As an entrepreneur who made the leap from consulting to starting my own business and brand, I’m often asked for advice around business and finding one’s passion. And my answer has always been, among other things, to find a great mentor, particularly for young women beginning their careers. Your career path isn’t linear: there will always be challenges along the way, and you’ll have to learn how to best navigate around those challenges unscathed. I don’t think I would have made the right choices had I not sought out the advice of various mentors at key moments in my career. When I was thinking about taking my blogging career fulltime, I turned to leadership consultant Judy Marcus. We met through my husband, Arash, who had used Judy as an executive coach for his music agency. Over the years we became very close–she was actually the one who legally married us!
When Judy and I first met, I was a senior consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton with a very secure job, but I was itching to give my blog the attention it deserved. To my family the thought of leaving my job for blogging was simply crazy! But according to Judy, I had nothing to lose, especially since my firm at the time had a one year leave of absence program. She told me to look at the risks and benefits of leaving my 9-5 job. She also had me look at all the great things about owning my own business as well as struggles that may lie ahead. Worst case, if blogging didn’t work out for me as a career, I had my old job to come back to. Once I was able to review all the pros and cons I would be able to make an informed decision. She was right–I had nothing to lose and I never turned back. That was over 5 years ago!
I love that Forté has such a valuable mentoring resource like the MBA Launch program, which supports women as they apply to business school. It’s a 10-month program that pairs women seeking an MBA with a support network and provides a structured roadmap for applying to business schools. I would have loved to have a program like this when I was applying! But the best part is now you can. Also, make sure to read Forté’s executive director Elissa Sangster piece on mentoring wisdom. I love how she views mentoring as an organic process–one in which a valuable mentor can simply make an impact on your life in just a few short hours. Forté has so much to offer for women who are seeking an MBA. It’s a community in which women can turn to one another for support as they navigate the twists and turns of their careers and higher education.
Special thanks to Forté for sponsoring this post.