Mama # 13: Lilian Ngobi-Pryor
Carnegie Mellon University
Tepper School of Business, Class of 2017
Focus: Finance, Strategy, & Organizational Behavior
Current Job: Senior Strategy Consultant
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Hometown: Coral Springs, Florida
Mom Status: Mother of 1
Relationship Status: Married to college love
It truly takes a village to raise and care for your child.
Being a working mom is like playing tennis. You are on the court but there is an entire team on the benches that make it possible for you to get up there. My parents are essentially raising my kids. I make sure to explain clearly why I need the help and celebrate the wins as a team effort at home. For example, when I won an internal innovation award at Google, I made sure to recognize the contribution that my family made towards it.
I used to feel very guilty for taking some afternoons off at work to make it to my son's belt testing/dentist appointment/[fill in the blank]. I used to feel even more guilty for spending a lot of time working/studying/travelling for business away from children. But that's not what I want my life to be about and definitely not the model that I want my children to follow. So I am learning constantly to give myself credit for everything that I'm doing and enjoy being both a professional and a mom. That's a single lesson I want to teach my children - follow for your dream, but don't forget to enjoy the ride.
Mama # 10: Aishwarya Nagarajan
University of Texas McCombs
Class of 2019
The best thing I learned was to turn what was different about me into an advantage. Whether it was being a woman in computer engineering, where I used my empathy and relationship-building skills to be promoted to tech lead, or in business school, where having a child provided me opportunities to form meaningful connections with mentors, sponsors and potential employers. I was already pretty efficient with my time before school, but adopted the Pareto principle as my motto in school - recognizing I won't get everything done, so only prioritize the work and relationships that would provide me meaning and joy.
Mama # 9: Denise Ochigbo
Arizona State University (MBA in Finance and Marketing/Entrepreneurship) and MS in Finance
Class of 2017
Current Job: Global Brand Manager
Company: Eli Lilly & Company
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Mom Status: Mother of 1
Relationship Status: Happily married
It’s possible to work in the healthcare industry. Find a company that values family life and has active mom support groups. I am fortunate to work for Eli Lilly, a top pharmaceutical company that have a strong support group for moms, dads, and kids.
Mama # 8: Stacy Blackman
Kellogg Graduate School of Management
Class of 1999
Much of the time we feel tired not because we are doing too much but because we are doing too little of what makes you come alive. Focus on the stuff that lights you up, and you will be more energized to do it "all".
Coaching Services for Non-Members
Not interested in membership but still want to get assistance from MBA Mama as you navigate family and career? Our CEO helps women in our global community develop a game plan to accomplish their goals.
Whether you need an accountability partner, help strategizing for a career pivot or promotion, or help prepping for MBA applications, Divinity is here to be of service. If you are interested in multiple sessions, customized coaching packages can be negotiated on a case-by-case basis depending on your income-level, family size and financial need.
Divinity offers the following services:
Reviewing your resume and/or MBA essays
Developing your business plan
Design and launch your personal website or blog
LinkedIn and/or social media makeover
Strategizing for career pivot or promotion
Negotiation practice and preparation
Inspiration and Vision
"I was inspired to start MBA Mama after seeing few images of - or resources for - women with children in MBA programs I was interested in. The StartingBloc family and Nicole's passion gave me the confidence to launch MBA Mama as a business. As Black and Latina founders, Nicole and I are proud to be the creators and leaders of MBA Mama. We both have overcome many hurdles to reach this point in our careers. We are committed to creating a company that revolutionizes how our society views work and family. We are thankful for the privilege to pursue our dreams of empowering career women who desire to live full, balanced lives." - Divinity
How We Met
Divinity and Nicole's chance encounter
"Divinity and I met for the first time in February 2015 in Los Angeles at StartingBloc's Social Innovation Institute, although we later learned we'd both attended USC, have a ton of mutual friends and each spent time working in East and Central Africa. I was impressed with Divinity's pitch of MBA Mama in StartingBloc's Ideas Marketplace competition. Divinity was named one of the winners, and her prize was a team of 15+ fellows rapid prototyping the MBA Mama concept for half a day. I was on Divinity's team. We hit it off immediately. After discovering our shared passion for women's empowerment, we agreed to form a business partnership." - Nicole
After a hiatus in 2018 where the team was not producing new content, MBA Mama officially relaunched on Mother's Day 2019. Nicole is no longer actively involved with MBA Mama; however, her contributions in the early days were significant and she remains an integral part of our brand story and our company history.
CEO & Queen of Content
Divinity is a mother and tech entrepreneur based in Los Angeles, California. She has worked at major corporations like Lyft, Goldman Sachs, YMCA of Metro Milwaukee and SC Johnson in her home state of Wisconsin. She is a 1st generation Magna Cum Laude graduate with a BA from University of Southern California and a MBA from Wharton where she focused on finance and entrepreneurial management. She is an advocate for career moms and empowerment of women globally. Passionate about social impact and community, she has lived and worked in East Africa and founded MBA Mama in 2015 to help women navigate family and career planning. In 2019, she created a scholarship fund to honor her late mother, Barbara Goss-Gonzalez and empower women with children from Racine, WI who are pursuing higher education.
Head of Design & Creative
Sarah is a designer, creative digital producer and art director based in Portland, Oregon. She holds a degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology (2004-2008). She has worked with global brands like Nike Golf, Gap, TJ Maxx, Kenneth Cole, Puma and Macy’s and has experience in UX/UI and graphic design, fashion, and web development. Over the last decade, Sarah has designed every logo for Divinity's multiple ventures dating back to the Amagezi Gemaanyi Youth Association in Uganda after connecting with Divinity via Idealist.com. Throughout her career, Sarah has honed her expertise as a graphic artist, photographer, marketer, product developer, art teacher, volunteer educator, community gardener, adventure seeker and story teller. As a brand strategist, Sarah knows how to grab people’s attention with amazing graphics & persuasive visual stories. Learn more about Sarah and view her portfolio here.
Ashley Jackson, Esq
Ashley is a new mom and seasoned attorney based in Chicago, Illinois. She specializes in data security and privacy work. She is an International Association of Privacy Professionals certified information privacy professional. Ms. Jackson is proficient in both U.S. and international privacy laws, including the newly passed California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), New York Department of Financial Services Cybersecurity Regulation, Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA), the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Canadian Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), and the Illinois Biometric Privacy Act (BIPA). Ashley holds a JD with an emphasis on Business Organizations and Litigation from Boston University School of Law. She holds a BA from the University of Southern California which is where she met Divinity when they were both student leaders in USC's NAACP chapter.
Head of PR and Communications
Monique is a consumer brand storyteller based in Oakland, California. She has 12 years experience designing integrated communications campaigns for the most iconic and recognized global brands. She’s inspired, coached and led in-house and agency teams to create award winning campaigns for Postmates, Lyft, LG, Citi, T-Mobile, AT&T and more that make people not just think of each brand but know them and love them. Mo excels at integrated communications campaigns for lifestyle brands that infuse influencer marketing, media relations, social media and more. Whether it’s a product launch, experiential event or influencer campaign, Mo is skilled at curating moments that don’t just build brand awareness and brand love but moments that land brands in Buzzfeed, Conde Nast Traveler, Glamour, InStyle, Marie Claire, Page Six, Refinery29, The Cut, The Washington Post, USA Today and more.