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October MBA Mama of the Month: Anna Nordstrom

anna nordstrom

Leadership at UW

At UW, Anna is on the executive board of the Women in Business Club. She is the VP of Alumni Affairs for UW’s student association, was a mentor to first-year students and participated in the UW Business Plan Competition and the Health Innovation Challenge — and won awards in both. She is a member of the Strategy Club, Net Impact and the Consulting Society. This year, she plans to join the Healthcare and Biotechnology Association.

When asked about how her time at UW has shaped her leadership style, Anna said:

At Foster, I’ve come to realize that sometimes you are a leader before you realize it. It’s not about deciding to be a leader, it’s about exhibiting traits every day that encourage, inspire and teach others in an authentic way. And as a woman, I’ve realized how much power I have to encourage other women and make a difference for them.

As far as my career, Foster has provided me opportunities to explore countless companies through informational interviews, meet-the-firms, company visits and internships, and I feel I have gained the skills to understand the businesses of all those different companies and to be a competitive candidate for any of them.

What advice do you have for women with children who are thinking about going to business school?

anna nordstromDo it! Don’t hold yourself back because of the kids. It’s busy and crazy and hard, but if you want it, it’s worth it. My family has been there to celebrate my successes and give me hugs and love during the extra hard parts. And it goes by so quickly — my kids have adjusted to our school life just fine. And they will benefit from this for the rest of their lives — financially, and because they have a mom who will really enjoy her career.

During school, I think it is important to involve your family.

Many of my classmates know my kids and I try to get my husband to come with me to as many events as we can handle. This has helped my teammates be understanding when I have limited availability for team meetings, or when my son interrupts a video call to say good night, and has helped my husband to happily care for the kids (yet again) when I have a special opportunity through school. It makes a difference to be in it together as a family.

What are some time management tips you use to stay on track?

Do the most important thing (or few things) each day, and be ready to let go of the unimportant things. Some things might not get done today, and some things might not really need to get done at all. Give yourself the grace to not be able to do everything. I also love handwritten lists… 🙂

What has been the highlight of your UW-Foster experience so far?

Last year my team won the class Case Competition. We spent a stressful week preparing our presentation, but the whole time I was thinking it was exactly what I came to business school to do — work with smart people to solve business problems. The fact that we won the competition just added to the great experience.

What are your post-MBA career plans and how does your family responsibilities factor into the equation?

I am interested in working for a business that helps women and/or children, so I am exploring organizations in global health, healthcare, education and other social sectors. I’m looking at internal consultant and program manager roles as well as other positions that allow for a combination of strategic and operational work.

Because of my family, I want a job with little domestic travel, though I am very open to international travel where I can bring my family to see the world.

Additionally, as a mom, flexible work options are more important than a higher salary, as far as benefits go. It is important to me to be able to go to school events, doctor appointments and sports activities as much as possible.


Posted in: MBA Mama, News, Part-Time/EMBA News

Schools: U. Washington / Foster

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