Business School, Two Kids, and a Pandemic

Business School, Two Kids, and a Pandemic

This journey through pursuing my MBA has not been all rainbows and flowers, of course. I had to balance a lot of plates, and to be honest, one or two got dropped. Last year, for instance, a teacher at the daycare tested positive for COVID-19, and my daughters had to quarantine for two weeks. This happened to coincide with finals week (needless to say, not the best grades I’ve ever had). Then came winter break, when recruiting for internships are at the peak, and I found myself alone with the kids for weeks (my husband is an essential worker, leaving for work every day). My intention was to recruit for consulting and marketing, but there was not enough time to do both. On a regular basis though, I joke that it’s like having a party at MPP (Millennium Park Plaza—a building where lots of Boothies live) every single day and traveling on the weekends: you have fun, but puts a lot of pressure to be efficient during “business hours.”

Now the good stuff… Professionally, I was eager to get some hands-on experience at Booth, and I already had two opportunities: participation in Booth’s Startup Summer program and the New Products Lab course. Startup Summer is an opportunity for incoming first year students to work for a Booth founded startup during the summer prior to beginning their MBA. I worked at Apologue Liqueurs and loved it! During the Lab of New Products class with Professor Art Middlebrooks, my group did a project for ZX Ventures on Stella Artois which was focused on innovation, with mentorship from AI Collaborative. Not to mention that audio content has become my savior. Whatever I could resource as audio, I did. Catching up on the news was WSJ’s podcast while taking my daughters to school. Required readings that had Audible version I listened to when doing housework (laundry, dishes, etc.). Of course, my classmates make the experience even more possible. I had so much support from the Management Consulting Group and Booth Marketing Group with recruiting, friends that hopped on a call to do a 1:1 coaching anytime, and the emotional support – I am very thankful for the community I found here at Booth!

I wanted to see my daughters’ first steps and teach them how to write their names; I also wanted to put on a suit and solve big problems. Being three years out of the workforce I felt I was out of my game but coming to Booth helped reignite that fire . I hope I can inspire other women out there who want to have both a family and a career, that business school is a great way back in. I am confident any mom can take this challenge.

Jaqueline Sanches is a first year student at Booth and the current co-chair of Mothers at Booth

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