Caryl Brackenridge (MBA 1965) didn’t think too much about being one of eight women to pioneer enrollment in the full-time MBA program at HBS. With two years of post-college teaching experience and two brothers, Brackenridge was used to holding her own in a discussion and enjoyed honing that skill further through the rigors of the case method: “You become very used to speaking publicly and defending your ideas,” she says.
When Brackenridge graduated from HBS, she worked as a marketing analyst at DuPont. “I wouldn’t have been hired for that job if I hadn’t had the MBA,” she recalls. “None of the men I worked with had a graduate degree.” Two years later, when the first of three children with section mate Jim Brackenridge arrived, Brackenridge focused her energies on a second career as a volunteer for youth soccer on the local, league, and state levels, eventually turning to local land conservation and historic preservation projects.
“I wrote, coordinated, and administered the grants for a local land trust,” she says. “I never felt my education was wasted, even if it wasn’t paying work. I truly believe there’s a call for people who have some degree of expertise to volunteer in nonprofit organizations. A lot of things are accomplished for free that tax dollars would have been used for otherwise. And I had the flexibility to raise my family. I was fortunate to be able to do that.”
(Published August 2015)
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