Marietta Thomas doesn’t sit back and wait for opportunities to come her way.
The 56-year-old Lake Forest resident has spent the past ten years focused on her family. She and her husband, Robert, have six children ranging from 27 to 20 years old.
So, Thomas has been busy supervising homework, attending school activities, driving carpool, and volunteering for PTA and church functions. But, she says, “I don’t feel like I’m done yet.”
Before children, Thomas sold ads for trade publications and worked for the National Roofing Contractors Association. She’s currently working as a receptionist at an area animal clinic, but wants more of a challenge. “I won’t grow there. And, I want someplace where I feel like I can contribute.”
Minish Shah is associate dean of the Lake Forest School of Management On Rampers MBA Program. He says it is targeted at people just like Thomas, who have stepped away from the work force for more than a year and are looking to re-enter it.
The average applicant has been out of the work force for about ten years, according to Shah. He calls Thomas the ideal candidate for the program. “She has amazing life experience,” says Shah.
When Thomas’ children were in elementary school, she chaired a committee for a 400-person benefit that raised $250,000 for the school. Shah says volunteer work is relevant and will translate well to the skills the MBA program will build on during the participants’ two-year experience.
Classes will be from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Faculty will be comprised of senior executives at Fortune 500 companies and professionals now working as consultants. The MBA program will include vocational guidance, resume writing advice, and instruction in the latest technology. Summers will be free to pursue internships that the school will help arrange.
Oakton Community College offers continuing education classes for adults looking to return to the workplace or make a career change. Classes include resume writing, interviewing techniques and repositioning your skills to meet the needs of employers in fields that are growing.
Dr. Rosemary Egan provides counseling to individuals and families including women returning to the workforce, at Glen Lake Counseling Center. She says an internship is extremely valuable to someone returning to a career following a significant absence. The LFSM’s approach to technology is also a must, according to Egan. “That is such a moving train. If you’re out of it for a year or two, you’re really out of it.” Marietta Thomas can’t wait to get started.
The cost of the MBA program is not finalized. It is scheduled to begin September 20th. For more information, contact Minish Shah at the Lake Forest School of Management..