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Launching the Ross MoMBAs: A Group Celebrating the Intersection of Motherhood and Business


If you had told me in 2019, as a recent newlywed, that in just a few years I would be enrolled in the Erb Institute Program at University of Michigan with two kids in tow, I would have thought you were crazy!


Jillian Brown, MBA/MS '24

Life has an interesting way of twisting and turning. Currently, I am halfway through the Erb dual-degree program as a first-year MBA student and a second-year Erber. 

My journey is unique: I had my second daughter, Sarai, four days before Ross Core started. I attended orientation with my class (shout out section four!) at 38 weeks pregnant. Having a child right before school has been incredibly rewarding — yet also incredibly challenging. Both the Ross and Erb communities have made me feel very supported and welcome. 

Yet, amid all this support, I couldn’t help but realize the unique challenges mothers in business face, whether it’s the demands on themselves or from their children, or the expectations of the business world. This prompted me to seek out fellow mothers across the MBA programs to learn from their experiences as well as get advice and tips — and, sometimes, simply just vent.

Leaning on other moms in business school has been a valuable outlet for me and provided the emotional support I needed. It occurred to me that this community was something others may also benefit from, given the unique journey of being a mom while in graduate school. I wanted to provide a space for fellow mom MBAs to learn from each other and get the support they needed especially from individuals in similar situations. 

This prompted me to start the MoMBAs group at Ross with the help of the Ross Program Office. As a group, the MoMBAs seek to support student mothers and soon-to-be mothers to achieve their academic and professional goals by providing a network of fellow mom MBAs within the Ross community. This group focuses on building community and providing greater visibility to motherhood in business.

Across the different MBA programs, there are about a dozen of us. We have monthly coffee connects, advice chats with graduated mom MBAs and family-oriented events. We hope to continue to provide a welcoming space to all Ross student mothers. 

As I reflect on my time in graduate school thus far, as a mother of two, it is clear to me how important it is to have a network of support (be it fellow moms, my husband, friends, family, the school, etc.). Without a strong community, this journey can feel very overwhelming and isolating. I have really benefited from fellow mom MBAs serving as models and inspirations to me. I hope the MoMBAs can serve as that same connection point for many incoming classmates who have children and also make a welcoming space for moms in business more broadly.