The Washington, DC area is full of amazing moms. There are working moms, stay-at-home moms, single moms, moms of multiples, foster moms, adoptive moms, etc. We want to highlight some of those moms like Ali Newsome! Each month we will feature one special mom as the mom of the month. Know a fellow amazing local mom here? Nominate them here!
Meet our October Mom of the Month: Ali Newsome
Ali Newsome is a recent MBA graduate of the University of Virginia, Darden School of Business, Class of 2021, and a working mom of three boys. Ali was born and raised in Florida and studied Political Science in college. She moved to Washington, D.C. over 10 years ago starting her career in politics. Ali has spent the last decade supporting the Public Sector in Aerospace & Defense, business development, and management consulting. She decided to pursue her MBA to broaden her strategic perspective, and welcomed her third child during her second year of business school.
Ali leveraged her MBA experience to switch into the technology industry and joined a unicorn artificial intelligence startup after graduation. She continues to work in the AI analytics space helping organizations on their AI journey. Ali’s current role as an Alliance Leader focuses on technology ecosystems and alliances, where tech companies partner with professional services organizations to create value for clients across industries at scale. Ali currently lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband Josh, and their three sons Sumner (7), Brooks (4), and Hampton (1.5).
Here is our Q&A with Ali Newsome:
1. What is the best advice you have for Moms as they look toward pursuing a higher degree?
If you are considering pursuing a higher degree – go for it! Whether you want to climb in your current career path and land that next promotion, or pivot into a completely different industry, or become an entrepreneur and start your own business. Consider why you are thinking about going back to school and how that will help you in your career journey. Exploring higher degree programs is a learning process in itself. My advice is to research multiple degree programs to find out what delivery format works best with your current situation and phase of life. Attend admissions events and research women’s networks affiliated with the degree you are interested in pursuing. There are many resources out there and it can be overwhelming at first.
As a prospective student, I was looking for a learning environment where I felt supported and empowered as a mom. I was lucky to find that at Darden. During the admissions process, I connected with other moms who were current students or recent alumni. It was helpful to learn from their experience as a mom in the program. Representation matters. Seeing other moms with young children working toward their MBA gave me the confidence to know that I can do it too.
Once you decide on the degree program that’s right for you, consider what you and your family will need during that time and put support structures in place. Whether that means arranging additional childcare, adjusting hours at work, or subscribing to Hello Fresh, etc. One of my mentors said it best, “As moms, we invent a way to make it work.”
2. What are your top 3 tips in taking a leap in your career?
- Go for it! Don’t self-select out
- Give yourself grace through the process
- Keep the big picture in mind
3. How did your mindset shift when balancing parenting, work, and higher education?
During the MBA program, I learned to keep the big picture in mind while knowing these 2 years were going to fly by. I recognize that being a mom and managing a family while building a career, handling a full-time academic course load, and serving in student leadership was a ton on my plate. In those moments of stress and self-doubt, I learned to take a step back and think about the big picture to reframe my perspective. This phase as an MBA student is temporary and I wanted to make the most of this learning experience. By adopting this mindset, I learned to be more present and more intentional with my time. In certain situations, I learned how to ask for help and in others, I got better at saying no. As moms, we are resilient and we can do anything we put our minds to. In my case, it truly takes a village!
I’ll share some takeaways from the keynote speaker at the Darden Women’s Leadership Summit, The Great Reinvention: “You can have it all, just not all at once”. There will always be a give and take between career and family – it’s not all or nothing. As career moms, we are constantly reinventing ourselves as each phase presents us with new challenges.
To me, the most important job is being a mom and family always comes first. I am the best version of myself when I am learning and growing while making an impact and serving others. In turn, this makes me a better mom to my three boys.
Do you know an amazing mom? Nominate a mom of the month here!