On the first day at HBS, all first-year students meet their sections – a mini 94-student family amidst the larger cohort of 938 students. To get to know one another, we were given a prompt inspired by a bet someone made with Hemingway that he could not tell an emotionally moving story in six words. He wrote: “For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn.” 

In this vein, we were given a generous 20 words to introduce an essential part of our identity to our classmates. 

I wrote:

1919 the 19th amendment

1972 Title IX

1973 Roe v. Wade

2019 Here I am, [4 months] pregnant at Harvard Business School.

Times are changing. HBS first voted to allow women to attend in 1962, and since then it has been a slow march to not only welcome women, but mothers as well.


However, with more and more women moving into the breadwinner (or dual breadwinner) role, and business school often overlapping with prime family-starting years, the demographics are slowly shifting. This year, HBS has more student moms than ever before. We now comprise 1% of the student body.

When classmates found out I was pregnant, the first question would invariably be, “How are you going to make that work?” Honestly, I had never been a mom before. I wasn’t sure.

I made a calculated decision to have a baby at business school. Sure, I could have deferred for a year and taken advantage of my consulting firm’s generous maternity leave policy. Yet, while that would have been great for the first few months, business school would provide a much more flexible schedule than any job I have ever had.

I have found a family here within my section and a peer community through clubs like Crimson Parents and the MoMBAs. I am excited for you to meet these inspiring MoMBA women through their profiles below as we celebrate all that moms, both at HBS and around the world, can accomplish.

Sally Sorte Bernstein | Class of 2021

Little(s): Olivia (4 months)

Pre-HBS Industry: Education, Tech, Management Consulting

Proudest Accomplishment: Giving birth to Olivia (standing up) on Christmas morning; Founding a charter school in a historically disadvantaged community in Denver.

How do you do it? My husband is an incredible co-parent– he packs lunches, changes diapers, cooks dinner, sings, and looks up calming tricks on YouTube. Singing keeps things lighthearted, silly, and joyful. There is more singing in our home than ever before!

Favorite quarantine activity: Going for runs along the Charles River with Moxie, our black lab. Boston is beautiful in the spring with tulips, crocus, daffodils popping up everywhere, and sunshine soothes the soul.

I remember… When the partner/family reps in my section threw me a baby shower. They classed up one of the dorm lounges with a balloon arch, tablecloths over the pool table, flowers, and a sumptuous brunch spread. We played games and there was a huge turnout from our section – both girls and guys.

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Dominique Lacassie | Class of 2021

Little(s): Elisa (1)

Pre-HBS Industry: Financial services / insurance industry

Proudest Accomplishment: Being the mother of Elisa and the wife of Andrés 

Summer Internship: Boston Consulting Group (BCG) - Boston Office

How do you do it? I have a great partner (Andy), I’m positive and enjoy the little things in life. I’m grateful for the moments I get to spend with my daughter (instead of thinking about the events that I’m missing). No kidding, I also try to plan as much as possible to be able to balance it all! And no procrastination!

Most memorable quarantine moment: My daughter wanting her own facemask and learning to say it in Spanish “mascarilla”

I remember… The one time I was sitting in the classroom waiting for class to start and they called me from the daycare saying that Elisa had a fever. I approached the professor and she told me “Go! I have two of them!” So sympathetic! 

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Alex Lawrence | Class of 2021

Little(s): Isla (6), Isabel (3)

Pre-HBS Industry: Oil & Gas / Reservoir Engineer

Proudest Accomplishment: Starting at HBS the same week my daughter started Kindergarten

Summer Internship: Biotech - FORMA Therapeutics

How do you do it? Three things keep me sane: time management, patience and wine 

Quarantine’s greatest challenge: This is the closest I've lived to my mom in 10 years but I can't see her until the Canada/US border opens up. 

I remember… The time I flew my brother in from Canada for Holidazzle so that my husband and I could go dance all night, stay out really late and not worry about being woken up early the next morning… The many times I showed up at Shad missing a shirt or bra because my daughters decided to reorganize my backpack before school. 

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Kanako Sakai | Class of 2021

Little(s): Ren (3)

Pre-HBS Industry: Management consulting 

How do you do it? I was 26 when I got pregnant and I was so scared if I would actually be able to raise a child. And even when Ren was born, I knew nothing about being a mom. I have become a mom as Ren grew and I am still learning every day. Both my husband and I are RCs and it has been quite a journey. After we came here, we spent more time discussing how we should balance our tasks. Aligning our prioritization and constantly talking to each other whenever there is an issue has been key for us to enjoy our campus life while securing enough family time. We couldn’t go out at night but we had many dinners at our place, which have been a great social experience at HBS. (So no FOMO!) 

Favorite time of day: When I can finally sip a cup of nice tea quietly after being done reading cases after putting Ren into bed.

I remember… Ren once kept screaming while I was making a comment during Zoom class. He just shut my laptop because he wanted to play with me. I had to bring him to bathroom as he was on potty training, while I listened to class with my AirPods, always getting afraid of whether I muted myself or not. It’s been crazy and tough, but I was also heart-warmed by my classmates sending me messages through chat saying, “I love seeing Ren on my screen.”

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Nikki Miller | Class of 2021

Little(s): Addi (5), Logan (3)

Pre-HBS Industry: Corporate Finance in Healthcare

Proudest Accomplishment: Surviving 2 years at HBS in a tiny apartment with crazy toddlers (!)

Post-HBS Job: Corporate Finance at Eli Lilly

How do you do it? Scheduling is so important. I have an hour-by-hour calendar that I stick to pretty religiously. I prioritize ruthlessly and make sure if I go to an event after hours that it is worth being away from my family. Make sure you take time for yourself. It doesn't have to be everyday, let's be real we are all so busy, but an hour workout or a salon appointment is good for the soul. 

Best hack: Reading cases while on the elliptical or bike. Two birds, one stone.

Favorite Quarantine Activity: Daily bike/scooter rides with the kids. 

Best advice: Work/Life Balance is a myth. It's Work/Life trade-offs and as a mom at HBS we have to make a lot of tradeoff decisions. Be okay with those tradeoffs knowing you can't be the perfect mom, student, and partner at all times. Best Advice given by a professor: It's okay to not be the perfect mom all the time. Let the laundry build up to play games with the kids, let the kids watch the iPad to get your case read, and skip out on that section event to spend a date night with your partner. You will be happier and less stressed out!

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Jennifer Schultz | Class of 2021

Little(s): Emerson (11 months)

Pre-HBS Industry: Apparel

Proudest Accomplishment: Supporting my husband while he earned his masters

Summer Internship: Rock Summer Fellowship

How do you do it? I have to have a clear understanding of where my time is spent. I block everything on my calendar - eating, showering, commuting... everything. Then I'm able to see what's open, and form realistic expectations about what I can get done in that time. This helps me prioritize the most important events, and not feel guilty about the many HBS activities I need to decline. 

Best Mama Hack: Get a running stroller! Even if you don't run, they're more nimble than a normal stroller (maneuver around a grocery store like a figure skater) and the tires allow you to go off-roading (curb? no problem!). Plus, exercising with my daughter saves time, and she has a blast going fast on runs. 

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Alice Liu | Class of 2021

Little(s): Mia (1)

Pre-HBS Industry: Technology Investment Banking at J.P. Morgan

Proudest Accomplishment: Honestly having made it through in banking while being a top analyst, being pregnant, and applying to business school! I was the youngest woman to ever have a child in banking at age 24. I learned a lot about my own aspirations and what kind of mother and citizen I want to be.

Summer Internship: Working on my female vibrator startup

How do you do it? Trial and error, constantly! I really want to be an involved mother, because 1) my husband was commuting to Wharton weekly last year, and 2) my mother was very involved in my upbringing while also a very accomplished woman. 

In my first semester at HBS, I prioritized my daughter to get her adjusted to our new life. In my second semester, I wanted to get more into the social / student life and lean into my true personality. By setting goals for each semester, and adjusting swiftly each week, I think I’ve been able to keep Mia happy and keep myself happy. From my talks with many people, I also noticed that everyone is happy with their parents’ involvement when they were little, however much or little. So I try to not penalize myself when I’m not spending as much time with my baby, and instead just block off more time for her the weekend or week after.

I think being a very young mother also made a big difference. When I was working in banking, I asked several more senior women who had children later on about how they manage work life balance. I actually found their answers to be not very helpful given my own ideals of being a mother. Being a young mother (I'm 27 and my baby is almost 2), I feel like I have more buffer to experiment with my style, while letting career and family peak at different times. 

Favorite quarantine activity: Cooking for a family of 7, and learning how to bake and work with yeast! We've made pizza, artisan bread, cookies... It's so easy to see yourself making progress in baking, and it feels so good to see everyone loving my food!

I remember… Getting my HBS offer and telling Mia that we were going to come to HBS together was a big moment in my life. That made me feel so proud of showing my daughter what girls can do (and I was also really looking forward to getting out of banking and spending more time with my family...). 

Campus community highlight? After school started, I realized that I was totally underestimating the on-campus experience's value to Mia! Everyone is so friendly to Mia, and she really enjoys the vast array of activities on campus. She has events or activities to go to almost daily- Crimson Parents story times, craft time, festivals, school wide winter hot chocolate, dance shows, section food events, retreats... or simply hanging out with the bunnies… the list just goes on! She's really prospered at HBS!

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Rachel Silverstein | Class of 2020

Little(s): Jamie (4 months)

Pre-HBS Industry: Consumer startup

Proudest Accomplishment: Getting into HBS :)

Post-HBS Job: Consulting

How do you do it? I have an extremely supportive husband! And I've learned to say "no" to things that aren't aligned with my priorities.

Favorite quarantine activity: Watching "The Great British Baking Show"

I’ll never forget… Being newly pregnant in Shanghai for Field Global Immersion (FGI). I was a little nervous because I hadn't told anybody (besides my husband), and I wasn't feeling 100%. I decided to tell my FGI team when we arrived because I thought it'd be easier if they knew why I didn't feel well. They were so excited for me and unbelievably supportive. Not having to hide my pregnancy from my team made the trip so much more fun and comfortable. I can't wait to show Jamie photos of us in Shanghai someday and tell him that he was in my belly!

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Gaby Goldstein | Class of 2020

Little(s): Theodore (1 month)

Pre-HBS Industry: Tech

Proudest Accomplishment: My proudest accomplishment during my time at HBS has definitely been serving as the Student Association Co-President alongside Connor Cash and the incredible team of students, faculty, and staff with whom we get to work every day. I feel incredibly lucky to have been a part of such a passionate, creative, and all-around fun team.

Post-HBS Job: Wayfair Marketing team

How do you do it? I’ve only been a mom for several weeks, but I’ve already come to understand where the phrase “It takes a village comes from”. Though we haven’t been able to surround ourselves with the village of family and friends we had imagined due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I am thankful for several things that have come out of this dark time. First, my partner is now home for much longer than his original paternity leave had originally allowed for. It’s made all the difference in our getting used to parenting together and getting to know little Theo as one. 

Second, I feel lucky that I was able to move my mom up to Boston where she has decided to permanently relocate. She has been able to come over every day to help us with Theo, chores around the house, and emotional support for me.

Finally, I am part of several moms groups including the HBS MOMba’s and I can’t thank them all enough for the support they have been able to offer during the beginning of this motherhood journey - everything from breastfeeding and pumping tips, advice on how to approach exams when feeding a new baby every 2.5-3hrs, and emotional support for the highs and lows of the day!

Favorite HBS Memory: Simply the outpouring of emails, texts, and phone calls I received when Theo was born. Everyone offered their well wishes, support for anything my family needed, and encouragement when I needed it most. 

I remember when… The first friend I decided to tell I was pregnant was a sectionmate of mine with whom I am very close. I still remember the time so clearly. It was evening and we were about to meet friends for dinner. I was still pretty early but I couldn’t contain my excitement. From that moment on she checked in on me pretty much daily to see how I was feeling, she threw me a Boston baby shower with my close family and friends who live in the area, and I know will be the best auntie to Theo alongside all of the amazing women of SecC!

Having a baby during quarantine: When Theo is older I will tell him the story of how he was born in the middle of a pandemic. The end of my pregnancy introduced a lot of anxiety - everything from “Will the hospitals have enough beds?” To “Will my husband be able to join me in the delivery room?” In the end, we had a wonderful labor experience at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and I brought home a perfectly healthy, happy baby boy.

On the one hand, it has been nice to be able to settle in as a family without the distraction of visitors. On the other, I find myself crying on Zoom a lot when chatting with friends and family. We held Theo’s bris virtually and were able to bring together family and friends from all over the world. We asked my best friend to be his godmother over FaceTime. It’s not exactly how we pictured Theo’s first couple of months of life but we’re appreciating the time together and the quietness of it all. 

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Claire Wagner | Class of 2020

Little(s): Leon, 8 months

Pre-HBS Industry: Global Health, Harvard Medical School

Proudest Accomplishment: Leon!

How do you do it? My husband, Josh, and the amazing “village” we have.

Best mama hack: Invite people into your life. 

Favorite quarantine activity? Blueberry pancakes on a weekday morning!!

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Ashley Chang | Class of 2021

Little(s): Jonas (4), Clement (1)

Pre-HBS Industry: Tech, Product Manager / Product Marketing 

Proudest Accomplishment: Survive HBS online with kids at home! 

Summer Internship / Post-HBS Job: Internship: VMware Corp venture and strategy 

How do you do it? I still haven’t figure out how to do it. Priority helps. 

I remember when… My sectionmate did Zoom babysitting for me during this COVID crisis. Jonas had so much fun talking to them on Zoom! 

Campus community highlight: We are originally from Taiwan and appreciate the inclusive community here. My kids are exposed to so many cultures and have learned to embrace difference. 

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Laura Hoffmann | Class of 2021

Due date: May 10, on Mother's day, 2 days after the last final!

Pre-HBS Industry: McKinsey and Fashion e-commerce Ops

Proudest Accomplishment: Not having let down my dream of starting my own company this year even while dealing with class and pregnancy at the same time.

Summer Internship: Starting my own company: a Green Amazon, for convenient and sustainable shopping.

How do you do it? I know what I am at HBS for and constantly prioritize accordingly. I have an amazingly supportive and cheerful husband. I was lucky enough to meet high quality lads from the start of the RC semester on whom I know I can rely.

Funny HBS moment: Starting class as an RC, we had to describe ourselves in 40 words to our section. My seatmate started his blurb by "I make women pregnant" as he used to work in IVF. 3 days later I learned that I was pregnant. Coincidence?

I remember… After hiding my pregnancy for 4 months of first semester at HBS, announcing the news to everyone was both a relief and a source of anxiety. How would people react? Would students see me differently? Would they understand why I was not always up for partying until the end of the night? Would professors be judgmental of my personal choice?

The reactions I got were much more touching than I could have expected. My section mates were so cheerful at the announcement it made me proud of what I was accomplishing. Professors were completely supportive and took away the apprehension I had to have to combine pregnancy and class. And those friends I had only made a few months prior on campus were the best, throwing me baby showers, covering me with gifts and offering help relentlessly.

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Nancy HuClass of 2020

Little(s): Linden 3 years, Reggie 1 year

Pre-HBS Industry: Private equity

Summer Internship / Post-HBS Job: Private equity

How do you do it? Prioritize time, make a lot of choices, be efficient, spend a lot of money on childcare (pre Covid...) and set up a lot of help, and sadly, deprioritize sleep and exercise.

Funny HBS moment: In class one afternoon I was in pain from contractions, they were not real contractions but Braxton Hicks. I was a little nervous since they hurt more than usual. My professor was really concerned and called an ambulance to take me to triage. It was my first time riding in an ambulance and I was very thankful that Harvard insurance covered it. :) 

I remember… My son was born the day before the charity auction, and my section tried to auction the right to name the baby! Ultimately we auctioned the right to be the first to hold Reggie and post his first social media photo. I was surprised we were able to raise good money with that "prize" and really touched that people were fighting for the right! 

I brought my kids to all section activities possible and my kids loved spending time with all the aunts and uncles. I have so many wonderful/funny memories of my kids playing at HBS or at section events -- the baby shower they threw me (where my section mate had everyone eat baby food! Turns out another section mate liked it!), my daughter dancing at Flag Day, my son being held up like Simba in Section, going on retreat together, or pumping in the aisle seat on a flight to Myanmar for my field course... 

Looking back: I cannot be more thankful to have joined the supportive HBS community as a young mom. So much support and love, and people genuinely were interested in spending time with my family. I did not expect to find out I was pregnant with baby 2 during START, but I am really thankful that I was able to spend the precious two years with my family.

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Lailah Thompson | Class of 2021

Little(s): Yasmina (1)

Pre-HBS Industry: Manufacturing / PepsiCo - Frito Lay

Proudest Accomplishment: Birthing Yasmina & pushing for diversity & inclusion at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, increasing the number of incoming minority students exponentially

Summer Internship: Boston Consulting Group (BCG) 

How do you do it? My partner is the key to my success. He stopped working to care for our daughter full time, cooks and does all the little things to make sure I can do the big things like HBS.

Favorite HBS memory: Organically my black girl magic group formed at the SA end of business day event on the last day of orientation. I left class thinking I didn't find my group yet and after 5 minutes on the quad, one by one, a group of black women formed and we just gravitated towards each other. We enjoyed one another's presence and the commonality found in our culture despite our various nationalities and backgrounds. It was a magical experience—the combination of hair, accents and melanin brought calmness to an anxiety-filled experience of moving to a new place in a new community.

I remember… That time I left the first consulting club session on how to case prep and returned with my daughter who squirmed around as I tried to take notes. My sectionmates happened to be in the same row and had no problems distracting her and playing with her. Everyone else in the class, outside of my section, didn't mind her noises and found her amusing more than annoying. The person leading the lecture let me know during break that I can feel free to come in and out of the class, that she had a young one and empathized. She stayed behind to review some notes and send me the rest via email. HBS as a community demonstrated their support of my motherhood and it made a nervous wreck like myself feel so much better and calm.

What makes you unique? I'm a young mom! Probably the youngest in HBS, the only black mom and the only mom that commutes from such a long distance (45- to 90-minute drive from Randolph each way to campus).


Noor Khalidi | Class of 2021

Pre-HBS Industry: Clean energy

Proudest Accomplishment: Served in the Obama Administration at the White House and US Department of Energy

Summer Internship: Strategy at a renewable energy company

How do you do it? Prioritization, realism and support. Being a working mom hinges on making the best use of your time. For me this means spending each hour of the day super consciously—whether it’s time to read cases, spend time with the kids, attend professional events, or socialize with classmates. Being realistic and honest about what I prioritize and making conscious decisions is key to making it all work. Lastly, I would be nowhere if it weren’t for the support of my HBS village, which includes everyone from my husband to the on-campus childcare center, my fellow student-parent neighbors, and the MoMBAs!

Best student mom hack: Pumping at my desk during class. The leaps and bounds pumping technology has made in recent years are game changing! When I told my section I would be doing this, I quite literally got a round of applause in support. Side note: entrepreneurs keep the femtech innovations coming!

I remember… Pushing the convenience of living on campus to the extreme. Take the daily 80-minute lunch break for example. On the first day of spring semester I remember walking to my apartment, showering and getting dressed in a suit, simultaneously eating lunch and blow drying my hair, sprinting to the daycare to nurse my infant, saying hi to my preschooler, and rushing to class only to catch an Uber and head straight downtown afterward for a job interview. I’m constantly thankful for the 4-minute “commute” on breathless days like that one.