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Women at Smith: Becky Eisen, MBA ’12

Aug 18, 2014
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Everyone, Together

A Conversation for Entire Organizations 

Switching careers requires careful planning. The challenges multiply when a person tries to jump from the nonprofit sector to business. Becky Eisen, MBA ’12,  faced both scenarios when she came to the Smith School.

Before enrolling in the full-time program, she worked as poverty campaign coordinator at the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. Today she is an associate product manager at McCormick & Company, a manufacturer of spices, herbs and flavorings in Hunt Valley, Md.

To help pull off the two-year transformation, Eisen built an expansive support network. She conducted dozens of informational interviews and shared job prospects with her classmates when opportunities suited their interests more than hers.

“Many people helped me along the way,” she says. “In return, I tried to open as many doors as possible for myself and my classmates.”

She says the corporate world needs similar types of coalitions to bring gender issues into the open. “Some of these questions are still hush-hush,” she said.

Although events such as Smith’s annual Women Leading Women seminar have value, Eisen said men also need to join the conversation.

“You need everybody in the organization, regardless of gender, to address the barriers to women,” she said. “You cannot do that if only the women are talking about it.”

Eisen said the potential payoffs are huge for companies that learn how to close the gender gaps in senior leadership and elsewhere. Many consumer products companies have an additional incentive.

“Our consumers for the most part are women,” Eisen said. “We win as a company when our leaders can identify with our customers.”

She said individuals who need flexibility in their schedules to manage personal commitments — such as child or elder care responsibilities — can help their case and move the conversation forward by delivering measurable results at work.

“Prove your worth first,” Eisen said. “Then when life happens, your company should do its best to support you.”

 


Related story: Smith Builds Momentum on Women’s Issues

Women at Smith

Donna Blackman  Becky Eisen  Carly Fiorina

Brenda Freeman  Stephanie Graf  Terry Iannaconi

Stella Liu  Sherika Shaw Ekpo  Cara Weikel  

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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business 

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, MS in business, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.