Tag: Forte Foundation

Student Spotlight: Pallavi Nair, Full-Time MBA Class of 2020

We have the privilege of welcoming Forté Foundation members into our MBA program each fall. The Forté Foundation is a non-profit consortium of top companies and business schools, working to launch women into successful careers through access to education, opportunities, and a supportive network.  Texas McCombs has been a proud Forté partner since it was founded in 2001, and the MBA program participates in Forté events across the country every year.

We recently caught up with a new MBA and Forté Fellow who hadn’t always planned to pursue an MBA, but quickly realized how the Texas McCombs MBA program could help to reach her goals and foster her passion for advocating for women in business. Meet Pallavi Nair!

Class of 2020 MBA, Pallavi Nair

Hook ’em! Class of 2020 MBA, Pallavi Nair

Tell us about your background– the education, volunteer or work experience that led you to want to pursue your MBA?

My hometown is Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, and I have a chemical engineering background. I think what drew me most to engineering is the drive to fix problems and build solutions. After my undergraduate degree, I worked as a product development engineer at PepsiCo R&D, continuing to use this passion to drive new innovation for brands such as Doritos. At some point it became clear to me that while I loved engineering, I was also fascinated by the strategy behind how we innovated. What were the emerging market trends that were actually worth pursuing? How should we leverage the company’s global resources effectively while keeping our regional consumers in mind? I knew about unlocking new technologies, but how did we decide which technologies were worth unlocking? These questions made me realize that I would love to earn my MBA and spend time delving into these topics through hands-on learning experiences and interactions with not only great professors, but classmates who have experience in a variety of business-related fields. I want to keep creating solutions over the next two years and beyond, and can’t wait to start applying the knowledge I gain through my MBA to my problem-solving approach!

What was the application process like for you? Why did you choose Texas McCombs?

I think my application process was a little different than most. I did not decide until early fall that I was ready to apply to b-school; I was very happy at my current job and an MBA was not necessarily a checklist item to further my current career path. Instead, it was the realization of what truly interested me and what I hoped to learn that drove me to apply. I selected the programs I applied to very carefully, based mostly on reputation, location and program structure, and visited each of the campuses. What struck me the most about McCombs as compared to the other schools was the culture. It’s something people mention a lot, but experiencing it in person really makes a difference! I truly felt the McCombs “win-as-one” culture was very evident. The student body truly felt like a family, and the environment felt comfortable and inclusive without sacrificing motivation and a drive for success. I was also extremely humbled when I found out I had been selected as a Forté Fellow by McCombs in my offer of admittance. The desire to drive positive change for gender equality in the workplace was something I had brought up passionately in my application process, and I was very happy to know that the school saw me as a fit representative for Texas McCombs in this arena.

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The 2016 Forté MBA Women’s Leadership Conference

From Stacey Kammerdiener, Senior MBA Admissions Officer 

Over 400 businesswomen descended upon Austin, Texas this past weekend for the 2016 Forté MBA Women’s Leadership Conference (WLC)! The event is orchestrated annually by the Forté Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on connecting & empowering women in business, and providing access to business opportunities and education. This year, The University of Texas at Austin had the pleasure of hosting these women in our own backyard at the AT&T Executive Hotel and Conference Center on campus.

The WLC reached a new attendance record this June, with 438 MBA students coming from almost 50 universities across the country!

The conference is geared toward incoming first year MBA students and rising second year MBA students, and gives women an opportunity to network with a plethora of top companies such as Whirlpool Corporation, Cognizant, Hines, Amazon, AT&T, Dow, Boston Consulting Group, IBM, and Wells Fargo.  Our MBA ladies took part in conference prep in the months leading up to the WLC so that they could make the most of the opportunities presented. These prep calls coached first year students on resume writing, networking with the company recruiters, and provided advice on how to follow up with leads generated at the conference.

The McCombs School of Business and the Texas MBA Program had the highest number of students in attendance (Hook ‘Em!) with 45 incoming and current MBA students from all our programs. The Class of 2018 newbies had the opportunity to meet one another before orientation in August and our incoming Forté Fellows also had the chance to meet each other at a reception on Thursday evening hosted by Dimensional Fund Advisors.  Additionally, thirteen Texas MBA alumni volunteered for panels & networking with current MBA women.

Texas MBA ’02 alumna and CMO of RetailMeNot, Marissa Tarleton, spoke on the challenges and opportunities of being a woman marketing executive. CEO of Austin-based startup Shipping Easy and Texas MBA ’94 alumna Katie May was featured on a panel about entrepreneurship. McCombs staff were also featured presenters at sessions such as “Leveraging Social Media for Your Career,” and the Texas MBA Graduate Women in Business organization (GWIB) hosted a fun happy hour on Saturday afternoon.

Join Us for Our Next Women’s Event in Austin!

Networking with and learning from so many successful and driven women is nothing short of inspirational. If you are making your plans for fall, our 2016 Women’s Forum registration is now open. Future women MBAs are strongly encouraged to attend this exclusive event to network with current students and alumni, meet McCombs faculty and staff, and attend info sessions about curriculum, career planning, experiential learning, and life in Austin, Texas.  Apply Now!

We look forward to seeing you soon. Hook ‘Em!

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