But it has come to my attention that my posts are distressing to some and upon further reflection I have decided to stop blogging about my experience. I don't know how to blog any differently than I have been and I don't have the time and energy to worry about the appropriateness of each post. My goal was not to persuade or un-persuade anyone from an MBA or from attending Booth, but simply to give a frank portrayal of an experience that is too often painted as an easy golden ticket. And I think the sort of folk that choose Booth are likely to appreciate that most of all. I have considered quitting blogging many times over the past 3 years anyway. Now is a good a time as any.
But before I go I want to set a some things straight.
- I have a deep affection for Booth and think it's absolutely one of the best MBA programs around. It was the only program I applied to and the only program I wanted to attend. I have blogged about the silliness of the GSB stereotypes, that my biggest regret was waiting so long to apply, my love for my fellow students, a Booth MBA is worthwhile no matter what the economy is doing, career services is stellar (and here), GND is the best policy, despite the challenges there is payoff in the end, my appreciation for the school's attempts at addressing student parent concerns, why my reasons to MBA > reasons not after the first year, and why I like living in Hyde Park.
- My complaints center around the academic experience and the student parent experience. I may be the only Booth student blogging about this, but I am not alone in this opinion. And I imagine any reasonable candidate would realize that these two issues alone do not rule out all of the positive things found in point #1.
- The remainder of my posts have centered around the ups and downs of my MBA experience that have little to do with the institution. That is, crappy economy, tough IM recruiting, self-doubts about career path, frustration with corporatese, are not an indictment of Booth but simply musings on the world around me. Dear readers, I hope you all get that.
- Although I blog anonymously I don't say anything on this blog that I haven't or wouldn't say to the administration, fellow students, friends, family, etc. Trust me, there is a lot I do not put in here. But I did not fully appreciate how negatively my posts would come off. And that is unfortunate.
The Student Parent Experience - I am not complaining that being a student parent is hard but that the school has the capacity to make it easier and seems unwilling to do so with any sense of expediency. And that only so much of the fixing should be up to students. I have worked tirelessly since the summer of 2007 to create support and resources for student moms and moms-to-be and my post last Friday comes after email after email after meeting after meeting with CWiB co-chairs from 2008 and from 2009, with student advisors, with admissions, with career services, with various deans, with UCWBG and CWiBAN, and the Partners group and the law and medical schools and NAWMBA and Forte. After organizing events and attending UoC feedback sessions and conducting a survey of nearly 300 female MBAs and combing the GMAC data and writing a 21 page paper and collecting stories from alumnae and trying to market a Google group and begging CWiB for 50 bucks for a thank you gift for a speaker and moderating a panel on work-life balance comprised of 2 ibankers with no apparent lives to speak of and making myself available to prospectives and incoming students and putting my family story in the viewbook and putting together a website and waiting 5 weeks for Interactive Media to respond to a request to update our internal website.
I get it that Booth has a lot of things to deal with and that this might not be top of the list but my frustrations arise out of the challenges of trying to enact change, not simply a lack of perfection on the institution's part. And last Friday, after reading Bertrand's study and reading a Chibus article in which a former lead facil complains about students who have the audacity to bring their kids to LPF and struggling to find any co-chairs for MaB which meant all this effort was at risk of being for naught, I just broke down. I couldn't pretend any more that all was well and progress was being made. I was out of energy and out of fresh ideas. And angry.
- On Becker: my beef comes after a conversation with him after a presentation last spring on the returns to women's education.
- On CWiB: absolutely no beef with the co-chairs. The 2009ers have done a fantastic job of reviving a neglected group. I have high hopes for the 2010ers. However, I believe CWiB would be more effective if the school took on a more active role rather than expecting 6 students to do everything. (The website for a key group should not be left out of date for years, for example.) Membership should be free and universal to all female students, subcommittees should be formed to handle various initiatives and events, leadership should be voted in not appointed for greater accountability and members, not co-chairs, should decide which initiatives they feel are worth pursuing. And yes, I've already shared these opinions with CWiB and others long ago.
- LOE, recruiting, lactation room, internships: all true stories. Improving the lactation room is on my to do list but given how challenging it was to get the thing set up in the first place and how busy I've been, I've just not gotten back to it.
This was my story and I've shared it. As graduation draws near I am excited to embark on the next phase of my life and have no qualms about choosing to MBA in the original question.
Just wanted to clarify.
Best to all in their MBA journeys or otherwise.