by Sharmistha Singh
Forté Fellow and MBA Candidate 2015
Indiana University – Bloomington (Kelley School of Business)
Since I started the process of applying to Business schools, I started to notice the gender gap that existed within not just Business schools but my own industry and company as well. While embarking on the process and trying to figure out my goals, there were many times where I wanted to be able to reach out to other women in my industry who had taken the same path, however, there were far but few of them. So it became apparent that, within the previous generation in India, not many women had chosen roles within business, or the ones who had were hesitant to explain to me the rationale behind their decisions and how I could benefit from an MBA.
Forward a year later, coming to the U.S. and being selected as a Forté Fellow by Kelley changed a lot for me. Not only did I get a support system to talk to and feed off of in terms of ideas and opinions, but it made me realize that I could be a part of these organizations and help the next generation of businesswomen as well.
So, the question frequently arises, I know I want to move forward in my career, and I feel I lack certain skills and resources, but how will the MBA specifically benefit me? This is one of the toughest questions to answer during the application process, and one that should not be answered alone.
I implore all women applying to Business schools to contact students who are open to discussing their journey. This can be done online, and in certain cases, please feel free to contact the schools and ask for references to women who are pursuing their MBA.
Some great questions to ask can revolve around how the college has helped the women to tailor their elevator pitch, their resume, their company research, as well as how resourceful and open the alumni of the school have been in speaking to them regarding internships and full time jobs.
Additionally, please don’t hesitate to dive into the details, such as, which companies regularly visit campus for information sessions and how taking specific courses or electives helped them perform during their internship. The MBA requires a lot of hard work, and knowing and preparing yourself for what is to come, will make your transition much smoother and your journey much more rewarding.
Upcoming Webinars This Week: Careers with Social Impact and the Call for Strong Women Leaders in Education, Jan. 13; MBA Admissions Insider: After Your Application Is In, Jan. 15; and Navigating Conflict, Contention and Competing Perspectives, Jan. 16