Megan is a former mentee of The Word Grandma, working and training with Dr. Mindell in her communications consulting firm, Well-Read. Below is an abridged version of her story.
Thank you again Phyllis for reaching out and for being a role model of a strong woman, mother, entrepreneur, business counselor, writer, language lover. It is great to be back in touch and I look forward to continuing the conversation.
I graduated from University in 1997, having continued to juggle competitive tennis and a deep love of literature and learning. With a lot of work and the support of great teammates and professors, my college career culminated in an NCAA Division III team national championship and highest honors for my thesis on contemporary Irish poetry. I then spent a year in St Andrews, Scotland, on a Bobby Jones fellowship, which gave me time to realize that I wasn’t ready for the ivory tower and wanted to work. I joined a consulting firm as a business analyst in Chicago in 1998 and set about learning the language and building blocks of strategy and business.
Business communication and the rigorous, organized thinking required for client engagements came fairly easily (with my Well-Read training and years of breaking down texts). However, Microsoft Excel skills were much tougher to acquire, which made it lucky that a charming analyst was willing to give me Saturday Excel tutorials. He quickly became my boyfriend, my partner and my rock, and, at long last from my family’s perspective, my husband. Our years have been filled with laughter and growth, luckily always together.
We moved together to San Francisco to dip into the startup scene and then in 2002 to Cambridge for graduate school, Harvard Law School for me and HBS for him. After graduation we moved back to Chicago (I took the bar and got married in the summer of 2005), where I clerked for a federal judge for a year and then joined the corporate/transactional team at a law firm. I enjoyed the fast-paced merger and acquisition work and camaraderie and chance to serve clients. In 2009, we moved to Milwaukee to try on life in a smaller city — slightly less hectic jobs, beautiful 100 year old money pit of a house on a tree-lined street where we knew and loved our neighbors, two cossetted rescue dogs.
Our first daughter, was born in 2012 and became the radiant sun in our universe. She was born healthy but with the genetic condition of achondroplasia, the most common form of dwarfism. After educating ourselves on the condition and the medical/milestone issues that we needed to look out for, we settled into the routine of loving her and having our lives turned upside down as new parents. Our chance to live abroad came in 2014, with a great job opportunity for in Sydney. I was able to transfer my in-house senior corporate counsel position to our Australian office, and we have been enjoying this down-under adventure for the past 2.5 years. Our second daughter was born in 2015, and she and her big sister have thrived here in this sunny, global city. Family ties are going to bring us home before too long — Sydney is beautiful, but grandparents are better.