2006 Forte Foundation: Women in International Business MBA Admissions Chat

2006 Forte Foundation: Women in International Business MBA Admissions Chat

Please feel free to let us know if you would like to be informed of future chats by sending e-mail to chat@accepted.com. We would also be interested in knowing if you would prefer a different format or different topics.

Linda Abraham (Sep 7, 2005 9:13:15 AM)
First I want to welcome you all to the Forte Foundation Forum: Women in International Business.

Linda Abraham (Sep 7, 2005 9:13:32 AM)
I want to give a special welcome to Mariska Morse, Forte's Marketing Director, and our panelists: Deb Sherry (London Business School '97), Elizabeth Camilleri (London Business School '00), Sara Holoubek (HEC '99), Ruba Khoury (HEC), Daniele De Winter (INSEAD '93), Wendy Nunnelley (INSEAD '05) We appreciate you taking time for your busy schedules to join us.

Linda Abraham (Sep 7, 2005 9:14:00 AM)
The format for today:

Linda Abraham (Sep 7, 2005 9:14:11 AM)
1. Mariska Morse will introduce Forte.

Linda Abraham (Sep 7, 2005 9:14:20 AM)
2. I will post our panelists bios so that you will be better able to direct your questions.

Linda Abraham (Sep 7, 2005 9:14:35 AM)
3. We will have a panel discussion in this chat room with the alumni.

Linda Abraham (Sep 7, 2005 9:14:46 AM)
4. We will break into separate rooms for the different schools. In each room you will be able to chat with admissions representatives, current students, and alumni.

Linda Abraham (Sep 7, 2005 9:14:59 AM)
Mariska, thank you for representing Forte, which is co-hosting this event. What's new at Forte?

MariskaMorseForte (Sep 7, 2005 9:15:12 AM)
Thanks Linda! Hi everyone. Welcome to our first Forte Forum--online!

MariskaMorseForte (Sep 7, 2005 9:15:40 AM)
For those of you who don't know much about Forte, I'll give you a quick update. Forte Foundation is a consortium of 24 leading business schools and 15 top companies. Our objective is to work together to increase the number of women business leaders. We do this by trying to inspire women through our events and programs--both live and online.The Forte Forum event series, "The MBA Value Proposition," will take place in 10 cities across the US, in Paris and London. Please check out our web site to register. Our first live event will be this Monday in New York City. Lastly, please register with our web site if you haven't already done so--it will give you tons of targeted career building content and update you on coming events and programs.

MariskaMorseForte (Sep 7, 2005 9:19:01 AM)
Thanks for being online! MUCH thanks to Accepted.com for hosting us. Enjoy the chat.

Linda Abraham (Sep 7, 2005 9:19:10 AM)
Thank you, Mariska.

Linda Abraham (Sep 7, 2005 9:19:19 AM)
To start the panel portion of this chat, I am going to post the first question to our panel of guests. While they are typing, I'm also going to post some information about their backgrounds. Panelists, anytime after you see Daniele's bio, please post your responses.

Linda Abraham (Sep 7, 2005 9:19:28 AM)
Panelists, why did you go to business school and looking back, did you achieve your goals in getting your MBA? Was it worth it?

zhen (Sep 7, 2005 9:19:58 AM)
Tomorrow I will meet a director from HEC in Tokyo.

RubaKhouryHEC (Sep 7, 2005 9:19:59 AM)
Great are you currently applying to the program?

Linda Abraham (Sep 7, 2005 9:20:23 AM)
A little bit about our guests:

Linda Abraham (Sep 7, 2005 9:20:34 AM)
Sara Holoubek, American. After graduating from the HEC MBA program in 1999, Sara Holoubek returned to New York to continue a career in interactive, marketing strategy. As Chief Strategy Officer at icrossing, and fluent in Spanish and French, Sara brings an international perspective to her work in strategic account development.

Linda Abraham (Sep 7, 2005 9:20:46 AM)
Ruba Khoury HEC '03 MBA. Lebanese. Ruba Khoury hails from Lebanon where she received a masters at the faculty of Beyrouth and worked with Citibank in Finance Controlling. During the HEC MBA, Ruba, who is fluent in French, English and Arabic, pursued the bilingual program and completed her exchange period at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Ruba is currently working in Equities Controlling with Deutsche Bank in New York City.

DanieleDeWinterINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 9:20:57 AM)
It was definitely worth it. Before INSEAD, I was a graphic designer. With an INSEAD MBA people take you seriously as a businesswoman; it gives you the credibility to do whatever you want.

Linda Abraham (Sep 7, 2005 9:21:15 AM)
Elizabeth (Zabetta) Camilleri, London Business School MBA2000. Maltese. She graduated from MBA2000 and she is based in London. Her current job title is: Director - Telecom Strategy Consultant at The Gartner Group. Elizabeth went to Malta University and studied Business Management. Prior to the MBA she worked as a consultant with Price Waterhouse Coopers. She was also a keen member of the student organised London Business School Sailing Club.

Linda Abraham (Sep 7, 2005 9:21:24 AM)
Wendy Nunnelley. INSEAD MBA 05J, American. Wendy will soon join The Boston Consulting Group in Houston. Before INSEAD, Wendy earned degrees in math and economics at Rice University in the US, and she worked in strategy and marketing at Hewlett Packard.

ElizabethCamilleriLBS (Sep 7, 2005 9:21:27 AM)
(This user is now known as ZabettaLBS)

Linda Abraham (Sep 7, 2005 9:21:33 AM)
Daniele De Winter INSEAD 1993. British. Her current job title is Chief Executive Officer, DANIELE de WINTER Skin Care, Monte Carlo. Daniele started her career as a graphic designer at Jo Badian Design in Vienna Austria and Gio' Rossi in Milan. After completing her MBA in 1993 she worked for French petroleum consultant Sodeteca, later moving to AgipPetroli in Milan. In 1999 Daniele accepted an offer to join internet startup ECURA in Germany as their CEO. Following the Internet crash, Daniele wrote the business plan for DANIELE de WINTER Skin Care and moved to Monte Carlo. In December 2002 her plan won the Monte Carlo business plan competition. DANIELE de WINTER now has an international presence and is recognized as Monte Carlo's new luxury skin care brand.

RubaKhouryHEC (Sep 7, 2005 9:22:05 AM)
I decided to go back to business school. First because I wanted to pursue a career abroad and have international experience, second to broaden my knowledge in some business areas. I would say that HEC definitely helped me in doing that. My promotion was 75% international students which allowed me to encounter lots of people from different culture as well as widely broadening my network, which helped me in getting here to NY and working with Deutsche bank.

SaraHoloubekHEC (Sep 7, 2005 9:22:07 AM)
My goal was to put a formal cap on a very entrepreneurial upbringing. Despite being a younger MBA, I most definitely saw value and continue an accelerated career path.

SashaRichardsonHEC (Sep 7, 2005 9:22:29 AM)
For me it was a natural progression, I spent 7 years in New York as a healthcare director of a private practice and as a healthcare consultant and I felt I had hit the ceiling. I was looking for new challenges and wanted to branch out into the corporate world - an MBA, which I am still pursuing is affording me credibility and acting as a stepping stone into the corporate/financial world; it has been and is a great decision to be doing it!

Julia P (Sep 7, 2005 9:23:58 AM)
I have been working for three years at top strategy consulting firm; in what ways would an MBA be useful, and would doing one SHUT any doors?

sanju (Sep 7, 2005 9:24:49 AM)
Hi Ruba! How was your experience at HEC?

Aparna (Sep 7, 2005 9:25:10 AM)
Mary: Hi!! I am Aparna Sree. I have an MBA in Finance from an Indian B school and 5+ years of experience in Market Research. I am currently working for the Indian operation of Information Resources Inc (US) and I am handling their Healthcare research. I am interested in a career in Investment Banking and I am seriously considering LBS to give me the required International exposure and an entry into one of the Big 5 Investment Banks. I am wondering if an MBA would be better suited or a Masters in Finance. Which course would be more appropriate if I wanted a career in investment banking or investment portfolio management?

WendyNunnelleyINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 9:25:20 AM)
Linda - I went to business school because I felt like I was stagnating in my old job. I wanted to do something else, and although I didn't know what "something else" was, any of the 3 or 4 options I considered would be easier with the MBA credential. It opened doors to jobs that are not accessible without an MBA. The MBA hugely boosted my confidence and I expect to achieve a financial return on my investment in a relatively short time.

ZabettaLBS (Sep 7, 2005 9:25:22 AM)
I believe it's a great opportunity to go for an MBA while in the middle of your career. It will not only refresh your outlook of the business world but also enable you to explore new career opportunities and developments. You might also want to go for a more 'executive type' MBA where most of the students will have the same level of experience.

DanieleDeWinterINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 9:25:34 AM)
I do not see an MBA 'shutting' any doors unless it gave you unreasonable expectations of the kind of salary you should command. You learn a lot (obviously) during an MBA and you make a ton of useful business contacts and friends.

SashaRichardsonHEC (Sep 7, 2005 9:25:53 AM)
JW, I am a 34 year old woman with 8 1/2 years of work experience and 2 degrees prior to coming to HEC - you are never too old. The MBA is a fantastic experience at any time, particularly if you are looking for challenges. Our class the average age is 30 with ages spanning from 24 to 38, I know that the class before the age span went up to 42 and then there is always the executive MBA.

RubaKhouryHEC (Sep 7, 2005 9:26:09 AM)
Sanju, HEC was an exceptional experience. It has opened great opportunities for me. I highly recommend it for anyone that is looking for an intensive 16 months program as well as amazing international exposure. The alumni of HEC are very active as well. I'm here in NY and have already taken part in many events that they are organizing here.

Julia (Sep 7, 2005 9:26:16 AM)
Did the alumni do a full time MBA or executive MBA in the evenings? How was the work load and was it while still working?

ZabettaLBS (Sep 7, 2005 9:26:34 AM)
I did a full time MBA, but worked with a number of startups in parallel. Julia - the work load will always be very demanding but it's a matter of focus and absolute commitment.

WendyNunnelleyINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 9:27:19 AM)
I did a full-time MBA - INSEAD is a short and intense program!

SaraHoloubekHEC (Sep 7, 2005 9:27:39 AM)
Full time.

RubaKhouryHEC (Sep 7, 2005 9:27:49 AM)
Full time.

smita (Sep 7, 2005 9:27:54 AM)
Panelists: Were any of you married when you did your MBA? The reason I ask is - I plan to do a 2 year MBA at LBS and am not sure if I will be able to afford taking my spouse along (I myself am applying to scholarships and loans for funding as I cannot self fund my MBA overseas).

SashaRichardsonHEC (Sep 7, 2005 9:28:08 AM)
Full-time - HEC for 16 months. It's intense and a great experience!

DanieleDeWinterINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 9:29:09 AM)
I was single but had a lot of married friends who partly brought their spouses along and partly enjoyed renewed singledom and long weekends with their spouse. It seemed to work pretty well for them.

RubaKhouryHEC (Sep 7, 2005 9:29:11 AM)
smita- I am not married but we had many married couple in the program at HEC - if you plan to stay on campus the housing is very affordable and you get a subsidy from the government. There is a partner's club that is pretty active as well.

WendyNunnelleyINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 9:29:58 AM)
smita - My husband came with me. He transferred to the Paris office of his prior company.

SashaRichardsonHEC (Sep 7, 2005 9:30:08 AM)
I am single but I do know that many married couples have survived the crazy intense MBA programs and then have the support of their partner along the way.

DanieleDeWinterINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 9:30:11 AM)
At INSEAD, they help your spouse find work and support you with free kindergarten access, etc. So far all bar one couple that I knew at INSEAD are still together.

pnj05 (Sep 7, 2005 9:30:24 AM)
Panelists: Is it possible to have children while pursuing the MBA? Or is this unrealistic?

RubaKhouryHEC (Sep 7, 2005 9:30:31 AM)
smita - You might want to contact the person in charge now to have an idea of what is offered for spouses. I am sure you can find the club contact online.

MelanieStewartHEC (Sep 7, 2005 9:30:49 AM)
I am married and doing my MBA (& I have 3 children) and I was also an MBA spouse while my husband was in school - it adds some complexity to the time but it is also great to have a non-MBA life.

RubaKhouryHEC (Sep 7, 2005 9:31:27 AM)
pnj05- we have two couples that had a baby towards the end of the program - I don't know how manageable that was.

shermeen (Sep 7, 2005 9:32:40 AM)
Panelist: Do you believe taking part in a full time MBA program is better than an executive MBA program?

WendyNunnelleyINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 9:32:53 AM)
pnj05 - Do you already have children or would you think of having them during the program? If you already have them, I think it is manageable (many INSEAD students had children).

RubaKhouryHEC (Sep 7, 2005 9:33:56 AM)
shermeen - I definitely recommend the full time if you can leave work. The MBA program is demanding as it is with mostly GROUP work. In addition I value as much the social life and the contacts I was able to build while spending time on campus with the others, then the academic work.

Luciana (Sep 7, 2005 9:34:59 AM)
Panelists: What made you decide to pursue a career at a business school in Europe versus a school in the US?

SashaRichardsonHEC (Sep 7, 2005 9:35:30 AM)
For me I wanted to fully immerse myself in a full time MBA program - commit to 16 months and then be done. I have friends that have done the executive MBA program and while it fit with their situation I know that it was quite a challenge combining work with school - a difference between the full time and executive for me is that the executive MBA tends to stay within their sector and often even their current company.

SaraHoloubekHEC (Sep 7, 2005 9:35:51 AM)
Personally, I found that there were too many "Plain MBA's" on the market--I wanted a differentiator, as well as the opportunity to deepen my international experience professionally.

MaryFerreiraLBS (Sep 7, 2005 9:35:54 AM)
Hi Aparna. The London Business School Masters in Finance is a specialist one year full-time or two years part-time programme. It combines theory and the opportunity to apply classroom learning through practical projects and electives. It also has top notch faculty teaching on the programme and a great brand around the globe. If you are very interested in finance but also want to explore areas such as marketing, entrepreneurship, operations technology management then a general management degree such as an MBA is going to give that broader perspective. We try to offer the flexibility via a portfolio of courses and you will need to decide which is going to be the best fit for you. With any of the three schools taking part in this chat, I would advise trying to meet with staff, students and alumni at one of the many MBA schools.

Linda Abraham (Sep 7, 2005 9:36:36 AM)
Panelists: What made you decide to pursue your MBAs in Europe as opposed to the US?

RubaKhouryHEC (Sep 7, 2005 9:36:48 AM)
Luciana - the programs offered in Europe (HEC) in particular had a good condensed 16 months program that is not offered in any of the top schools in the US. It is a bilingual program, so you gain one additional business language and lastly it is very international.

georgina (Sep 7, 2005 9:37:15 AM)
Do you think working for the family business is enough experience to get into an MBA program? Would you recommend working first in a corporate environment to gain a more formal and structured training?

WendyNunnelleyINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 9:37:20 AM)
As an American who went to university in the US, worked in the US, only had a US passport, etc - I wanted to do something that would prove I could make an international career.

SashaRichardsonHEC (Sep 7, 2005 9:37:22 AM)
I wanted to do an MBA in Europe - HEC Paris - for the cultural diversity and exposure to different languages and because I plan to stay on in Europe post MBA.

ZabettaLBS (Sep 7, 2005 9:37:25 AM)
Linda - my decision was driven by the need to be part of a very international community and LBS had the most international community of lecturers and students.

RubaKhouryHEC (Sep 7, 2005 9:37:51 AM)
I currently am working in NY and so I was able to experience living in Europe for a year and then pursue a career as good as what an American MBA program would offer me.

IsabelleCotaHEC (Sep 7, 2005 9:38:30 AM)
Georgina, it depends which position you occupied and how many years you have been working in the family business.

kaz (Sep 7, 2005 9:39:37 AM)
Panelists: What were key factors in considering if you would want to pursue an entrepreneurial or employed career path as women?

RubaKhouryHEC (Sep 7, 2005 9:40:43 AM)
Kaz - first and foremost if you have an entrepreneurial spirit and a good idea, it might offer you a more flexible schedule in a sense. As an employed woman you also get some benefits that you might want to look at - i.e. maternity leave, family allowance, schooling - but it depends on which path you are willing to take. They are very different in terms of future growth.

SaraHoloubekHEC (Sep 7, 2005 9:40:51 AM)
Many schools offer internships or projects that build strong entrepreneurial skill. This was one of the most memorable experiences of my MBA.

Leticia (Sep 7, 2005 9:40:52 AM)
PANELISTS: Did any of you find scholarships? How did you finance the MBA? Do any of you know some good scholarships available for MBA's students?

ZabettaLBS (Sep 7, 2005 9:41:14 AM)
Kaz - I don't think being a women makes any difference, it depends on your future aspirations and objectives in life. Pursuing a career in a corporate environment is very different from being an entrepreneur and most of it depends on your character and the levels of risk you want to take.

SashaRichardsonHEC (Sep 7, 2005 9:41:41 AM)
I think that having an entrepreneurial attitude exists even within an employed setting - it is really industry and job specific.

WendyNunnelleyINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 9:42:16 AM)
kaz - I still haven't decided! The flexibility of schedule is very important to me and will be one thing that might make me decide to start my own business instead of being employed by a larger organization.

RubaKhouryHEC (Sep 7, 2005 9:42:19 AM)
Leticia - I financed my MBA with a loan.

kaz (Sep 7, 2005 9:43:52 AM)
Thanks Zabetta, Ruba, Wendy and Sasha.

Linda Abraham (Sep 7, 2005 9:44:00 AM)
Thank you again all for participating today. Special thanks to our panelists today. Please join them in the school chat rooms where you can ask question specific to each school. In the room you will also be able to chat with current students and admissions representatives as well as the alumni who participated in the panel

Linda Abraham (Sep 7, 2005 9:44:36 AM)
Please check the Web site (http://www.accepted.com/chat/schedule.aspx#mba ) for details and exact time.

ElyseMichaelsHEC (Sep 7, 2005 9:44:37 AM)
Linda, as a reminder, all our schools affiliated with Forte offer exceptional scholarships for outstanding women.

Linda Abraham (Sep 7, 2005 9:45:11 AM)
I also want to thank Forte Foundation and Mariska Morse for co-hosting the chat.

MariskaMorseForte (Sep 7, 2005 9:45:28 AM)
Thank you Linda!

Linda Abraham (Sep 7, 2005 9:45:45 AM)
Forte also has an excellent series of Forte Forums. Check its web site for details.

MariskaMorseForte (Sep 7, 2005 9:46:10 AM)

Linda Abraham (Sep 7, 2005 9:46:14 AM)
Good luck with your applications!

After this chat, attendees went to separate chat rooms for London Business School, INSEAD, and HEC. Please click on the links to see the chat transcripts generated by those school-specific chats with school representatives, current students, and alumni.

Please click on the link for more information about the programs and benefits offered by the Forte Foundation.

Information about Accepted.com's consulting and Editing Services

MBA Chat Transcript Index || Chat Room