Student Story

Maegan Bernier ’20 and Shelby Young ’21 Attend Forté Business and Finance Conferences

Last fall, Maegan Bernier ’20 and Shelby Young ’21 were selected to attend Forté Conferences for Undergraduate Women. Each conference hosts about 100 women from across the United States. Bernier, who is now pursuing my Master of Educational Leadership and Policy at Boston University, attended the Forté Foundation's Business Leadership Conference in New York City. Young, a senior finance and economics major, attended the Fast Track to Finance Conference in Boston.

In advance of Forté’s September 20th application deadlines, we caught up with Bernier and Young about their conference experiences.

Inspiring speakers and attendees

Young: This conference improved my understanding of women in business. The first speaker was the CFO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Aparna Ramesh. Hearing her speak about her career, and her growth to her current position was very powerful. Being surrounded by women my age from all around the country was a great networking opportunity. Having shared experiences with them was a great way to develop my understanding of internships and possible career moves in the future.

Valuable career skills

Headshot of Maegan Bernier
Maegan Bernier '20

Bernier: My current career path is pursuing secondary or higher education leadership roles, while the conferences focused on corporate business. However, I learned about personal branding, public speaking, and networking, which are valuable for any career. These conferences have provided me with another level of confidence in my capabilities as a businesswoman. 

Insightful discussions

Young: My favorite part of the conference was the round-table discussions. There were professionals presenting networking tips, interview tips, insight into graduate school, and making your resume stick out. As a junior, getting more insight into graduate school as well as speaking with professionals in the industry I want to go into was really nice. We had the chance to network with professionals from MFS, PIMCO, and Ford, who led these discussions.

Learning to be uncomfortable

Bernier: I didn’t believe I would make it into any of the conferences, but I gave it a shot anyhow. When you dream, take risks, or feel uncomfortable, that is where personal growth develops. Instead of staying comfortable as a Simmons student, take all opportunities and learn to love to be uncomfortable. Any opportunity not taken is one that possibly could have been your path to grow.

Solidifying your career path

Headshot of Shelby Young
Shelby Young '21

Young: I have always been interested in numbers and data, but pursuing finance as a career made me unsure of myself. This conference solidified that I want to go into finance, and seeing others who are also passionate about finance made for a really fun day. I am thankful for the Forté Foundation for hosting these conferences so students from around the country can come together.

Forté College Fast Track to Finance Virtual Conference, October 15-16, 2020. It is free to apply and $50 to attend. The application deadline is September 20, 2020.

Forté Women of Color College Leadership Virtual Conference, October 22-23, 2020. The conference is free to attend. The application deadline is September 20, 2020.

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