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Surprise! You're Pregnant and About to Start an MBA – Part I

May 11, 2009

This the first installment of a story submitted by a now second-year about her experience being pregnant and giving birth during her first year at Booth. Stay tuned for Parts II and III …

Phase I – Finding Out

Okay, here goes. This is my first blog posting ever. I guess that it goes without saying that everything that is not an obvious fact is simply my opinion but I thought I would add the disclaimer anyway. I was born in Arizona, went to college in Los Angeles, moved to the Midwest in 2005 for a boy (now my husband) and started at Booth in the fall of 2007. Before business school I worked for a couple of well known companies, Yahoo! and Progressive Insurance, and one of the few successful Internet start-ups that came out of the Idea Lab incubator in Pasadena, Overture Services. I worked mostly in strategic planning and at Yahoo! and Overture and had a more data/analysis intensive role at Progressive. Honestly, I loved all of my jobs post college and pre MBA. I didn’t really plan to switch careers. I knew that consulting and investment banking weren’t for me. I was most interested in marketing/strategy roles in a corporate setting. I felt that long term, an MBA from Chicago would give me the knowledge and credentials to move faster and farther in my career.

We moved to Chicago at the beginning of August. Two days after uprooting our lives and leaving family and friends behind, I discovered I was pregnant. We always knew we wanted kids and had talked about possibly having our first child during my second year of school. This was shocking but celebrated news. I first took my little secret on my Random Walk to Belize and through a category 5 hurricane evacuation. Next, I went to Wisconsin bonded with my classmates and swung from ropes all the while wondering whether the harness would somehow harm my unborn child. Honestly, I was petrified to tell anyone. Most of the women that I had met were younger than me, single, and very interested in going out drinking. Not that any of those things are bad. I simply did not know what type of reactions I would get. Once classes began, I met more and diverse people and began to form friendships. I broke the news slowly to people that I trusted not to react negatively. I am not sure why I was so afraid of judgment except that I felt very out of place and self-conscious. Over time, a number of my friendships blossomed into wonderful relationships that made it much easier to ignore the negative comments I got from time to time. Most of the first quarter of school was pleasant and honestly, the timing seemed perfect. The first quarter was as it would have been for anyone, minus a bit of nausea and the urge to sleep a little longer in the mornings. The baby was scheduled to arrive in April, which would give me enough time to recuperate before my internship. I had it all planned out!

Next week we continue with the experience of recruiting while pregnant.

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