Apparently, I’ve fallen off the blogging bandwagon again. But I’m going to jump right back on the horse (how’s that for mixing metaphors?) and try to catch up on my recent pre-school activities and goings-on.
This past weekend, I trekked down to NYC for the Forté Foundation’s MBA Women’s Conference. Forté is a consortium of corporations and top business schools that works to increase the number of women business leaders. Forté provides networking forums, career education, workshops, job boards, and other resources, and Forté annually hosts the MBA Women’s Conference, at which there are panel discussions and workshops on the experiences of getting an MBA and of being a female leader in business, networking opportunities, a chance to meet with various companies (including the corporate sponsors), etc. The Forté sponsoring schools (including Darden) have made a commitment to attracting top female candidates to their respective MBA programs, and each school names a certain number of “Forté Fellows” each year. I am pleased and honored to be a Forté Fellow in the Darden Class of 2011 (really 2013), and it was great to get to meet some of the other Darden Fellows in NYC. I think we all seemed to hit it off, and (as I’ve thought each time I’ve met someone else starting at Darden in the fall) I’m continually impressed with the amazing experiences and skill sets of my future classmates. Having a few more contacts has made me even more excited to move to C-ville at the end of the month!
In addition to allaying some of my concerns about b-school (working in Learning Teams/study groups, having a background that didn’t require consistent use of quantitative skills, surviving case method classes, etc.) while simultaneously freaking me out about my impending internship search (all you career switchers out there who are stressed should really try convincing folks that you are a desirable MBA internship candidate when you have a legal-focused background and won’t be out of school for four – count ‘em FOUR – years), the Conference also gave me some other cool opportunities. As mentioned above, I met some really great people, both from Darden and elsewhere. Additionally, The Consulting Firm That Shall Not Be Named (where I still work) became a sponsor of the conference at the last minute and had all sorts of folks in attendance. I got to meet some women from our NYC office whom I have emailed frequently but hadn’t actually met previously, and I took some time to chat with a few of the Recruiting representatives who were there. I’ve been seriously considering consulting for a couple years before joining a firm, and I hear law firms are starting to view a couple years of consulting experience in the way that they have historically viewed clerkships – as a valuable “training ground” of sorts that can help make you a better attorney. Hopefully, this isn’t just a rumor and will still be true when I’m done with school…in 2013. Regardless, I decided long ago that if I ever went into strategy consulting, I would really want to do it at The Consulting Firm That Shall Not Be Named. What can I say, I’ve drunk the Kool-Aid. :-) I also had a great discussion with a certain biomedical company near and dear to my heart (they pretty much keep me alive; no joke), and they seem open to discussing a customized sort of internship that would combine my soon-to-be-developed MBA skills with my existing (and soon to be further-developed) legal skillz (yes, that one gets the “z”) and compliance/training background from The Consulting Firm That Shall Not Be Named. I’m not terribly good at asking for what I want in an employment setting (usually I’m just so happy that I’m getting the experience/opportunity to do something fairly cool and career-furthering that I’m willing to accept pretty much anything), so the fact that I even broached the subject - let alone that they were receptive to some personalization - is amazing. So, I will definitely have to follow-up on that front, too. Very exciting!
I was staying with T in NYC, both because I’m a cheapskate (and she is super accommodating of my cheapskate tendencies) and because I realized I probably won’t get to see her forever since I’m moving kind of far away. Sad. But we had the chance to do some talking and catching up, and I took my first-ever trip out to Long Island after the Forté conference ended to meet her friends from home, grab dinner, and see some fireworks. We were kinda running late coming out of dinner, so we never really made it to the fireworks location; instead, we watched from a Home Dept parking lot. I think the view was better from where we were, honestly. And it was great to meet all of T’s friends from home, since I’ve heard so much about them in the last 6-7 years and had never met them (sometimes I joke that I’m the friend she’s embarrassed to introduce to others, but really, schedules and whatnot just haven’t worked out in the past). Then, on Sunday, we grabbed brunch at the Sunburnt Cow, recovered from that experience (let’s just say that brunch in NYC is focused on something other than that on which the average non-NYC brunch is focused), and I hopped back on the bus to Boston. All in all, a good weekend.