Forté connects female undergrads to top schools and employers | Weatherhead School at Case Western Reserve University

Forté connects female undergrads to top schools and employers

Posted 5.6.2022

Forté connects female undergrads to top schools and employers
Ashley Parham remembers the first time she heard of a deferred Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. She was attending a webinar as part of the Forté Rising Stars program at Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management. On the webinar, representatives from some of the top universities in the country explained the different programs and the benefits that they offered to students. 

Through the webinar, Parham, a fourth-year accounting major, made a connection with the director at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania who she's now been in touch with for the last two years.

Weatherhead became an undergrad partner school with the Forté Foundation in 2019. As a partner school, female-identifying undergraduate students have free access to the Forté Rising Stars program, which focuses on launching women into fulfilling careers through access to business education, professional development and a community of successful women. 

Parham is expected to graduate with her bachelor’s degree this spring and has a summer internship lined up at Ernst & Young in Cleveland. In the fall, she will return to Weatherhead to complete her Master of Accountancy degree. She plans to begin applying for deferred MBA programs next year with the goal of receiving a year or two of full-time work experience before returning to school for her MBA degree. 

“That webinar gave me a solid foundation to know what programs are out there and which ones are a good fit for me,” she said.

Forté has more than 100,000 members and over 50 influential companies across the globe as partners. 

“To be able to offer this program at no cost to students, is truly a fantastic opportunity,” said Laura Bentley, staff advisor to the program on campus. “The opportunities that participants have to engage with top employers is priceless.”

Among the resources the program offers are networking opportunities with well-known universities and employers, webinars focused on professional development skills, national conferences and a mentoring program. 

As a first-year student, Parham attended Forté’s National Campus to Business Leadership Conference in Chicago, where she took part in different learning sessions––one on technical skills and another on personal brand––and she went to a networking session where she met with representatives from Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and the University of Virginia.

Through the mentoring program, second-year accounting student, Sai Mamidi, was able to connect with a woman who graduated from New York University and has worked through the Big Four accounting firms as a consultant. She also was connected with a graduate school admission officer from Columbia University. 

“Forté has given me a lot of hope for the future,” said Mamidi. “What was really encouraging was to be connected with a group of women from a bunch of different schools. It’s nice to always have that foot in the door and that support system.” 

Students can also receive a Forté Career Ready Certificate by completing various modules and reading articles that touch upon career readiness, such as interview and resume skills. 

“It was really flexible toward my schedule to complete the certificate,” said Mamidi. “It’s something you do on your own time.”

“It's a very low time commitment and it’s what you make of it,” Bentley added, as much of the program is self guided and students can choose which webinars and opportunities that they’d like to be a part of. “Case Western Reserve students continue to excel academically and professionally and this program is a unique way for students to continue to fine tune and showcase their skills.”

Learn more about the Forté Foundation and the Rising Stars program on campus.

Reach out to Laura Bentley with any questions or to join the program. 

For undergraduate programs: learn more information here or apply now. For graduate programs: request more information or apply now. You can also register for one of over 70 open enrollment courses through Executive Education.

Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University cultivates creativity, innovation, and purpose-driven leadership to design a better world.