Karin Melberg, Evening MBA ’11 attended Relaunch this year. ReLaunch, a two-day program, is offered by Booth for alumnae wanting to reenter the workforce after a break of two or more years. Karin shares her experience and how she is using Booth’s Career Services to kick start her search. Read another alumna's story here.
I worked as an engineer at Motorola and got a master’s in computer systems engineering. As I transitioned from software development into more customer facing roles, I always had the feeling that if I wanted to continue to advance my career, I would need the tools available through an MBA program. Booth was the only program I applied to, and after five years in the evening/weekend program, I graduated in 2011, 40 years to the month my Dad graduated with his MBA from the University of Chicago. Proud.
The company I was working for was acquired by Nokia Siemens Networks, and eventually they closed my part of the business. In parallel, I’ve always worked on real estate projects and was super busy on development projects in Illinois, Wisconsin, and in Florida. A good friend convinced me to get my license and make this my thing. I’ve been working in real estate for the past five years and have really enjoyed it. But I’ve also started to miss the technology part of the world and my engineering career path. The email invitation from Career Services for ReLaunch 2019 just hit me at the right time. It was as simple as that.
There are so many layers as to why Relaunch was incredible. It was a reawakening of my connection to and passion for the University of Chicago. I was there with 34 other people who have been through very similar things. They’re extremely accomplished women with previous or alternative careers and, of course, families. The take-away from this event is someone shaking us and saying remember your confidence, find your path, refine your purpose, and go. We’re here for you, you should be here for yourself. It was an excellent reminder that we all have a bunch of talent and there are places looking for that talent.
Our cohort is interested in setting up a reunion of sorts for all the previous ReLaunch groups to see what everyone has experienced. To stay in contact would be incredibly helpful and motivating for all of us. It took a lot of courage for many of the women to show up for this. I was grateful for and energized by this opportunity. My partner has just accepted an expat position in Europe. So my relaunch is going to focus on opportunities that leverage my location over there, which is exciting. My next step is to meet again with one of Booth’s career coaches and be introduced to the various search tools which I can’t wait to learn about. It's incredibly powerful that we can take advantage of Booth Career Services at any stage in the game.
Libby Smoler is a marketing specialist for the Evening and Weekend MBA Programs.