Be Brave. Become comfortable with the uncomfortable.
These were some of the words used by the various guest speakers on Friday during the Forté Fast Track to Finance Conference. As a first-generation college student, I am the first in my family of twelve siblings to do many things including attending a conference full of elite MBA and phenomenal corporate exhibitors.
I am continually being presented with unfamiliar and uncomfortable situations where I have to make myself feel comfortable to make the most out of it. It definitely helped hearing those words early on the day because after our first two sessions, our day took a 180 degree turn around.
We were not just listening to speakers anymore; we were having lunch networking session with women that are breaking barriers and trying to create a change in the world through the work they do. We were participating in Investment Banking and Sales and Trading simulations.
We were, again, given the opportunity to chat, network and get advice from women that continue to challenge the statue quo in the financial industry. This was especially an important day for me.
For the past couple of months, I have been trying to attend as many finance conferences and diversity programs as possible to get a sense of the various roles and divisions available in the finance world. The Forté Fast Track to Finance Conference has given me the opportunity to meet undergraduate women that are also trying to find their place in the industry.
Through the conversations I had with current employees, recruiters and students, I am certain that I want to join the financial industry and be at an environment where diversity of thought is embraced.
Last but not least, growing up in Somalia, these are opportunities I never dreamed of getting. I am grateful to the Forté sponsors and staff members who are investing in our future and continue to believe in our ability to make a change. Someday, I hope to give back to my community and be at a place where I can help 100,000+ women realize their potential by exposing them to opportunities that will allow them to unleash their capabilities.