This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

May 12, 2010

Online Game Promotes MBAs for Women

More than 60 percent of today's college students are women. Hoping to reverse the decline in women's business school enrollments, Forte Foundation, a consortium of schools working to increase the number of women pursuing MBAs, has launched a new online tool.

Designed for college women and recent graduates who are contemplating a business major or uncertain about their career goals, the tool is a new interactive game called "Career Gal Road Trip". The online game allows students to explore different business majors and career paths. They participate by making virtual work and life decisions.

Those decisions include everything from whether they should exit the workforce to pursue an MBA to when they should start a family. The particular path that the player chooses eventually leads the student to a video segment of an interview with a successful woman in business who followed a similar career trajectory, from entrepreneurship to investment banking.

Believing that their campus events didn't reach enough college women, Forte Foundation Executive Director, Elissa Ellis Sangster, found a way to leverage their content and make it more accessible to young women and make it fun and interactive.

In a joint study conducted in 2007 by Forte Foundation and McKinsey & Company, more than 85 percent of women surveyed believed it was "important to expose women to business early in their careers". Among women who graduated from an MBA program, the survey showed 28 percent decided they wanted to pursue business while in college and 20 percent decided in high school.

In a 2010 study, released by the Higher Education Research Institute, 58.6 percent of college freshmen said there was a possibility they would change their major, while 20.3 percent were undecided about their major. Their exposure to business as a career will promote their choosing to earn MBAs.

The United States Army has done well using a computer game called "America’s Army: Special Forces" to promote enlistments. Expect more organizations to engage Generations Y and Z by creating online games and using social media. Meeting these younger generations on their favorite platforms will be very successful.

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