The Forté 2022 MBA Women’s Leadership Conference was held in June in Los Angeles, California. This event is held each year for women who have received Forté Fellowships and are entering MBA programmes the upcoming Autumn. It provides a unique opportunity to network with other MBA women and hear from a variety of successful female business leaders. I had the privilege of representing Cambridge, with my future classmate Maddy Klein, among more than 500 students from partner schools across North America and Europe.

The energy of LA was certainly paralleled at the conference from the very beginning. It was truly an empowering experience to sit in a room of 500 women all with strong ambitions, curiosities, and desires to better themselves through the business school journey. The kickoff message challenged attendees to think about intention­­­ – what will you ground yourself with moving forward and what do you want to be known for, i.e., what is your ‘power word’? I thought this was a great self-reflection exercise to return to over the two days as we took in all the conference had to offer.

Day one was focused on career insights. After much deliberation, I decided to attend panels on Technology, Supply Chain and Consulting career paths. Amidst all the advice that was shared, the panel question that stayed with me was, “What gets you up in the morning to bring 110% to your job?”. Hearing panellists speak about passion for their work inspired me to continue to reflect on my own values and interests through my MBA. It reminded me to be open to opportunities that I may not have previously considered.

The early hours of day two were quieter but it only took a few coffees to bring back the contagious energy. Panels this day focused on professional development. Some of the discussions I took part in were about designing your life around your values and building your own board of directors. Two key takeaways were the importance of bringing your whole self to your professional life and seeking different mentors for different purposes.

I left the conference feeling inspired, motivated, and extremely excited to join the Cambridge MBA class this Autumn. I look forward to bringing these insights to Cambridge and continuing to support and advocate for women in business. Time will tell how these incredible women put their power words in action.

Meredith Bird is one of our Forté Foundation Scholarship recipients for the incoming Cambridge MBA Class of 2022-23.

To find out more about our CJBS Scholarships please visit our Fees & Funding web pages here >