|Getting Back on Track|
I was a “Woman of the ‘80’s”. I could have it all – a well-planned life of a fulfilling and exciting law career, an equal and happy marriage, and children – all in that order. I would execute it all with ease and grace.
Years later, as a “Mother of the New Millennium”, I had four magnificent children, a successful husband, and a law degree languishing in the backdrop. I was on a parallel road from the one on which I had begun my journey. My choice to sideline my career was gradual, unintentional and, for me, unavoidable given the events in my life and the limitations of corporate culture.
Volunteering answered some of my professional restlessness during the early years home with my children. When my oldest child was preparing to enter high school, I longed for the intellectual stimulation and sense of individual accomplishment that my professional career had afforded me. Despite my community involvement, I found that I was no longer taken seriously as a professional. I was at a complete loss as to where and how to begin my re-entry.
A few months later I read an article in the September 25, 2006 Newsweek titled “Getting Back on Track”, about women who had taken career “off-ramps” to raise children and were having trouble finding “on-ramps” when they are ready to work again. It discussed the emerging Career Sequencing Movement, the growing number of professionals who have “off-ramped” from their traditional, linear career paths and are, after a period of time, returning to their careers (also known a “on-ramping”.) The article mentioned the upcoming inaugural class of the “Back in Business” Program at The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, an intensive, comprehensive program intended for professionals with MBA’s or MBA-equivalent experience who have worked in high-potential careers. This “Program”, designed to update and refresh the management skills of business professionals and help them reintegrate into the workforce, was my answer! I called immediately, but had missed the application deadline for the 2006 Charter Class. The following spring, I completed the formal application process and was admitted to the “Back in Business” Class of 2007.
The program spanned approximately nine weeks. Pre-session reading materials arrived before each of the three “classroom modules”. Each module lasted four or five days. During these days we were fully immersed in the Program. Our days started as early as 6:45 am and ended after 9:00 pm. Modules One and Three were held on the Dartmouth College campus in Hanover, NH. Module Two was held in New York City. The significant commitment of time and focus (during and in between modules) reflected the effort and commitment that would be necessary to re-enter the corporate workforce.