The Gang’s All Here

By: Lauren Thaler  |  Date: June 28th, 2011  |  Category: (New)clear family  |  Comments: Say Something »

Reader, please meet the Rutenbergs.

They say hi.

We’re not blood related, and I don’t have an ounce of Rutenberg DNA, but when I’m with them, we tease each other like family, we disagree like family, and we obsess over vacation plans, dinner options, and holiday gifts like family.

Debbie and my mom were pregnant at the same time with Michael and me. When my father was sick, my mom ran to Debbie on her way to the hospital in the early morning, thrusting Infant Me into her arms. Only later that night when my mom returned did she realize that it wasn’t Debbie’s arms she had placed me in – it was Debbie’s mother who had received me.

This is how our families operated. There were no questions, no formalities – just unconditional love and unspoken understanding.

Michael and I grew up as extensions of each other. I taught him how to climb the [...]

This Week: The Due Diligence on Family

By: Lauren Thaler  |  Date: June 27th, 2011  |  Category: (New)clear family  |  Comments: 2 comments »

In business school, your professional background is important. It’s tattooed on your resume; it defines you for your classmates, and it can make or break your summer internship fate.

One of my friends has what is commonly referred to in business school as a “nontraditional” background. What does this mean? It means that before arriving at Wharton, she wasn’t a mainstream consultant, banker or a fill-in-the-blank occupation that at least 50 other classmates could boast about.

Her “nontraditional” background raised questions among interviewers: Could she have the skills, work ethic and potential associated with traditional pre-MBA mainstream jobs?

She struggled telling her story. She worried interviewers wouldn’t understand why she chose (or was forced to choose) the less traveled path. Furthermore, she was concerned that interviewers would ding her unless she was able to translate her “nontraditional” background into a format compatible with their preexisting notions of MBA students. Nonetheless, she practiced her [...]