My fellow “classmates” and I went through an intense learning agenda together over the first few years and are still close to this day. Growing up in a small town in Illinois, I did not have the same access to high caliber education as many of my peers I work with and am friends with now. In many ways I felt this held me back and I was determined to get my MBA. I worked hard and took the GMAT, but my heart still wasn’t quite in it (not to mention my bank account).
As luck would have it, I was applying for W.O.M.E.N. in America during this time and I was accepted into the program. I decided I was going to put my all into this group and leverage the information I could learn and the connections I would gain as my make-shift MBA network. Now, over 4 years later, I not only have some amazing mentors (some of which are my peers), but have built some great friendships as well. This is my graduate program for life.
In fact, with the help of many wonderful women across the organization, I was able to move from a marketing research role to a field sales role while at Yahoo. This was no small feat, as this type of jump had A) never been done at Yahoo and B) sales roles in general are quite coveted and difficult to get. I felt very lucky to have been coached through this transition. Several members also helped guide me in my search joining a startup and many still serve as references for joining new companies and organizations.
Overall, the advice, help and tough truths I have received throughout my time have been truly invaluable. It is my great pleasure to continue on as an alumnus to this group and help pay it forward in any way I can. Most recently by mentoring young women in my current organization.