With a Capital EM: She Taught Me Business


My Aunt Karen and I doing the Macarena back in the 1990s. See how serious we are?

When I think business women, I think long, well-manicured nails, navy blue suits with matching pumps and … Celine Dion. Not the actual Celine Dion, of course, because while I’m sure she’s a great business woman, she’s a performer first and foremost. I mean Celine Dion music being played loudly and also being sung along to, but with all of the wrong lyrics. So, what does this have to do with business women? Well, maybe I should start over. When I think business woman, I think of my Aunt Karen, who happens to love Celine Dion — and can’t get lyrics right to save her life. Today, and for most of my formative years, my mom has made the brave sacrifice to keep her career in the home. While I completely admire her for this, the career of homemaker isn’t exactly what comes to mind when you think business woman. (However, keeping finances, schedules and dietary needs in order for a family of six is no easy task, so perhaps we should rethink our idea of what a business woman is, but I digress). Since my mom wanted me to know what it was like to work in an office, when Take Your Daughter to Work Day rolled around, I went with my aunt. It was during those days that I first realized I, too, was going to be a business woman. As I watched my aunt (who sells advertising for a large newspaper company) make and break deals, file paper work, talk with designers and eat fancy salads during lunch, I just knew that was the life for me. Of course as I got older, I realized that the glamorous life of a business woman isn’t always so glamorous. Panty hose run … a lot. Nails chip … a lot. And you know what? Not all deals are easily made, and yet somehow they are easily broken. Still, I entered the work force ready to make things happen. And oh did things happen, because unfortunately, I entered the work force during a pretty volatile time. I’ve definitely seen my share of hardships. As the economy and technology change the way business is done, especially in my aunt’s industry, I also see the challenges she faces daily. What’s both promising and inspiring, however, is that as things change (including wardrobe choices — no one matches their suits to their pumps anymore, it was a 90s thing) my aunt, business women around the world and now me, too, get up each day, make sure our manicures are in tip-top shape and we make things happen. And yes, sometimes that involves a little Celine Dion.

Tags: role models, Take Your Daughter to Work Day, women in business


Emily Caswell

Emily Caswell is the Managing Editor of CAWLM. She has a passion for fun, family, friends, shopping sprees, cold drinks and Lansing.

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