EPISODE 009
Midwife To MBA
This episode is a conversation with Emma Gasking who started her career as a Midwife in the UK and upon getting her MBA, her career took a 180---or as it may seem at first glance. Things didn't quite work out as she'd initially planned, but it did work out for the best. She's changing lives, one person at a time.

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Host - Monique Mills:

But when companies make those decisions, I just needed to understand because it just didn't make sense. And when I, when I did my MBA, everything was answered. It was like a light bulb went off and exploded. And I was like, Whoa, I learned how people really make money. I mean, it was enlightening.


Guest - Emma Gasking:

Really, really interesting. Like you say it is that, that light bulb moment, isn't it. It's the, oh okay I see. From a business point of view, this is where this makes sense and this is why this decision was made and that's right. It all starts to fall into place. It's like you go from being in the jigsaw puzzle to looking down on the jigsaw puzzle.


Host - Monique Mills:

Welcome to the Unpolished MBA podcast 

On this podcast we have conversations with tech startup founders and entrepreneurs and traditional corporate MBA’s.

Many say that Startups = The Unpolished MBA because those without the formal business education are scrappy and do many things untraditionally to achieve business success.

Anyone who has built a business from an idea can attest to the fact that the experience is another level MBA and there’s nothing quite like it. The candid conversations shared here is helpful to both sides of the fence.  One is not better than the other, just different. Let’s jump in.


Host - Monique Mills:

Some are tech startup founders and entrepreneurs Others are corporate employees

Hi I’m your host Monique Mills. In my work I get to have great conversations with a lot of smart and interesting people.  Some are tech startup founders and entrepreneurs in various industries and others are corporate employees.

Here I’m sharing a conversation I had with Emma Gasking who started her career as a Midwife in the UK and now that she has her MBA, so much has changed. She shares how getting her MBA was somewhat of a safety blanket that she was hoping to use to move into another place of “safety”-management consulting. Things didn’t work out quite as planned though. Listen in on her story.


Host - Monique Mills:

I'm going to do my fast fire questions here. First one is, are you an entrepreneur or a corporate employee?


Guest - Emma Gasking:

Entrepreneur.


Host - Monique Mills:

Okay. MBA or no MBA?


Guest - Emma Gasking:

MBA.


Host - Monique Mills:

So you're an MBA and you're an entrepreneur. So tell me what drove you into entrepreneurship.


Guest - Emma Gasking:

Okay. So I started my career as a midwife, which in the UK means looking after pregnant women throughout their pregnancy. We see them between eight and 10 times. And then up to six times after birth. It's a bit like an OB GYN in the U S. And so that's where I started. And I worked as a social midwife parent education lead and a general midwife. So I had my clinic and set up my parent education courses and did all of that.

But in the UK in 2018, we had government cuts. So they closed my clinic and they wouldn't give me any funding to expand. But that growth and that innovation that I'd done in the three years that I worked there really gave me the bug for creating and kind of do my own thing. So I went off, got an MBA and then, yeah, dive straight in, started working for myself. It's, it's scary changing careers because I am now a life and business strategist. So I've completely switched. I'm no longer in the healthcare field. I, well, I say at all. I run a series of online antenatal courses, but that's as much as I do now. My main role is as a life and business strategist.


Host - Monique Mills:

From your own experiences, you have a very rich background in a variety of things, so I can totally see it.


Guest - Emma Gasking:

So they, on the surface, they absolutely look different. Underneath they're quite similar in quite a lot of ways. So working as a social midwife, my role was to help vulnerable women leave their vulnerable situations. So that was helping, for example, women in gangs to leave the gang or women who were drug addicts to get clean and give the best start for them and their new baby that they're bringing into the world.

And in a way that's quite similar to Yes, okay, they're not so vulnerable, but the people that I help through life strategy and business strategy, it's all about creating transformational change and helping them to up level themselves and their business. So that's the common thread there. But the reason I went for the shift is because in the UK, the NHS is government run and therefore is under the control of the government. And I burnt out basically in the three years with it. Feel like you're constantly banging your head against a brick wall, trying to make change, trying to help people. And there's no money for this, no money for that, et cetera, et cetera. 


Host - Monique Mills:

But you're right. When you're talking about transformational change, the work that you're doing with people now is still very personal, very personal. So you already have the skills to handle that, which is awesome. So tell me a little bit about ideal clients now.


Guest - Emma Gasking:

When clients first come to me, they usually feel quite lost and emotionally numb and disconnected quite a lot of them. And that feeling of just not really knowing where you're going or why you're going in the direction you are, or even sometimes that thing of, okay, how on earth did I end up here? You know, how has life happened to me? Like what I do working with them through a 12 week, one to one program, which has my signature offer at the moment is we go through a process of self love and self acceptance. Go through a process of grounding. So that's tapping into things like quantum physics and the universe and entanglement theory, that kind of thing. Then we go into clearing. So looking basically like clearing out the cupboards of your past and working out why you feel like you do, how you ended up where you are and what's serving you still, and what's not serving you. So what can stay and what really needs to go.


Host - Monique Mills:

Wow. You, I mean, this is like a therapy session too.


Guest - Emma Gasking:

It's yeah. In a way, in a way. It's just helping, helping them to get really clear. And then from that point, creating the vision where they want to go based on their new learnings, or they are off to doing the process of self love and grounding and clearing. And the final step is creating what I like to call yourself a life strategy. So that's the kind of step by step, exactly how to enjoy the journey along the way, and reach your goals. And the deliverable is creating a life that you love. A life beyond your wildest dreams.


Host - Monique Mills:

Does your MBA play any part in what you do now? Has it helped you in business?


Guest - Emma Gasking:

Absolutely. You know, it was, so it was so important to me to go and get an MBA because I felt as a midwife, I didn't have enough of a business background. So to run my own business, I didn't really know where to start. And so you talk about being brave and courageous. I'm not sure for me. Going to go and get the MBA was my safety blanket almost to give me the courage to start to start going out on my own. And I use it. I use it with my clients, too. Some of the things that I learned from that. It all feeds in, especially with the business side as well. So that's much more or leans much more towards the MBA and the learnings from that.

There are definitely tools and techniques and things like your six Sigma and the MBA language as well, that helps in a business sense and talking to businesses about their growth and that kind of thing. It gives you the language to be able to do that really effectively. I think the other part of it is that it just, it helps in a big way to have that experience. It adds that feather to your cap.


Host - Monique Mills:

Yea, whether or not they'll let you the room sometimes depends on credentials and credibility, as they see it, to consider the conversation or the introduction worthy, which is unfortunate. But I guess we can understand some people feel like certain things aren't worth their time. So it, it does add a level of credibility to those who feel that way about you know, how they spend their time or do business with someone.

You're in the UK right?


Guest - Emma Gasking:

Yea.


Host - Monique Mills:

How is having that advanced degree looked upon? Is it, do people feel like that it's not a big deal? Or is it just kind of something that is revered? How is it there? And I'm trying to make a comparison to how we see it here. Here, let me give you an example. I had someone else on the podcast and they were saying in their workplace because they have an MBA, some of their colleagues would be like, Oh, you think you're better than me? You think you're smarter than me? You know? So it's kinda like this competition in some ways. And I'm wondering if that kind of culture exists in the UK.


Guest - Emma Gasking:

It's a really interesting one. So with everything that's been going on in terms of COVID and lock downs. The MBA that I did was a really global MBA. We had people from all over the world. So we had 17 different countries represented in our cohort, and there were big, big representation from all over the world. And it is really interesting to see how they're seen. But the impact that coronavirus or COVID-19 has had is that a lot of people who are looking to stay in the UK have ended up going back to their own countries.

And MBAs have definitely helped some people to, to get into the workplace and get that foot in the door. For me, I toyed with the idea of going into management consultancy for awhile, because again, this sort of safety blanket of, oh maybe I need a couple of years of experience before I branch out on my own. But thankfully I didn't get anywhere. But for me, it was because I had a midwife background, a background as a midwife and not as an engineer or anything else in business, the MBA didn't help me to get to the interview stage. People looked at me and said, okay, she's got an MBA, but she's also been a midwife. She's not got any practical management consultancy experience. Therefore we're not going to give her an interview.


Host - Monique Mills:

Wow. You know, that that's really quite odd because here in this states, they are like clamoring for new grads and, you know, unexperienced people, because they want you to come in for them to train you on how to do things exactly the way they want them done. So it's kind of one of those things where it's kind of a really very intensive training program with our consultancies here. And they're looking for those who are basically a blank slate and they're willing to invest in them. Interesting.


Guest - Emma Gasking:

Different. But I'm glad the fact that I didn't go into management consultancy and the universe pushed me in the direction of doing my own thing, because it's definitely been the right decision.


Host - Monique Mills:

Yeah. You're making an impact on lives. Big time. I don't know if you would have had the same fulfillment in management consulting. From the experience of a lot of people, they say, it's a lot of traveling of course, but it's basically the same playbook, just a different client over and over again. Where now with what you're doing with life and business coaching and strategy, I mean, you're changing lives literally.


Guest - Emma Gasking:

Yeah. And that's where I get my kick. That's what I absolutely love to do. To see your clients aha moment. To see them really fly just, yeah.


Host - Monique Mills:

That's in line with every other person who I've interviewed, who are entrepreneurs, even when times get rough for them. Cause there's, as we all know in entrepreneurship, there's ups and downs and in business, but even when times are rough, they just like, yeah, I can't see myself going back because I love what I do. And I get so much fulfillment out of the impact I have that I can't imagine, even when times get tough, going back to something where I'm not as excited about my work every day.


Guest - Emma Gasking:

I can completely get on board with that.


Host - Monique Mills:

Ok that’s it. Emma talked about going from a midwife in the UK to now a life and business strategist with an MBA. She talked about getting her MBA was a safety blanket to help her hopefully land the job of her dreams. When she wasn’t able to even land an interview with many of these companies she decided to go out on her down. It actually worked out in her favor. She actually gets a kick out of changing lives and she embarks on her journey as an entrepreneur.


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