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
Stacy's #MBAMama Thoughts
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".
Some days are better and more productive than others but you just keep moving, keep chipping away. How do you get started? You just start. Take one step and then another and soon you have built something.
Mama # 7: Monique Benoit
Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business
Class of 2015
Current Job: Senior Buyer
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Hometown: Detroit, Michigan
Mom Status: Mother of 3 girls
Relationship Status: Married
Monique's #MBAMama Thoughts
In retail, being a mom is a bonus- it gives you access to how the consumer with children thinks. Use that to your advantage.
Valerie's #MBAMama Thoughts
You have to set your own boundaries to manage having a successful career and devote time to your family. Business school gave me the flexibility to devote time to my daughter without being tied to a strict schedule and constant travel, but this isn't necessarily the case when you go back to work. Prioritizing my family above all has helped me understand and set my own personal boundaries of what work-life balance means to me, and understand what, where and when, do I have to devote time to different aspects of my life to continue to grow personally and professionally.
Tech Marketing is a great industry/function combination for career moms. It provides a space where you can think strategically to shape a product, project, or campaign and drive impact, without having to put in 12+ hour work days. The flexibility and agility of tech companies allows you to work at your own pace, wherever you are, and balance work and family. This is a great environment to work at, in particular for career moms who have small kids that need extra attention, care, and might get sick often.
Jennifer's #MBAMama Thoughts
Make the sacrifices early and invest to reap the rewards later.
Megan's #MBAMama Thoughts
My daughters are always watching and learning from me. If I make them proud, nothing else matters.
Don't wait for anything to be handed to you; go out and take what you deserve.
LaToya's #MBAMama Thoughts
Serenity is key. There is so much I cannot change and I just have to roll with it. Learning to master the obsessive vs chill vibe at work & at home has been a delicate dance.
Gil's #MBAMama Thoughts
I love working in the healthcare industry because of how well it’s aligned with my home life, not only logistically, but from a values and mission stand point. As parents, my husband and I have little time or energy to waste doing work that isn’t aligned with who we are. Being fulfilled at work makes working as a parent feel much easier. For me, working at Davita is energizing. I am fortunate to have joined a company that truly cares about inclusion and belonging. Having that support as a young mother - not only at home, but at work - is something I’m so grateful for.
Mama # 1: KelliAnne Kelly
Cornell University Johnson School of Management
Class of 2016
Current Job: Investment banking associate
Location: Harlem, New York
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Mom Status: Mother of 2 boys, Johnathan and Noah
Relationship Status: Met her husband Greg during business school. They were married on New Year's Eve: December 31, 2018.
Kelli's #MBAMama Thoughts
I feel like the expectation is for me to mother like I don't work and for me to work like I don't mother. So generally there are few moments when I'm doing well at both, but the worst moment (in my mind) would be doing poorly at both simultaneously. I'm internally driven and energized by both working and mothering. Investment banking certainly takes working mom struggles to another level. Finding balance will continue to be my biggest challenge but I appreciate the village we have around us. Because I know that Johnathan and Noah feel so much love.