Forte Foundation launches Career Lab Virtual Campus

By Anahita Monga

The Forte Foundation recently launched the Forte Career Lab Virtual Campus Web site to help undergraduate women in business find resources for business careers, interview tips and information about Master of Business Administration degrees.

According to its Web site, Forte Foundation is a nonprofit organization that aims to inspire future business women leaders.

Business schools, such as the University of Illinois, Harvard, Wharton, Yale and University of Southern California, are sponsoring the organization. Other Forte sponsors include companies such as Goldman, Sachs & Co., McKinsey & Company, General Mills, IBM and Avon.

“The purpose of this site is to help college women of all interests and academic majors start preparing now for their professional life,” said Leslie Thompson, director of marketing at Forte Foundation.

The Web Site, virtulcampus.fortefoundation.org, has features including on-demand videos and podcasts about different industries, such as marketing and consulting. It also contains interviews with women who share their experiences finding careers.

Another feature is “Land Your Dream Job,” which helps women prepare for interviews and write a resume. There is also a discussion forum.

Thompson said that the “Girl Talk” discussion forum is the highlight.

“Women can use this section to ask questions, and what’s great about it is that we have a consortium of experienced, professional women who are on standby to answer those questions,” she said.

The University is a sponsor of the Foundation, but many people are not aware of this organization and its program.

“It’s a good program but at the University of Illinois, the need for this program is not as great because we have a large on-campus recruitment that helps students have face to face interaction which is most advantageous,” said Lois A. Meerdink, assistant dean at Business Career Services.

However, since it is available at the University, female students have the opportunity to take advantage of both on-campus recruitment and to find career information on the Career Lab Virtual Campus.

Meerdink said students should utilize every available opportunity, including this one.

“I think it’s really cool, and I’d definitely check it out because it could help me find a job,” said McKenna Hennelly, freshman in Business.

With the recent slowdown for employment in financial firms because of the economy, Forte wants to shift the focus on other business industries, such as health care, technology, product management and consulting.

“That is part of our goal – to communicate to young women who are just starting to research careers that business is so much more than finance,” Thompson said.