This is the story of Divinity Matovu, a future Wharton MBA student and mother of two kids who wants to change the image of young mothers pursuing graduate studies in business.
Divinity comes from a small town in Wisconsin and is a first-generation college graduate from the University of Southern California where she studied Political Science. She will begin her MBA at Wharton School Fall 2015 with a focus on finance and entrepreneurship. She has lived and worked in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania and prides herself on being a global citizen and an advocate for women. She's passionate about start-ups, technology, women's empowerment and African affairs.
Describing herself as a "fiery entrepreneur and independent thinker", she has launched four start-ups: a fashion company in Los Angeles, a youth development non-profit in Uganda, a consulting firm with clients in Africa and the US, and now her latest venture, MBA Mama.
MBA Today (MT) - Why did you decide to launch MBA Mama? What is the goal of the website?
Divinity with her baby Nyah
I had my "aha moment" for MBA Mama after receiving a text message from Derek, one of my colleagues in Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT)'s MBA Prep Program which I completed in 2014. Derek texted me saying he admired my perseverance, and my ability to balance MLT, Forte Foundation's MBA Launch Program, GMAT prep, taking supplemental courses, running my own business and being a single mother. I was touched by Derek's text. As an entrepreneur, I immediately started to think about how I could impact more people like I impacted Derek.
One week after Derek's text I decided to start MBA Mama, a dynamic blog featuring exclusive, inspirational content that provides Millennial Mamas with tools and resources to pursue a graduate business degree. The goal for MBAMama.com is to evolve as the premier website for young women balancing family planning and career advancement.
While pitching this idea over the past few months, I've received overwhelming support from Millennial women who do not have children yet. My hope is that all women will see that an MBA, career advancement and children are not mutually exclusive. The blog launches on April 15, 2015 which is my daughter, Nyah's birthday.
MT - How do you think mothers can manage their time studying for a full-time MBA?
D.M. - For any parent to manage a full-time MBA program, we must be time-management gurus and have a supportive network of people who can assist with childcare. Personally, I have a ton of life hacks which save me time and money that I'll be sharing on MBA Mama. For example, I usually bring my laptop or iphone into the bathroom while my daughter, who will be 3 years old next week - is in the tub. I’m close enough to watch her while I organize my to-do lists and catch up on emails. After 15-20 minutes of uninterrupted work time for me and bath time for her, I put my devices away, scrub her down, get her ready for bed and we read a story every night. I encourage your readers to tune in and check out those blog posts as I’ll be sharing many more tips and tricks.
MT - Why are women, especially women who have children, under-represented in the senior management and MBA programs?
Divinity with her son Shafiq in Uganda