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Would being pregnant make me a less attractive candidate for full-time employment?

October 11, 2010

M@B is excited to kick off the 2010-2011 school year with a new post to continue our series on current students who are successfully juggling work/school and motherhood! Today’s post was written by Natalie Mindrum, Class of 2011. She is expecting her first child for December and has just started her second year at Booth.

My summer internship began when I was approximately 15 weeks pregnant.  I worried about how to tell my supervisor about the pregnancy.  Would being pregnant make me a less attractive candidate for full-time employment?  I decided to just keep my pregnancy on the down low for awhile (it seemed as though I would never start showing!).  But, when it became clear that I was going to have to start wearing maternity clothes, I opted to let my supervisor know before anyone within the office was able to guess that I was pregnant.

I went into her office and said, “I just wanted to let you know that I’m pregnant.  The pregnancy will definitely not affect my work performance or my aspirations to work here post-MBA.  But, I thought I should let you know because I’m going to have to go to a few medical appointments over the next couple of months.”

She honestly yelled out with delight, “Congratulations! That’s amazing. I’m so happy for you.”  She said there were plenty of pregnant women and mothers at the company currently, and she knew it wouldn’t influence my work performance.  From there, as I became more and more pregnant-looking, I only encountered positivity within the workplace.  At the end of the summer when I left, I was presented with baby gifts from my co-workers—I had to promise them that they would receive pictures as soon as the “bean sprouted.”

I’ve received a full-time offer to return to the company I interned with, and in no small part because of the positivity I encountered there over the summer, I will likely accept the offer.  I know that, unfortunately, not all companies are as friendly to mothers, and truly, it’s to their own detriment.

My thoughts have now turned to concerns with what it will be like to manage school, two dogs, and a newborn.  My due date, December 8th, falls right in the middle of fall quarter finals week.  I’ve opted to take courses that require papers and projects rather than exams just in case things don’t go exactly as planned.   I took one class during the summer so that I could continue taking three classes every quarter this year and graduate on time.  My husband is a consultant who travels weekly which will make parenthood slightly more challenging; however, I have a great support network in my fellow Mothers at Booth and am excited to soon officially be joining their ranks!

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