and beauty trends, and her dream job is to work at Too Faced.

Read More  0 Comments
Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Email More…

Three Tips to Kick Off Your Spring Semester

By Megha Karthikeyan

January 18, 2018

With spring semester right around the corner, it is good to set goals that relate to academics, career, and personal/social life. Fall semester was a whirlwind of signing up for new activities, trying out for clubs, and adjusting to classes after a long summer break. Spring semester can be as hectic if you don’t set goals and have a plan of action.

Here are some tips that can help you get organized and succeed this upcoming semester:

Start your work early and don’t put off assignments.

I know this is easier said than done, but spring semester can get busy because you don’t have as many small breaks as you do in the fall semester. It is easy to put off doing readings but once you stop doing one assignment, it adds up. From the first day of classes, look ahead at your syllabus and see what you need to complete each week. Try to do your assignments in advance so you aren’t rushing the night before to do it. If you have any free time, try to get ahead on readings and homework.

I feel like spring semester classes can also be tougher because you may be taking the second level of a course you took in the fall. This makes advanced preparation even more crucial. Set a goal for yourself to not fall behind and try your best to follow through with it.

Keep applying for internships, programs, and scholarships.

Although fall recruiting is over, a new round of recruiting opens in the spring semester. Many people may have put off the internship search in the fall, but once spring hits companies will start filling up positions. You don’t want to put off applying for an internship until May because by that point most companies will have already hired all their interns.

January is the perfect time to start contacting recruiters and attending informational events at your school. Build up your network with these people, so when applications open in February and March, you have a contact person at the company you want to work at. Spring semester is also the time to look for conferences and workshops to attend that will help you build a skillset. Many leadership, tech, and finance conferences happen in the spring and summer, so looking early and turning in that application will help you in the long run.

Spring semester is also when scholarship applications are due for many schools. Look into what scholarships your school offers and start writing essays and collecting references, so when the application is due you aren’t scrambling to finish it. Starting early also gives you the chance to ask questions and contact the scholarship center at your school to get more information.

Set aside time to work out, spend time with friends, and do fun activities for yourself.

With all the academic and career related work you’re going to be doing, it is easy to get burnt out. Make sure you set aside time for yourself to relax and enjoy college. Working out can be a great way to relieve stress and maintain a healthy body, so going to the college gym or taking an exercise class can be a great option.

Hanging out with friends is also very important. College is the time to meet new people and connect with others, so set aside time to grab a bite to eat.

Finally, have some time for yourself. This can be taking 30 minutes to meditate, do yoga, or even watch your favorite Netflix show. Winding down and concentrating on something that isn’t academic or career related can help you refresh for the next day.

Megha Karthikeyan is from Vienna, Virginia and attends the University of Virginia. She intends to double major in Economics and Commerce at the McIntire School of Commerce with finance and information technology concentrations. Megha will graduate from UVA in 2020. She hopes to work in the finance industry as a finance or risk analyst, but is also looking at working in investment banking.

Read More  0 Comments
Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Email More…

Business Books to Read During Breaks

By Mairead Tuttle

January 16, 2018

Winter Break presents the opportunity to relax, celebrate the holidays, and curl up by the fire with a good book. Below are four suggestions of books that will entertain you and teach you something about the business world or economic landscape.

Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco
Considered one of the best business books of all time, Barbarians at the Gate tells the story of the hostile takeover of RJR Nabisco in 1988. At the time, it was the most expensive takeover in history. The book, written by investigative reporters Bryan Burrough and John Helyar, details hour-by-hour negotiations of a leveraged buyout. The incredible detail in this book is a snapshot of one of the most important moments in American business history.

Barbarians at the Gate not only gives insight into the business practices of private equity firms and large corporations, but also highlights the importance of individual personalities in business decisions. Any person interested in working in the financial industry or private sector in general can learn from the choices made by people like RJR Nabisco CEO Ross Johnson or investor Henry Kravis. The book deftly illustrates the consequences that the actions of one person can have on the future of a business and the interests of its shareholders.

The Career Code: Must-Know Rules for a Strategic, Stylish, and Self-Made Career
This career guide was written by Hilary Kerr and Katherine Power, founders of the fashion and style website Who What Wear. The book gives helpful and practical tips for starting your career. It is particularly helpful for those interested in working in the fashion and beauty industries, though its advice can be applied to almost any career path. The authors’ tips can also apply to any stage of a career, even one that has not yet started.

This book is particularly inspiring because its authors are female entrepreneurs who left jobs that were no longer fulfilling for them and forged their own career paths. They started small with their first website and now run a portfolio of sites that cover fashion, beauty, and home design, in addition to a clothing line meant to provide an alternative to professional women who are not drawn to the typical black pencil skirt and blazer. Their websites reach millions of women across the world every year, and the career advice the founders give is greatly valuable. 

The Wisdom of Finance
Harvard Business School professor Mihir A. Desai weaves together complex financial concepts and classic stories from literature in this book. The author also pulls from Broadway musicals and Biblical parables to explain the ways in which terms and ideas that might seem reserved for Wall Street are, in reality, inextricably linked to our everyday lives. A person who finds herself struggling with a concept like options trading will likely find their connection to Jane Austen illuminating.

This book also helps to dispel some of the many myths that surround Wall Street and the financial sector. As its title suggests, the book demonstrates that investment banks and hedge funds are about much more than just numbers. No matter a person’s opinion about Wall Street, he or she will surely find a chapter in this book that changes a previously held opinion. The diversity of the author’s points of focus proves that finance really is an essential part of our lives, whether we realize it or not.

Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics
This book’s author, Richard Thaler, was recently awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Economics for his work in developing the field of behavioral economics and finance. Misbehaving gives varied examples, from the National Football League to the department store JCPenney, to illustrate situations of what conventional economists would term “irrational” behavior. Behavioral economics is a relatively young field of study, and reading about it from one of its founders is the most effective way to learn about it.

Thaler is also the co-author of the book Nudge, which focuses on “nudges” that firms can use to push people toward certain behaviors. The book has been incredibly popular in the United Kingdom in recent years, and was used by government officials to justify policies that were deemed by some to be paternalistic. Evidently, Thaler’s work has had an impact on economics and politics, and any person interested in these fields will find his book engaging.

Mairead Tuttle is from Pennsylvania and is currently a French and Economics major at Mount Holyoke College. Through her economics classes, she found a passion for business, and hopes to someday work on the management side of the fashion and beauty industries.

Read More  0 Comments
Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Email More…

An Unconventional Way to Plan Your Future

By Mairead Tuttle

January 11, 2018

Recently, I had the opportunity to visit my school’s career center on a class trip. I had, of course, been to the career center before, but only for one-on-one meetings with specific aims. Because I was visiting with a class of first year students as their writing mentor, I expected a generic presentation on how they can begin to plan for their futures, such as taking the first steps in applying for an internship or participating in summer programs that will give them an advantage in a job search or graduate school application process. When the career center staff member leading our session told us what we would be doing that morning, I was taken aback: we would be making “vision boards.”

Initially, I scoffed at the idea. The concept of a vision board was something that I had only ever seen in movies about vapid characters, none of whom seemed to have any intention of looking for graduate school programs or forging a bold career path. As each person in our career center session was sent to page through magazines and pick a patterned cardboard square to use for a background, I began to think about the other tasks that I could be accomplishing during the next hour. Why was I wasting my time cutting out pictures and inspirational phrases from magazines when I could be doing practice problems for my GMAT or finishing up a paper for another class?

To my surprise, as our session went on, I began to understand the value of creating a vision board. By the time I had completed my board and it had been framed, I felt calm and clear. However, it also led me to question why I had put certain pictures on my board. Looking at the image of the beautiful Irish countryside that I had positioned in the center of my board made me realize that international travel was one of my future goals. It also inspired me to research international entry-level jobs in my field of study. I could also point to different pictures and phrases on my board that confirmed my love for the fashion and beauty industries, which reassured me of my ideal career path.

Having my vision board displayed prominently in my room reminds me of my goals every day. When I am struggling with a difficult paper or fretting over my packed calendar, the board gives me a visual reminder of the place I am working toward. The career center staff member who led our session told us that she creates a vision board every season. This is a path I now also plan to take.

Winter break gives us much needed rest and relaxation, and presents the opportunity to think about our futures without the added pressure of classes. Taking an hour or two to create your own vision board can help to make your thought process clearer, and might even reveal an unexpected academic or career passion. While conventional methods of planning for the next semester or for life after college are incredibly important and useful, adding a vision board to the mix can inspire you in ways that you did not see coming. 

Mairead Tuttle is from Pennsylvania and is currently a French and Economics major at Mount Holyoke College. Through her economics classes, she found a passion for business, and hopes to someday work on the management side of the fashion and beauty industries.

Read More  0 Comments
Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Email More…

What Kinds of Classes Should You Take in College?

By Keana Bloomfield

January 9, 2018

Picking classes each semester can be stressful if you have tons of options to choose from, but using this to your advantage is key to learning new skills and getting a wide breadth of knowledge.

If you are going into business, it is very important to take analytical courses like statistics or calculus. The math skills you learn in these courses will help you with higher level financial concepts in the future. In many statistics classes, you will learn how to analyze data using Excel which is useful for financial jobs, where you will be handling a lot of data. Getting a strong base in Excel will also help you in your job search because it is a technical skill you can put on your resume. If you aren’t a “pure math” person, there are other classes in your school that will still give an analytical component to your academics.

For example, this past semester I took an intermediate microeconomics course that combined calculus concepts with business and economic ideas. I learned how to make different budget lines and how economic systems work. Having this analytical knowledge will be important in your business career.

In addition to the technical math skills, it is also beneficial to take liberal arts courses that focus on writing. At any job, writing will be a key component of your work whether that’s writing memos, making an investment pitch presentation, or even writing emails. Being able to practice your writing in classes through essays and analyzing different readings will prepare you for how to write at your job. Even if the writing you do isn’t directly translatable, having the ability to take information and then write a critique on it or analyze it from different perspectives will broaden your mind and let you think critically. This is a skill that many people overlook but is very helpful in the workplace. You can find good writing classes in your English department or in history classes.

I’ve taken a few religious studies courses where I had to write multiple papers on comparing ideas within the religion and it really shaped my writing abilities. Being able to communicate via writing is incredibly important and taking classes that emphasize that will give you a chance to grow.

Not only is written communication important, verbal communication is key as well. The first few steps to getting a job or internship is the interview, so taking classes on public speaking or classes that require oral presentations will make you more comfortable with speaking in front of people you don’t know. The drama department at colleges generally offer introductory public speaking courses or acting courses. Even though this may not be the type of speaking you will be doing in your job, just practicing how to speak clearly and confidently will be useful.

I’ve taken a few classes including statistics and women and gender studies that had oral presentations and I gained a lot from learning how to present to a class while working with a team.

Another great tip is to take classes that seem interesting. I know this sounds cliché but college is the time to explore. A lot of business majors think that only taking finance and math related courses are helpful but figuring out your interests is also a key part of college.

I took a criminology course my first year and it was so different from what I was studying. I learned a lot about juvenile crime through a sociological perspective.

This past semester I took a civic leadership course in UVA’s Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and I learned so much about the tools necessary to be a strong leader. Every school has these gems of classes so be sure to take a few before you graduate!

Keana Bloomfield is a senior at Bryn Mawr College, a liberal arts college located outside the city of Philadelphia.  An English major and Economics minor, Keana has completed journalism opportunities at KYW Newsradio 1060, WHYY and the Philadelphia Inquirer, while also having developed financial acumen as a 2016 Girls Who Invest Scholar, an organization dedicated to putting more women in the investment management industry, and as an Asset Management Intern at PNC Financial Services within their Wealth Management division. As she completes her final year as an undergraduate, she hopes to become further immersed in the finance and business industries for both her professional and personal development.

Read More  0 Comments
Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Email More…

Top 5 Tips To Implement Your Personal Brand

By Valia Glytsis

December 11, 2017

Thanks to those of you who joined us on our webinar about defining a personal brand (didn’t see it? Watch on demand!). While discussing branding is fun and energizing, putting into practice is critical for lasting momentum and success.

Below are some practical tips and mindset-based insights to help you stay on course as you navigate “what’s next” and continue to define who you are from the inside-out!

#1. Be the Boss of Your Thoughts.

Mindset is the glue that holds our personal brand together. The top invader of owning our brand is our mental chatter. This mental chatter shows up as imposter syndrome, playing small, feeling insecure, suffering from low confidence. Here are a few tips to tackle this inner critic when it decides to pop up and say ‘hello’ (by the way, it usually surfaces when you are courageous enough to take up more space and be BIGGER):

Name It.
This voice is completely normal and part of our human experience. It never goes away. However, you can objectify it and recognize that it is simply a piece of your thoughts, not an all-encompassing sense of self. Give it a name and a separate identity so you can remind yourself it is “other”.

Unravel It.
This voice gets scary when it takes a life of its own and begins to catastrophize our thoughts and feelings. It can only take hold of you if you buy into its narrative. Instead, allow it to unravel. Keep asking it: “And then what happens?” See how your worst nightmare eventually runs out of steam if you let it unwind. It can only go up from there when you realize that the worst case is actually kind of OK.

Ritualize It.
This voice can bleed into all aspects of your life if you allow it. Rather than have it consume you, give it its own ritual. During this time, journal about the voice, share what it is telling you out loud, read to it, and so on. By honoring it with ritual, you’ll realize that you can actually nurture it like you would do to a younger version of yourself (which is exactly what this voice represents – it’s here to keep you safe and secure!)

#2. Know What Your Stand For.

Our personal values are the fundamental point of differentiation in our brand. Even if you and I share similar strengths and passion, what is most meaningful to us and how we make our decisions is at the core of our inner truth. Revisit the branding webinar for more details on doing a personal values exercise – this work is paramount. Write out your personal values that are most prevalent right now.

WARNING: This work normally elicits thinking well into the future for “aspirational” values rather than “practiced” values. Aspirational values do not exist in our current reality and if we continue to strive for them in the day-to-day, we feel as if we are failing. Instead, be honest about your practiced values that are alive and honored in your current life chapter.

For example, give yourself permission to stand for “Excellence” rather than “Balance” right now. It is OK. In fact, it is truth and will allow you to make empowered choices and meaningful connections.

#3. Get Clear On What You Want.

All too often, I see women getting very vague and wishy-washy when asked what they want. This is detrimental to a brand. We think we are being “easy” by allowing more options and flexibility while, in fact, we are making it extra difficult for our audience to support us or open possibilities. Get very clear on what you want. And remember, this doesn’t mean you have to know what you want for the rest of your life. The magic words are: “for right now”.

What do you want for right now in your personal and professional path? For example, rather than saying: “I want a job in consulting”, you can specify, “I want a job in X company with a focus on digital strategy; I prefer a start-up environment where I can leverage my entrepreneurial skills. Working in San Francisco would be ideal.” The former tells me nothing about a personal brand; the latter tells me quite a bit.

Even if it feels unnatural, allow yourself to be targeted, specific, and clear on what you are asking for. You make yourself visible and allow others to be partners on the path.

#4. Ask Assertively and Own Your Space.

Nothing is more tragic than having a compelling brand (content-wise) and then shrinking completely when declaring your brand to the world! The magic tool here is assertion. There is a misconception that “assertive” is half way between passive and aggressive. In fact, assertive is nowhere on that continuum. Assertive is all about clarity. When you are clear, you speak succinctly with power and gravitas. A few pointers to clear up your verbal and written brand communication pronto:

Clear the Verbal Clutter.
That means no more filler words or hedging words like “just”, “kind of”, “maybe”. These words and phrases diminish your impact.

Stop Apologizing.
That means no more qualifying phrases to apologize for your opinion or the space you are taking. “Sorry to bother you but…” – sound familiar?

Punctuate and Pause.
That means take your space! Watch any tendencies to rush, pile questions, end a bold statement with up-talk, etc. If you believe that you deserve your space, your personal brand will shine. If you don’t give it its space, it will shrink in kind.

#5. Connect with Why.

Move beyond “what” you want to do and into “why” you want to do it. When we infuse our brand, our values, our choices with the power of why, we compel people with emotion, not just logic. Connecting with “why” allows for human vulnerability to be the glue between the rational objectives and professional goals we outline. “Why” engages people’s hearts, including your own.

If you have a hard time connecting with your personal mission and purpose, try thinking of it this way: A purpose is nothing more than where your deep gladness meets the world’s deep hunger. Keep connecting to what matters to you and where you find meaning. The puzzle pieces of your brand will then be brilliantly obvious to you when you spot them! Your work is to stay true to the uniquely distinctive you.


Read More  0 Comments
Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Email More…
 Newer Posts Older Posts