Educational background: North Carolina A&T State University, Industrial Engineering
Prior work experience: Sprint, Systems Engineer; Qwest Communications, Project Manager
Current or most recent position: Exploring entrepreneurial opportunities
Where can a wife and mother of three obtain a top-notch graduate education in a supportive environment with students from all over the world? MIT Sloan! I must admit I was shocked to discover such a wonderful group of classmates, professors, administrators, and alums who were so willing to help me achieve my goals.
With my need for flexibility to balance school and family, I was met with full support and respect from my peers and the entire MIT community. I was able to participate on teams that met between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., enrolled two of my children in preschool directly across the street from MIT Sloan, scheduled my classes so I could study during the day, and received financial assistance (offered to all graduate students) to cover daycare expenses. Despite my reservations about attending graduate school as a parent, I've found MIT Sloan is able and willing to provide the much-needed support required for my success and for that, I'm grateful.
My professors at MIT Sloan were great — in and out of class. They listened to my ideas about different businesses and were open and candid with their advice — and their contacts. I had my third child during the fall of my second year; unfortunately one of my classes continued to meet for two weeks thereafter. The professor made sure I had all the notes and materials I needed to successfully complete the course. Without that kind of consideration, it would have been impossible for me to do.
During the first year, students are invited to choose an alumni advisor who typically provides mentorship. I found an alumni advisor who has become a great friend and mentor. She is a mother of two who, similar to my ambitions, started a business after completing the MIT Sloan MBA program. She is not only a role model, but also someone who will be part of my life for years to come.
Instead of doing an internship, I chose to get work experience (and financial assistance) by completing a research assistantship during the fall semester of my second year. My research project involved the security and privacy of information at academic institutions. The MIT Departments of Human Resources and Information Systems and Technology sponsored it. I surveyed IT people and privacy officers from all over the country to determine what they were doing to protect their data. It was fascinating work, and the results will be presented this summer to the MIT Academic Council.
What drew me to MIT Sloan were my strengths in engineering. I felt I would be comfortable in the larger MIT community given my background. But I also knew that at MIT Sloan, I'd get the business training I needed to complement my strengths.