Building on the success of its MBALaunch program—a series of targeted webinars and other resources designed to help prospective MBA applicants successfully navigate the admissions process—the Forté Foundation has just announced the debut of MBALaunch On Demand. Based around the same in-depth webinars that make up the popular MBALaunch program, this new format will give participating women the flexibility to work at their own pace. Applicants who choose to participate in MBALaunch On Demand can be ready to apply for the MBA by fall 2016 or spring 2017—ideally gaining admission for fall 2017 enrollment.
Forté’s traditional MBALaunch program is designed for women who are still more than a year out from applying to business school, and its application deadlines and schedule are organized with this in mind. But in spring 2014, Forté found that there was a group of pre-MBA women who were interested in applying for the MBA that fall but had missed the MBALaunch application deadlines. “There were women who made the decision to pursue an MBA later in the cycle and women who hadn’t heard of the MBALaunch program during our application deadline timeframe (September to November),” explains Krystal Brooks, who heads the MBALaunch program at Forté.
“We designed MBALaunch On Demand to serve these women—to provide them with a structured roadmap to help them build their strongest MBA application,” she continues. “Since then, we’ve seen very successful candidates move through the program in this self-paced, virtual format.”
New Program Offers Greater International Reach
The virtual, self-paced design of MBALaunch On Demand also makes it accessible to women all over the world, in contrast to the MBALaunch live option, which includes a day-long educational and networking event, an assigned peer networking group and a formalized advising program that are based out of a range of U.S. cities as well as Toronto and London. “We want to make the amazing content and resources available to women who aren’t able to participate in the in-person program,” Brooks says.
That content includes 16 webinars devoted to GMAT prep, 14 webinars on application prep, GMAT homework and study plans and an MBA application preparation guide. The webinars include speakers from a range of test prep firms and admissions consultants, as well as the Graduate Management Admission Council and Forté’s 46 member schools. Natalie Neilson, who took part in the live format MBALaunch program this past year, sees the diversity of content as a major advantage of the program. “It’s great that they have so many in-house GMAT resources,” she says. “For example, on Tuesday we would have sentence correction with Kaplan, on Thursday, reading comprehension with Veritas Prep. Instead of me taking a course from one of these providers, I got to learn tips and tricks from all of them.” (Read a full account of Neilson’s experience as an MBALauncher here.)
On Demand Option Is Not an Overnight Cram Session
Forté recommends that women who elect the on-demand format still allow ample time to complete the program. “In general, we recommend setting aside three months for our GMAT Prep and another three months for our Application Prep,” reads its website.
“The On Demand program is perfectly suited for candidates who are self-motivated and disciplined but want a timeline and a structure to keep them on track,” Brooks says. “Of course, if candidates don’t complete homework assignments or listen to webinars, the program is not effective! This is a structured program that calls for candidates to dedicate time to GMAT study, self-reflection and application preparation.” The on-demand program also offers participants a cost savings over the live version, though Brooks is quick to point out that both are resource intensive and highly subsidized by Forté’s sponsors and program partners. The cost for participants in the live program is $500; the on-demand program costs $350. “The On Demand program is offered at a discount because it doesn’t include the same in-person events that the in-person Launch includes,” says Brooks.
Women who choose MBALaunch On Demand do miss out on the community of peers formed as part of the live MBALaunch program. “The community of peers is certainly a benefit to the in-person program,” Brooks notes. “That said, Launchers in the On Demand program can take advantage of our LinkedIn group to connect with other women in the program to network and support one another. Our staff is also very happy to support and encourage On Demand Launchers and answer questions as they arise.”
Don’t Miss Forte Virtual Forum Tomorrow In addition, Forté also offers a range of other ways for women to develop community with fellow women who are navigating—or just considering—the MBA application process. Its Forté Forum series—multi-school recruiting events that include panels made up of current MBA students and alumnae—take place in more than a dozen cities each August and September. And tomorrow, April 7th, Forté will also be hosting a Virtual Forum for candidates to connect with its 50 sponsor schools.
“I would also encourage all pre-MBA women to activate their free Forté professional membership at Fortéfoundation.org/join,” says Brooks. Doing so will keep women in the loop on these and other programs and resources Forté offers.