Corinne Johnson, Evening MBA ’07, took a couple of years off from her career to stay home with her children, when an invitation arrived for Booth’s ReLaunch 2018. ReLaunch, a two-day program, is offered by Booth for alumnae wanting to reenter the workforce after a break of two or more years. This year, Johnson returned as an alumna panelist. She recounts her personal journey here. Read another alumna's story here.
Getting the invite to ReLaunch, it got me thinking- do I even have an interest in continuing on my career path? I was a financial advisor at a boutique advisory firm when I took some time off for the birth of my first child. After my second child was born, I re-entered the workforce as Chief Compliance Officer / Vice President of Operations for a private equity/hedge fund. After four years, I chose to take another career break because I was needed at home.
When the invitation came, I started thinking about what I wanted. At the event, we were ask to map our career aspirations and goals. That was really difficult for me, but Relaunch inspired me to do some soul searching. I had to admit to myself, I wanted something different than where my resume takes me. I did a pivot and changed direction completely. Now I’m at a nonprofit, working for women, in the microfinance space.
By allowing me to do the soul searching, Relaunch allowed me to redefine what I thought about success. Prior to that experience, I expected myself to be the standard high paid Booth executive. I was able to redefine myself to ask- what am I giving back in the world? What am I doing with my life? What is the goal of the company I’m working for? That’s really where I found my happiness. I’m very passionate about the mission of who I’m working for and what we’re doing for the world. I’ve been able to change my entire perspective about success in the workplace.
Relaunch helped me a lot in my goals, that balance of being a mom and being a successful career person…it’s very difficult to find that balance. There’s not many places out there that helped me figure out how I wanted to mix those pieces of my life and feel good about it. Relaunch helped me do that in a very positive way, helped me feel confident, be able to tell my story and be able to articulate and define what I wanted, and that changed everything for me. Now I do both. I only work when my kids are in school and when the bell rings, I’m done with my job for the day. I can come home and do the other side of my life for the second half of the day. I have found that I love it.
I’m part of a strong team of women with similar backgrounds. We all work hard to get in our part-time hours, and then we go home to our families or personal hobbies. Those jobs exist, I just didn’t know how to look for them until I started my search. Women need to stop apologizing for having complicated lives that they try to balance. They need to find the confidence to find success however they want to define it. We can make our own path. I really think Relaunch helps women do that.
Libby Smoler is a marketing specialist for the Evening and Weekend MBA Programs.