In Part 1 of her MBA MoTM feature, Rachel shared why she chose Duke and shared some excellent advice on time management and childcare solutions. Here she shares how the MBA shaped her as a leader and what a typical day as an MBA mom looked like for her.
Can you describe a typical day in your life as an MBA Mama at Fuqua?
Vaughn is an early riser so my day typically began between 5:30 to 6 am. We would then eat breakfast and play for a couple of hours before heading to daycare. After dropping him off, I’d head to campus to either attend class, meet with fellow team members, or begin coursework. I’d meet friends for lunch in the Fox Center or out on the patio during the warmer days before heading back into class or hitting the books. My time on campus would come to an end around 5:15 pm, at which time I would head over to pick up Vaughn. We would get home, make dinner, do bath time, and get Vaughn to bed. I’d then finish up any reading or coursework that needed to be done for the next day, shower, spend time with my husband and head to bed myself.
How has your time at Fuqua shaped your leadership style and your career trajectory?
Fuqua has provided me with the skills and opportunity for growth to be a more effective and compassionate leader. In unstructured environments I always take the lead, and Fuqua taught me the value in taking a step back to allow others the opportunity to lead. Our program also taught me the benefits of crowd sourcing ideas prior to diving into the leg work to complete a project.
My MBA experience has filled in a gap in my knowledge base that has allowed me to pivot my career and take my next crucial steps in the healthcare sector. Time at Fuqua also allowed me to explore what truly matters to me in a career and a company.
What advice do you have for other professional women considering their MBAs?
In considering your MBA, talk to as many people as you can at the schools that you are considering. In person visits are great for getting a feel for the culture and community present at the school. Attend workshops to be around like minded women who can help give you that push to pursue your goals.
During my MBA search, I joined the Forte Foundations’ MBALaunch program in DC, and attended multiple women’s weekends and leadership workshops. These experiences helped me form a more complete picture of the schools that I was interested in attending and create a network of women to motivate me throughout the process.
And now that you’ve accomplished this achievement, what are your post-MBA plans?
I will begin working full-time in January 2018 for Triangle Insights Group, a strategy consulting firm with a focus on life sciences organization. I plan to make the most of my time with my boys before jumping back into a full-time position and settling into our new home here in Durham.