Coronavirus Updates

Growing up, I always liked numbers, so I naturally assumed I’d wind up working in finance. I also always knew I would want to have a family as well.  To “have it all,” as they say.

I met my husband, Brian, in New York City after getting my MBA at Booth. I was working as a private banking relationship manager at Chase Bank. I loved it there; I had a wonderful client base and everything was copacetic. 

My husband, who was training to be a physician, decided he wanted to practice medicine in Hong Kong. We were not sure how long he’d be there, so I made the decision to take a leave of absence. We stayed in Hong Kong for 2 years and started a family there. We relocated back to the US when Brian accepted a fellowship in Texas. My daughter was only a year old, and I knew his fellowship would be short, so there wouldn’t be much point in my starting a new job until we had a more definitive idea where we would be settling. We eventually came to Minnesota, where Brian joined a group practice and we still reside today. I began setting up a new house with a toddler, and soon had our second child.

My children proved to be much tougher bosses than I had had in the professional workplace! Kids usually have little respect for schedules or for personal needs. I wanted to give my girls all of my time and energy, so I didn’t seriously consider going back to work until they were fully grown. 

When my youngest left for college, I revisited resuming my career. But I had been out of the workforce for so long, I wondered if it was even worth it. I was out of date with technology. I had some insecurity about my worth in the current marketplace. But I knew I had some added value because of translatable skills from motherhood and volunteering. I could multitask. I could spin on a dime when something unexpected happened. I knew I would bring a lot of value with my background, and I’m not untested in the workforce.

But it wasn’t worth my time to just do something. It had to be a job that was both worthwhile and challenging, rather than just any job. 

Laura Lo-Ip headshot

“I knew I had some added value because of translatable skills from motherhood and volunteering.”

— Laura Lo-Ip, ’89

I went to Booth’s ReLaunch program in 2019 because I wanted to explore what was out there. My classmates were wonderful. They all had similar thoughts, worries, and backgrounds. They had either left careers to start a family or to take care of someone or to relocate due to a spouse’s job—I hit every box there. 

Booth ReLaunch gave me more confidence, and it gave me guidelines to follow. The sessions helped me create a LinkedIn profile in addition to a resume, and the program helped me account for my break in interviews.

Now I knew only to focus on returnships. I was excited when I learned about the Wells Fargo Glide Relaunch program, which offered the well-structured program I was searching for. It has an eight-week training component, and then you get fast-tracked back into a professional position commensurate with your experience. I started the program in September 2021, and am now a lead business execution consultant within the commercial bank’s process improvement area. 

Booth was responsible for so much. I didn’t even know there were relaunch or returnship programs out there. The ReLaunch program put all of these things on my radar and helped me understand what to look for. There are a ton of resources out there, and Booth gives you the access. They helped me realize that companies were now recognizing the value a relauncher can bring. The whole world has become more open and accessible for people who want to rejoin the workforce, especially with the rise of remote access. 

As a relauncher who has had one of the longer career breaks, I feel that if even dinosaurs like me can get hired, there’s hope for everyone out there.