At work at my start-up: Another day of trying to take chaos and attempting to make order. Another day talking to co-workers who have questions for which I sometimes do not have the answers. And in one of those moments of uncertainty, one of my valued colleagues said I had too much commitment to a specific issue and that it was probably a female thing.
He was right. Or at least I’d like to think so.
Which brings me to another topic. The Women of Wharton. And no worries Men of Wharton, I won’t be burning any undergarments in the column. No soapbox, just a megaphone.
Commitment. We often think it of it as something we give to our significant other, our children, our parents and our very, very best friends.
Commitment. When it comes to jobs or school, it is a different breed of the word. I sit here about to embark on my fifth of six terms at Wharton | San Francisco, and let me tell you it’s a stretch to be committed to scholarly pursuits as you see the light at the end of tunnel.
But on those weekend days when I daydream of lounging in the sun instead of studying, I need only look at the women in the room for inspiration.
To my left, a woman who crunches cases and plans crazy fun events for the class with the same intensity she did on day one. Without her, the Women of Wharton would never get together for wine-laden dinners out. Crush it.
To my right, a great friend who travels all week, arrives at my doorstep the night before each class weekend begins, more prepared for school than I could ever be. She just rallied a group to get behind her idea in our business plan course. She rocks it with her drive to bring this idea to the real world. #Proud.
One of our gals down in LA just launched a line that nobody thought would take off at her company. She was a risktaker. Now the money is coming in droves and she is a success. Get it done.
Right in front of me, another classmate who has juggled the slings and arrows of her finance job, is moving to Texas to keep the ball moving at work, and still has time to kick butt in class and take names. Don’t be fooled by her prepster façade. Her brain wears leather. Tough cookie.
And then there are the mothers. Just look at them at the Wharton family outing to a Giants game with their husbands and kids. Some of them are the top performers in our class, others are keeping their husbands in line as their guys earn a Wharton degree. Hats off. Superwomen for sure.
Women are often criticized (rightfully so) for not being supporters of each other in the business world, but the 27 in my class have an allegiance that should be applauded.
Last month, we went to a dinner at a restaurant run by ex-cons. (No need to re-read. Yes, I said ex-cons.) As an aside, Delancey Street is an inspirational charity that helps give people a much-needed second chance to succeed in the world. Shout out to another incredible woman at our campus, COO Bernadette Birt ,who planned the shindig.
That night, nearly all the women in my class came and here’s what struck me: man, these women want to help each other. Man, we ask good questions that have soul and subtly. Man, we want to help others with our degrees. Good stuff.
That night, some of the 72 men in our class posted pics on our class Facebook page, brandishing MOW (Men of Wharton) hand gestures. They missed us. They should. And in all truthfulness, these guys have our backs. A sincere thanks, fellas.
No one can speak for one sex, but, what they hey, I will. Most people who study at Wharton have a magnitude of drive that is pretty darn impressive. But commitment, well, that is something that’s ingrained in a lot of us girls and is manifested in the leadership roles we take, we grab, we relish– both in and out of the classroom. Exciting stuff.
Now we just need more of US. Consider it.
Lindsay Stewart is an MBA for Executives student at Wharton | San Francisco. Former special projects producer for KPIX- TV, she is now vice president of marketing for rboomerang.com.. Stewart graduated from UC-Berkeley with a BA in English in 2002. Her previous posts on P&QforExecs: