Many Moms find themselves re-launching their career these days. Whether the economy is pushing them back into the workplace sooner than expected or their kids are in school now and Mom wants to refocus on her own career, many women are polishing up their resumes. However, many of the Moms who I talk to about reentering the workforce feel a little intimidated. They feel like they need to brush up on their skill sets or they want to take this opportunity to make a complete career change, but don’t know what to do.
Technological changes, industry shifts, and consolidation have led to a different work environment than what many women may have been used to when they took a temporary step off of the career track. So, re-launching is a hot topic and there is a definite need to help great workers get back into the workforce. There is a group on LinkedIn that focuses on Stay-at-Home Moms reentering the workforce. There are quite a few niche websites dedicated to providing advice and community for Moms returning to work, like iRelaunch. A growing number of employers and universities have created programs to help people get back to work. And recently, I was impressed that Lake Forest Graduate School of Management (LFGSM) had designed a new program specifically for the needs of career re-launchers.
Full Disclosure: Now, I used to teach International Business at LFGSM so I know a lot about the school. The school is also our very first sponsor for the ChocolateCakeMoments.com website and although it seems like an odd fit with our Family Fun focus, I was really impressed with how they conducted research and designed a program for Mom’s needs. If she has to or wants to go back to work, I’m happy to promote a school that is going to give her the education and counseling she needs to get the best job possible for her and her family. I really liked the way the program was designed to fit in with Mom’s schedule so she can advance her career but also have the time and flexibility to still be the center of her family’s universe. (So, there is still time for Family Fun!)
Here are the features of the program that really stood out to me.
Convenience. Let’s face it, Moms. Once your kids are in school, everything is ruled by the school schedule – bus times, afterschool activities, and summer vacation. LFGSM took this into consideration. Class times are from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. so Mom can still get the kids on and off the school bus. Students only take 2 courses per term (one on Tuesday and one on Thursday) so you can meet with classmates or study during the day, so it doesn’t infringe on family time. Finally, Moms can have the summer off. If you want to take the time to spend with your kids or if you want to grab a summer internship to boost your experience for extra credit, this time is yours.
Timing. Visualize yourself graduating in just two years. That’s right, only two years and 16 courses to complete the program and have an MBA in your hand to secure a better job. (It took me 3.5 years to get my MBA going to school at night. At this point in my life, that seems too long.) The school understands that you want to get back in the workforce as soon as you can. But don’t think you are getting an MBA “Lite” degree. The Daytime MBA program at LFGSM offers the same curriculum as their evening or weekend programs.
Easy to enroll. The school has eliminated any excuse for not getting your MBA. No GMAT is needed! You don’t want to go back to taking standardized tests. LFGSM has streamlined the admission process and taken away any excuses for why you might have been dragging your feet to enroll in an MBA program. There is no need for GMAT scores and they WILL consider your volunteer and part-time work experience as leadership experience for admission selection. PTA time counts!
Special programs for re-launchers. I interviewed Manish Shah, the Associate Dean for the Daytime MBA program, and he walked me through how they had conducted focus groups with stay-at-home Moms to target the program specifically to their needs. He was most excited about the additional coaching, mentoring, and extra workshops the school is offering to help Moms re-launch their careers. He mentioned that LFGSM is the only school that has partnered with the founders of iRelaunch to offer a 5-week mini course to help Moms determine their vision for going back to work, what type of job they want, and what skills can be applied in their new career. Carol Fishman Cohen and Vivian Rabin, the founders of iRelaunch and the authors of Back on the Career Track, are experts in this field and they are bringing their unique expertise to the LFGSM program.
Help paying the bills. No MBA program is cheap. It’s an investment in the future. However, LFGSM is offering up to 20% scholarship assistance for tuition based on financial need. Take advantage, if you can.
Flexibility. LFGSM won’t stand in your way of opportunities. If you find a terrific full-time job while you are enrolled, there is no problem transferring you from the daytime to evening or Saturday program.
Learn from experience. After having taught at LFGSM, I have to say that one of the school’s best features to me was the faculty. (I know, I am biased.) The professors have real work experience and they love sharing it with their students. These are not purely academics sharing theory. They can illustrate their teachings with personal case stories and can potentially help you network to find a job.
Moms, if you want more information about the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management Daytime MBA program to re-launch your career, go to their websiteor contact them at 847-574-5154 or DaytimeMBA@lfgsm.edu. What are you waiting for? Classes start August 23rd at the Lake Forest campus.
As I mentioned, LFGSM’s Daytime MBA Program is a sponsor for us. They bought advertising space on the site and I want to be upfront about that. I offered to write this blog post to help promote the program because I was impressed with how it was tailored to Moms and I have a soft spot for the school since I used to teach there.
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