Women in Business Leadership Conference

women at computerI had a blast at the annual Women in Business Leadership Conference at the UT McCombs School of Business, where I presented my seminar on “Top 10 Unwritten Rules That Can Sabotage a Woman’s Career.” What smart, vibrant, and creative women these MBA students are!

Dianne H. Eldridge, one such McCombs MBA student, actually a recent grad from Houston, sent me the “day in the life” diary that she wrote for the program’s new student survival guide. If you’re considering an MBA program, here’s a taste of what it’s like. (Makes me wistful for my own grad school days–some of my life’s best.)

“A Day in the Life of a Working Professional MBA”
by Dianne H. Eldridge, MBA ’11, UT Houston

6:00 am

Radio Alarm off to NPR news while I continue to lie in bed with iPhone in hand. Check 1) work email – in case any urgent issues from overseas offices arrived overnight; 2) personal email; 3) Facebook

6:15 am

Get every body else up in the house including 1 husband, 2 children, and 1 yellow Labrador

6:45 am

Every body is showered, dressed, brushed, packed with snack and out the door – due to multiple incidences of missing sneakers during morning dash, all people under 18 have a back up pair at the door to avoid missing school bus scenarios.

7:00 am

Sit down in my home office and start working – today is class weekend Friday. I normally work from home in the morning and pack up to go to school in the afternoon.


Walk over to my 4th grade daughter’s school for a scheduled parent-teacher conference- she’s doing great according to the teachers! Woohoo!!


Back to home office and prepare for a quick conference call with Asia office – we are wrapping up some pricing/term issues with a project bid. The bid is due next Tuesday.

9:00 am

Call Houston office to check on my team. One of my engineers is getting married and today is his last day in the office as a bachelor. Wish him best of luck and assure him as long as he let his lady to be the boss, life would be grand.

10:00 am

No burning issues at work; Time to prepare for Strategy class from Professor Fredrickson and review the cases we’d be discussing in class today – he cold calls us to start the case and ask for our recommendations. I have not been called so far so it could happen any time now! The two cases we will be discussing today are “Southwest Airline” and “Cleveland Twist Drill”

12:30 pm

Walk over to daughter’s elementary school and perform my volunteer duty as one of the science lab leaders. Kids love to have their parents in the lab!

2:00 pm

Back home and packed up for school and overnight bag. Most of my classmates chose the residential component school offered on Friday nights. We all stay at Hotel ZaZa and these fun Friday nights are honestly one of the highlights of my MBA life!

3:00 pm

Arrive at UT Houston campus and I have about an hour to have some snack and catch up with classmates before class starts at 4pm. This is the best time for news. Today’s highlights are a new engagement, an expecting farther found out he’s having a boy, and updates on 2nd or 3rd rounds of interviews through On Campus Recruiting!

4:00 pm

Strategy class!! Why is Southwest so successful? Is it the right move for Cleveland Drill’s new CEO to fire 80% of the old management within 7 months on the job? Apparently, I am one of the 3 people in the whole class agree with the CEO’s move!

8:00 pm

Fun class and it goes by fast! While most people attending the briefing on MBA+ program on communication coaching, I go to the very first McCombs Admissions Committee (MAC) training. Yes, I have volunteered to be in this committee in hope to offer assistance to new applicants and new students. Shannon ran a tight ship and I am sure this will be a valuable experience and opportunity to meet people!

8:40 pm

MAC training is over and I caught the last part of the communication program briefing.

9: 00pm

Quick drive from campus to the hotel. Checked in and changed into jeans. Called home to check in with family and say good night to the kids.

9:25 pm

Meet up with friends at the lobby. Both class of 11′ and 12′ are having a joint event tonight at Bodegas Taco Shop down the street from the hotel

9:40 pm

Friends, laughter, margaritas, chips and salsa… need I say more? Some pictures with questionable poses are taken and will be posted on Facebook for all to laugh about in the next few days.

Unspecified hour

Bed time! Tomorrow, we are facing 4 hours of Marketing with Professor Williams and 4 hours of Finance with Professor Almazan. Not looking forward to having Finance in the last 4 afternoon hours of the weekend! All in all, a very fun productive day for a full-time-student-full-time-working-mom-of-two!!

photo by SCA Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget

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