Motherhood and the MBA

While it’s true that going to business school with children in tow is no cake walk, many MBA moms are finding more resources and support on campus than ever before. With Mother’s Day coming up, I wanted to share this post on being a student mom recently published on the MBA Voices blog at Harvard Business School.

Elena Rodighiero started at HBS in August 2014 with a three-month-old son, and is graduating this spring with a second child, a baby girl this time, who is just a few months old.

The need to prioritize is paramount for MBA moms, and what I found inspiring about her post was how she took an existing student association at HBS and expanded it to better meet her specific needs and to give back to future mothers pursuing the degree.

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She and other moms created a new group within the Women Student Association called moMBAs, and she says the group focuses on building community and improving the HBS experience for student-moms, moms-to-be, and everyone who is interested in parenthood.

“My classmates and I wanted to institutionalize motherhood at HBS.”

“If we could collect and curate our combined experiences (including tips and tricks on things like childcare and lactation rooms on campus) we could help future generations of moms at HBS,” Rodighiero writes.

The group also worked with HBS’s Career and Professional Development Office to create a list of coaches able to help students structure a career path that considers their family’s needs as well, Rodighiero explains.

MoMBAs at HBS also has a speaker series planned for Fall 2016, and Rodighiero shares how she has integrated her interest in the topic of motherhood into her studies.  Together with classmate Carina Rutgers, she created an independent project on motherhood that “hinged on the consideration that in our professional careers we will all deal with parenthood, as managers or coworkers, even if parenthood is not part of our own personal lives. This is an important message for students at a business school, who will encounter this issue throughout their lives.”

Pursuing an MBA as a mother has its unique challenges and requirements, but it’s definitely feasible. Every woman interested in forging a new career path should know that business school, career advancement and having children are not mutually exclusive. I invite you to read the complete post on the MBA Voices blog to learn more about experiencing Harvard Business School from this unique point of view.

Image credit: Sal (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
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