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Alumni Profile

Alicia Anderson

Alicia Anderson, MBA ’05

Founder and CEO of Attaché Services

When most students enter MIT Sloan, they view balancing a career and a personal life as a dance to be learned in the future. Alicia Anderson, a mother of two when she came to the School, had been dancing for years. “By the time I was a second-year graduate student I had taken on an identity that was different than the norm,” she says. “I had two children and people were fascinated by that. It sparked many conversations about work-life balance. Having children allowed me to add a lot to the conversation.”

Anderson came to the School with dreams of becoming an entrepreneur. With a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering, Anderson was drawn to MIT Sloan's student body. “I wanted to be at a place that attracted analytical thinkers even if they weren't engineers,” she explains. Her experiences with classmates and professors gave her insight that narrowed her entrepreneurial focus, but ultimately it was her identity as a working mother that gave birth to the idea for her eventual enterprise, Attaché Services, specializing in services to assist women.

After graduating, Anderson had another baby and worked as a general manager in a predominantly male operations department of a Fortune 100 telecommunications company. Juggling the demands of a family, a career, and achieving personal fulfillment, she surveyed female peers to learn how they managed their high-profile careers while having families. She discovered that the key to success is outsourcing. “Women today cannot do everything,” she clarifies, “especially when we choose to take on such challenging roles. Businesses often have to restructure and downsize, and so do we. What do you keep on your plate, and what do you decide to stop doing?”

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