I graduated from Wharton on May 14, 2017 — it was Mother’s Day and one of the greatest days of my life. Since then, I have been thinking a lot about what it means for me to wear the title MBA Mama now that I’ve entered the alumni phase of my career. As I reflect on the brand the MBA Mama team has built, I am more convinced than ever that MBA Mama is forever.
Whether you are a current student managing classes, recruiting, and student leadership with your role as a mommy OR you are a new mother who did not have a child during business school but you’re managing a transition back to work following maternity leave in your post-MBA career, we are all MBA Mama. In the coming months, I am excited to share that we will be expanding the scope of the women we feature on our blog. We want to bring the voices and experiences of more senior women into our community to learn what being an MBA Mama looks like when you are 5, 10, 20 or even 30 years out of business school. The good news is that we have already heard from some women who fit this profile. Strong, dynamic, powerhouse women like:
- Stacy Blackman who graduated from Kellogg’s MBA program in 1999
- Melissa Martin, Denita Willoughby, and Allison O’Kelly who graduated from Harvard Business School in 1996, 1994 and 1999 respectively
- Mara Kelly who graduated from NYU Stern in 2007
If you know an MBA Mama with alumni status who should be featured on our blog, please use this form to nominate her!
As for me, I am working hard to find small ways to integrate my work with my life which means kicking ass in my most important job as Nyah’s mother and leaning all the way in to my new role as a Community Program Manager at Lyft. Last week, I wasn’t quite finished wrapping up my work but I also needed to relieve my nanny. This is a major challenge for single career moms who do not have relatives or a partner to depend on for support with school pick-up and drop-off. I instructed my childcare provider to drop Nyah to my office after school. It was about 4:30 pm when my nanny arrived with Nyah in tow. Nyah met my team-including the VP I report to. Everyone at Lyft was friendly and welcoming which felt amazing. Nyah and I raided the snack cabinet. I wrapped up emails I needed to get out while she devoured some Lucky Charms. We both left the office around 5:15 pm — but not before snapping this photo of Nyah at Lyft HQ.
On Nyah’s first day of school in August, I leveraged Lyft’s flexible work culture to ensure that I could be by Nyah’s side as she started her first day of Kindergarten at a new school in a new city. I dropped Nyah off at school at 8:10 am, worked remotely from a cafe near her school and was able to pick her up from school at 2:30 pm. We de-briefed on her first day before going home where I logged back on to wrap up my work for the day. The flexibility I enjoy in my new job — both in my schedule, the ability to work from home and dial into meetings remotely — empowers me to do my job and be fully engaged as a parent without making difficult trade-offs.
This is what it looks like to be a single mom with a career in a company you love. I shared a version of this story on my LinkedIn where I gave a shoutout to one of my favorite MBA professors, Stew Friedman, who inspired me to think about new frameworks for work-life integration during my time as a student at Wharton. For more on the way I am balancing work and life, I will be sharing a week-long day in the life series on MBA Mama’s instagram story. Follow our Instagram and check out my InstaStory starting Sunday 9/17.