Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Communicate Yourself: There is only ONE secret to interview success.

By Angela Guido, Founder, Communicate Yourself

It’s easy to get lost in technique. Premeditating your personal stories does make it easier to tell them. Communicating yourself effectively does have an impact. Making eye contact and not saying “um” or “like” too much do send a certain signal. But all of that will happen naturally if you know this one secret. There is really only one thing that matters in a job interview. Ready for the secret? Here it is: YOU ARE GREAT. You are. Already. Just as you are right now. If you know that and believe it, the interview will be a success.

Think about it. There you are forced into a small room for an extended period of time with one other human being – a stranger. It’s awkward and uncomfortable. Add to that the fact that they are supposed to be evaluating you and that you both have certain personal objectives riding on the interaction and it is a recipe for self-doubt, stifled expression, and preoccupation with everything but the conversation at hand. It’s easy to think that practicing more, memorizing more, and technique-ing yourself into perfection will make it go smoother. But in fact, we have found that instead of helping you relax into the conversation, ironically all of those things can increase the pressure and distract you even more from your only job in that room: SIMPLY BEING YOUR GREAT SELF. You won’t get every job you interview for: not every job is the right fit for you. But if you can truly be yourself during the interview, the conversation will be a success, you will make a meaningful connection with the interviewer, and the right jobs will find you.

So before you go into that interview, in addition to all the preparation techniques you already like, try adding one or more of these:

1. Celebrate your awesomeness: This one is easy to do. Just look at your resume. Look at all of the awesome things you have dedicated your time to, the incredible accomplishments you have fought for, the specific and measurable impact you have had in the world. Take a few moments to just review and reflect right before you go into that interview room. Appreciate the person you are: the person who would take those actions, pursue those goals, and achieve those outcomes. Aren’t you just so proud to be you?

2. Appreciate your personal growth: If you are honest with yourself, there are places in life where you have failed. Yes you have. So have we all. It is part of life. But failure exists for a reason. It is there for our growth. Ever notice how success doesn’t really challenge us to stretch ourselves or expand beyond the boundaries of who we already know ourselves to be? A failure represents a place where we grew in life. That’s why interviewers ask about failure in the first place – because everyone wants to work with a failure. People who fail are people who grow. So celebrate your failures too for the way they have improved the person you are and expanded what’s possible for you.

3. Learn to brag: As women, we aren’t always the best self-promoters. But once you admit to yourself how great you are, you will want to share that with others in a way that feels good to you – or in other words, doesn’t FEEL like bragging. The key to doing this is the world’s oldest art form: storytelling. You can share any accomplishment – no matter how extraordinary in a way that makes you seem humble if you tell a story! Stories work for failure too.

Please join us at this year’s Forte Forum event series to learn more about how to tell a great story during your MBA admissions interviews!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dressing for Success in Cyberspace: Giving Yourself a Digital Makeover

You pride yourself on your professional appearance and demeanor. You strive to create and maintain a strong identity and reputation within your organization, with your clients and peers, and in your industry. But are you as diligent a custodian of your professional brand in cyberspace as you are in the physical world? If not, you probably need a digital make-over…
I continue to be amazed by the number of anemic profiles there are on LinkedIn, how easy it is to access Facebook activity that’s not intended for the public, how many people have no filter and/or no sense of time and place when they post on Twitter, and how uncivil people can be when commenting on news articles and blog posts. Not much surprises me anymore, but the opportunities to wonder “What were they thinking?” seem never-ending…
Given my focus on digital rookies, I’m particularly intrigued by people who are so fastidious about their personal appearance and “real world” reputation but show virtually no regard for their appearance or reputation in cyberspace. They seem oblivious to the fact that they have a digital identity whether they want one or not – and more importantly, that in many respects their digital identity and brand are much more public and powerful than how they’re known and perceived in the physical world.
Lately, to drive home the point of how important it is for professionals to take responsibility for their digital presence, I’ve started using analogies like leaving the house without any pants on; wearing torn, stained, disreputable, or inappropriate clothes; being unkempt; and having a hairstyle, glasses, and other accessories that are out of date. And to address the frequent lament of “I don’t have time,” I highlight the time we make to do things that are important to us, like going to a hair stylist or the gym, or shopping for clothes and shoes. The point is that if we can make the time to take care of our physical appearance and put our best foot forward on earth, we should also be able to make the time to take care of our digital appearance and put our best foot forward in the cloud.
I’d like to extend those analogies by laying out the basic steps and tasks in a digital make-over. Although the recommendations are primarily targeted to rookies, the suggestions should be useful to people who are more digitally sophisticated and engaged as well. We can all benefit from a little closet cleaning… 
For more on the basic steps and tasks visit: Dressing for Success in Cyberspace: Giving Yourself a Digital Make-Over
- Courtney Shelton Hunt, PhD

Related Resources
Please share other resources on Digital Dos and Don’ts you have found valuable. Thanks!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Fellowships for Women in Business: 3 Questions With Forté Foundation Fellow Joysy John

A re-post from Pro-Fellow-

Recently we had the opportunity to Skype with Joysy John, an engineer turned business strategist turned startup CEO and agent of change. Her inspirational story includes climbing the corporate ladder then jumping off for the unpredictable but exciting world of tech startups and social impact organizations.

Joysy studied to be an engineer and excelled at it, but wanted to be more involved in business. When Joysy decided to pursue an MBA at London Business School she found the funding and support she needed through a fellowship. The Forté Foundation Fellows Program offers fellowships to accomplished women who are pursuing full-time, part-time or executive MBA at participating universities.  The purpose of the fellowship is to increase the number of women applying to and enrolling in MBA programs. The Forté Fellowship is highly selective, offers multiple scholarship opportunities, and provides fellows with additional benefits such as participation in conferences and unparalleled leadership development and networking opportunities. Joysy was happy to share her insights for ProFellow.

1. Why did you decide to pursue an MBA and a Forté Foundation Fellowship?
After six years with JPMorgan in Singapore and New York, I was ready to change my career from a technology leadership track to sales & trading. I have a computer engineering degree and wanted to enhance my knowledge in other disciplines such as finance, accounting, strategy and marketing so decided to do an MBA. Since Forte Foundation Fellowship not only provided financial support but also provided exposure to leading companies and access to a network of peers across top business schools, I decided to apply for it.

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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Forté Forum Dates Announced!

Stay tuned for fresh and exciting content on the Forum blog in the weeks to come.  We're just 7 weeks away from the actual event.  The 2012 Forté Forum dates are as follows!

August 20 - Chicago
August 21 - Boston
August 22 - Washington, DC
August 23 - Atlanta
August 27 - Dallas
August 29 - San Francisco
August 30 - Los Angeles
September 4 - New York City I
September 5 - New York City II
September 6 - Toronto
TBD - London