Nine MBA women share their key insights from the business school.

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When the 2021 MBA class submitted their B school applications, they knew they were going to face a challenge – but they had no idea that in a global pandemic they would do so. As the CEO of Forté, I’ve seen this MBA take everything from home ordering to zoom fatigue, and I’ve found their hard work, determination, and resilience to be really inspiring.

To celebrate this exciting step forward in their careers, I asked several MBA graduates in Forté’s Community to share their key takeaways from the business school. Here are their answers:

“My biggest souvenir from business school is the power of a personal “advisory board”: People with whom I can talk about business challenges and complex situations, celebrate successes and share professional development goals. Over the past two years, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my leadership, my strengths, and my growth, and I’ve benefited from being able to process all of that with others who are going through a similar journey. I hope to continue this practice throughout my career! ”- Elizabeth Bayoff, University of Minnesota (Carlson School of Management)

“One lesson I learned during business school is the importance of flexible intellectual curiosity. I came to school with a very structured plan for coursework and activities, but while attending one-off workshops or a panel in another graduate program, I discovered new courses and topics like health informatics and real estate finance. Throughout my career, I hope to give myself the grace to deviate from the plan to learn new things and discover new areas of interest. ”- Jazmyn Becker, University of Michigan (Ross School of Business)

“Change is slow and time is of the essence. Whether you want to pursue personal growth or root out systemic inequality, the MBA only lasts two years and that’s one of its biggest limitations. We must begin now wherever we are and with a bias to action to create the people, organizations and communities we want to belong to. “- Emma Finkelstein, University of Virginia (Darden School of Business)

“I’ve learned the importance of raising my voice and finding different ways to be heard. Just doing a good job is not enough – You need to constantly build relationships, invite people, and share more of yourself than you are comfortable with. I don’t always take this for granted, but my experience at Darden has motivated me to overcome this discomfort. “- Pamela Fischer, University of Virginia (Darden School of Business)

“One of the things I learned from this unique MBA experience is how Disruption is the perfect time for changeas the pandemic has forced us to adapt in every aspect of our lives. The LBS community of 2021 is amazing; We switched to a virtual way of learning, creating a new direction on the D&I front, running clubs remotely, and staying resilient through personal and professional challenges. I believe that we MBAs can use this experience, all of our mistakes, and lessons learned to look for disruptions and create change throughout our careers. ”- Ina Liu, London Business School

“My biggest souvenir from business school is the idea that There is no single right answer to a problem. Nothing is black and white; Grayscale exists and strong leadership means being able to navigate through this uncertainty. It is important to use the information you have at this point to find the best solution to the problem and to be aware that your chosen path may be different from that of others … but that doesn’t mean he is wrong is! “- Evangeline Philos, Western University (Ivey Business School)

“My biggest souvenir from business school is do things that scare you. The things that made me nervous the most (e.g. doing an internship with a start-up instead of an established company, running for WBC President) were my most meaningful experiences that led to great growth and confidence and Gave energy. I have found a positive relationship between risk taking and success that will guide me in future business and career decisions. ”- Jaanhvi Vaidya, University of California – Los Angeles (Anderson School of Management)

“One thing that I learned during my business school and that will have stayed with me throughout my career is to understand that our careers are neither linear nor a race to be won. Your professional career can shift into new industries and positions and that is perfectly acceptable and common. And as we move on, everything we need to achieve our goals is already within us – curiosity, hard work, and empathy – and the business school will help you fill in the gaps. ”- Becca Jordan Wright, University of North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler Business School)

“In order to have great success, we have to develop a diverse team and promote a work environment in which knowledge and ideas can flow freely. That means openness, respect and inclusion. “- Summer Yang, Western University (Ivey Business School)

I hope you will agree with me that the future will be bright when these women bring their MBA insights to leadership roles in companies. I can’t wait to see what they do.