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October MBA Mama of the Month: Anna Nordstrom

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As part of our continuing partnership with MBA Mama, an online platform that provides ambitious women with tools and resources to leverage an MBA and strategically navigate family/career planning, we are pleased to feature the following post spotlighting Anna Nordstrom, a student in the evening MBA program at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business.

Undaunted by a challenge, Nordstrom embarked upon her MBA as part of a plan to change careers—her first was as an elementary school teacher. Oh, and did we mention that she gave birth to her second child three weeks after classes began? Not only that, she’s held leadership roles in several student clubs, mentored a first-year student and competed and won awards in multiple business plan and innovation challenges. Read on to find out how she does it.

The following is a compilation of two posts republished from their original source, the MBA Mama Blog.

October MBA Mama of the Month: Anna Nordstrom

Anna Nordstrom is enrolled in the evening MBA program at University of Washington’s Foster School of Business, which is a three-year, part-time program. Her first career was as an elementary school teacher. She has a master’s degree in education and is a National Board Certified Teacher. When she left teaching, she started doing organizational coaching and consulting with businesses and individuals. Through that work, she was offered a part-time job as the operations manager for the events division of a local restaurant and catering company.

A couple years later, she was promoted to business manager of the events division. That role got Anna interested in learning more formally about how businesses work, and eventually landed her in the MBA program. While in school, she has interned in HR and consulting and will be doing a fellowship this fall with an organization focused on social good.

She has a wonderfully supportive husband and two kids and they live just outside of Seattle, WA. Anna’s youngest child was born three weeks after the start of school during the first year of her MBA program.

My parents are nearby and when my daughter was a newborn, they babysat her on campus so I could nurse her between classes. My classmates were gracious about letting me bring her to team meetings for the first few months as well. My husband is a stay-at-home dad, so he has been the main childcare provider for both our son and daughter, but we also utilize a daycare near our home and friends and family when needed. We definitely use our village!

Why UW-Foster?

Anna chose Foster because it has a great reputation and a fantastic network in the Seattle area.

I am a Seattle native. My husband and I both love it here. I was also very impressed with Foster’s focus on teams and the opportunities for projects outside the classroom. Additionally, my family is here, and since I was starting school a few weeks before my second child was born, I knew we’d need the family support.

UW-Foster has a Student Parent Resource Center that provides grants for child care, which Anna has used. UW also offers emergency childcare support for student parents.

Why an MBA? Why Now?

At the time Anna decided to apply to Foster, she was working for a great company, but felt that she had exhausted her growth opportunities. As she reviewed job postings, she realized that she lacked the background to be a credible candidate for the jobs she was most interested in. She hoped an MBA would give her the business background to qualify for the jobs she wanted.

Simultaneously, Anna and her husband were thinking about trying for a second child, and so she almost didn’t apply to business school. She decided to keep her options open by applying.

I got pregnant and got into school — both things I wanted, and though it was going to be hard, I was too excited about business school to turn down the opportunity.