MBA Mommy

Part MBA, Part MRS, Part MOM…..All ME

Posts Tagged ‘networking’


Posted by mbamommy on November 18, 2011

I have a problem.  Well, I think it’s a problem.  Maybe it’s not.  Maybe it’s a dilemma (are those even different?).  See, on one hand, I can’t figure anything out that’s actually wrong with my situation.  But, on the other hand I can’t figure anything out that’s right.  Something’s not quite fitting in my round hole/square peg life.

Wanna hear about it?  Great, I’m glad you asked.

I work part time right now. I work for this amazing company who’s agreed to let me do my job when and where I want to do it.  This is a company that is considered THE thought leader in my industry; one that I’ve admired since I began my career 10 (15!) years ago.  They pretty much have said, “So, what do you want to do?  OK, how about a mix of that and a little of some stuff that isn’t super interesting but needs a capable mind to manage it?  Yes?  OK great!  Now, how much do you charge?  OK, that’ll work.  Here’s your deadline.  Send the work in by then.  Thanks so much for the help and let me know if you have any questions.”

I am still able to do kidlet drop off and pick up.  I can still take Z to his therapy appointments.  I can still run errands and go grocery shopping.  I can still (in theory if not in actual practice) go to the gym.  And I am contributing to the family checking account.  I have one foot in the business world and one foot in MBAMommy-land.

Perfect, right?

And then this amazing company invites me to attend and work at their conference.  Again, this is THE conference for my industry.  One that I’ve wanted to attend since I began my career 10 (15!) years ago.  So, they fly me to a warm place, put me up in a gorgeous hotel and give me a job that’s fairly mindless but allows me to watch all the presentations for 3 days.  I don’t really have a whole lot of responsibility, especially compared to my counterparts working the registration booth and speaking with clients and being the collective face of the company.  I can just sit back, relax, and watch things unfold.  Hell, I even have time to go to the gym almost everyday.  No kids, little responsibility and warm weather for an entire week.

Perfect, right?

Seriously, how could I ask for more?

And therein lies my dilemma.  I don’t have a lot of responsibility.  I don’t have to be in front of the client.  I have one foot in the business world and one foot in MBAMommy-land.  And I sit back and I watch major events unfolding on both sides.  While sitting on the sidelines.

Back at home, poor J is dealing with one illness after another.  Before I left, Z had strep and croup and I was sick as a dog, staying in bed trying to get better so I could come to this conference.  So, J comes back from his own business trip and jumps in with 2 feet to take care of all of us.  2 nights before I leave, Z runs downstairs at 9pm to inform us that he’s just swallowed a nail.  And, off to the ER J & Z go.

See the watch pin?  Turns out we didn’t have much to worry about.  But that damn pin didn’t see the light of day until AFTER I’d already left for the conference.  Since I’ve been gone, J’s had to deal with gross kidlet issues from both kids and both ends (‘nuf said).  And, here I am, at this amazing conference, soaking it all in very intellectually.  Sleeping well, working out, eating like a queen and getting to know my co-workers.

Can you say Mama guilt?

But, the issue is more than just Mama guilt.  I’ve found myself in an awkward position here too because of the one foot in, one foot out situation.  The MBA in me is frustrated that I’m not busier, that I don’t have more responsibility, that I’m merely benched and watching everyone else work their magic.  And, when I am confronted with doing the polite chit-chat of getting to know someone professionally, I struggle because I’m most comfortable talking about kids and Asperger’s…..not exactly a hot topic at a business convention.  And, I’ve found it hard to explain my role and my background.  Below is an example of a recent conversation:

Co-Worker: “So, I’ve heard your name before….what is it that you do?”

Me: “Well, I work part time as a project manager, but I also dabble in sales stuff and research stuff and I’ve worked on X and Y and Z.  But, really I’m also a stay at home Mom to 2 kids that are in school full time.  My older one has Asperger’s so I can’t really go back to work full time because he still needs someone to drive him to his therapies and neither kid handles a full day with after school care very well.  But, I can work part time while they’re at school and still pick them up when school is over.  Hopefully someday I’ll be able to go back to work full time….”

Versus a similar exchange 5 years ago:

Client: “So, what’s your role at your company?”

Me: “Well, I’m the Director of Client Strategy.  I oversee the account teams and help with strategic direction and business development.”

See the difference?  One is a great elevator pitch.  The other? Ramblings of someone who’s not quite sure of where she stands because she’s got one foot in two distinctly different worlds.

So, I guess my dilemma is this.  In MBAMommy-land, things are perfect.  I’ve found an amazing balance between work and life that I’ve wanted since I had kids.  I’m in a perfect situation with a great company.  I get to experience things I’ve wanted to experience my entire career but don’t necessarily have a lot of skin in the game.  But out in the real world, when i’m confronted face to face with those that have skin in the game, it’s not easily packaged and delivered.  At least not yet.  I’ve got my work cut out for me figuring out this new spot I’m in.

What about you?  Does anyone else out there have this same challenge of explaining the round hole/square peg you live in?

Posted in MBA, MOM | Tagged: , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

What Women Want

Posted by mbamommy on August 17, 2009

There’s really a lot being said about what/how/why women use the internet.  Especially social media sites.  eMarketer has another article out today talking about the # of women using social media sites, why they’re using it and what’s most important to them.

I think it’s great that there’s so much focus on us right now.  And, it seems that I do fall into the ranks of the majority in terms of who/what/when and how.

Now, if I could just get Christina Aguilera‘s, “What A Girl Wants” song out of my head…..

Posted in MBA, ME, MOM, MRS | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Say it Loud, Say it Proud

Posted by mbamommy on August 13, 2009

I subscribe to eMarketer’s daily newsletter.  Sometimes, I actually get around to reading them.  If you haven’t, you should, they’re great at compiling various reports and giving it to you in an easily digestible summary.  Which, considering both of my kids are doing batty things with their naps, is hugely important to MBAMommy.

Today, they posted this article8 million women bloggers?!?  That’s so awesome.  Ladies, find your voices, find your keyboards and keep typing.  This could be the next step in equality for women – a place to share uncensored thoughts, ideas, plans, complaints, praises.  Why not, right?  You’ve got nothing to lose.

And then, right after I read that article, I read this article Tweeted by @MomCorps, which only underlines eMarketer’s point about marketers and PR folks paying attention to who they want to help promote their products.  These bloggers don’t mess around.

I also think it’s amazing that many of these women are actually able to make a living out of their blogging.  The July BlogHer conference shows that.  So, marketers out there, pay attention to what these ladies are saying and target them appropriately.  They can be hugely influential.

    Posted in MBA, ME, MOM | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Back in the saddle

    Posted by mbamommy on June 10, 2009

    Last night I attended my first Triangle AMA networking event.  It’s been a while since I’ve been to an event like that: meeting new people and discussing Marketing/Careers/Life.  Because I’ve worked remotely for so long, I’m usually in my t-shirt & shorts with a headset on when discussing Marketing/Careers/Life.  Needless to say, I was a little nervous going in.  I kept trying to get psyched up by reminding myself that it’s not like I’m going to walk in there and people start throwing rotten tomatoes laughing (unless I have baby schmootz somewhere on me).  I mean, this is a networking event.  People are there to meet people.  So, I checked for baby schmootz, re-applied lipstick, grabbed my business cards (btw, if you need free business cards, check out – they’re FANTASTIC!) and got out of the car.

    I left the night with several new business cards; half from other job seekers and half from local marketing professionals. No one was looking for new employees but everyone was ready to bend over backwards offering to help in any way they could (both the job seekers and the gainfully employed).  I was thoroughly pleased and happy with the event.  Members are incredibly friendly (this is the South afterall), intelligent and fun to chat with.

    Frankly, it was such a treat to be out at night, dressed up, no baby schmootz and speaking with other professionals, I could’ve cared less if anyone was hiring.  I’ll definitely be attending more events in the coming months.

    Posted in MBA | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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