· motherhood,Business,Wharton

On May 14, 2017, I became the first person in my family’s history to complete my MBA at a top tier business school. My five year old daughter, Nyah, clutched my hand and beamed at me with pride as we walked across the platform to the open arms of Vice Dean Howard Kaufold better known as Dean Howie. After embracing Dean Howie, we proceeded to shake hands with Dean Geoff Garrett who stooped down to Nyah’s level and ceremoniously handed her my degree certificate. After we exited the stage and returned to our seat, Nyah - while sitting in my lap - grabbed my cheeks with her tiny hands, looked me squarely in the eyes and said “I am SO proud of you mommy.” The beauty of the moment caused me to immediately burst into happy tears.

Photo Credits: Anairis Hinojosa

As I think about the next phase of my life and my career, I feel a great responsibility as an ambitious woman and mother to continue to publicly show my daughter how important it is to be educated and live a purposeful life. A well-meaning mentor advised me not to mention my daughter on my MBA applications. Others told me I should not disclose the fact that I was a parent because it would hold me back. The gendered message was clear: ‘no one will take you seriously in business if they know you have a young child.’ I rejected that narrative and created mbamama.com an online platform that - since April 2015 when we launched - boldly celebrates women who are navigating family planning and career planning with an MBA as the pathway to opportunities like entrepreneurship, career pivots, and increased earning potential among other things.

Everyone has been asking me: “so, what’s next?” The answer is that I do not know yet (but I am hopeful and optimistic about the future). While my next role is TBD at the moment, I can share that I have decided to return to the best coast, the West coast (shoutout to Tupac as I hum the tune to “California Love.”). I am pursuing opportunities in tech firms - I am most interested in strategy and operations, business development, and product marketing roles. I am also looking at jobs in PE/VC with a focus on impact investing. I want to be in a company whose values align with my own. I want to work in a place where I can bring my whole authentic self to work. Most importantly, I want to be passionate about the company and their vision. Wherever I land, I will continue to...

  1. be a kick ass mama,
  2. blog part-time at mbamama.com with Nicole Pontón and,
  3. work with my CTO John Kennedy to bootstrap Watotolly, a tech platform enabling families to connect and share babysitting services within trusted networks.

I have 10 years of professional leadership experience, a tenacious work ethic, startup hustle, and I am as scrappy as they come. I am passionate about startups, tech, gender equity + social impact. If you know of any roles that might be a good fit for me, hit my inbox and let’s make magic happen.

In honor of the class of 2017, I also recently blogged about the top 17 moments that shaped my MBA experience. Read it here.

Photo Credit: DeVante Coleman

#ToInfinityAndBeyond

Yours Truly,

Divinity Matovu,

1st generation graduate (but certainly not the last)

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