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Going back to business

  • Story Highlights
  • Programs aim to help mothers return from career breaks
  • 'Back to Business' course teaches new business methods and career help
  • Similar courses offered at other schools
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By Peter Walker for CNN
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- Business education isn't only for those seeking to get their first foothold on the corporate ladder.

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Programs can help mothers return from a career break.

It can also benefit those returning to the workplace after a hiatus in employment, notably mothers who take a career break.

This is something recognized by increasing numbers of business schools, among them the well-regarded Tuck school at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.

This week, the school kicks off the first module of its Back in Business program, aimed specifically at those with professional experience seeking a return to the workplace.

Made up of three modules totaling 11 days between now and the start of December, two of them at the Tuck campus and one in New York, the course -- officially called "Back in Business: Invest in Your Return" -- is intended to update the management and leadership skills of professionals who want to re-enter the workforce.

The course, taught by Tuck's well-known MBA faculty, covers a series of different areas, including both up-to-date business and leadership skills, and also career planning.

The formal skills components will cover many of the subjects dealt with in full MBAs, such as economics, finance and accounting, marketing, management communications and leadership skills.

The career planning element takes in everything from setting your overall career goals to the more prosaic areas of resume writing and interview skills.

Those taking part will also enjoy the same advantage of those who take an MBA -- access to both their school's network of links with potential employers, and also peers who share similar backgrounds and challenges.

It is a course for high achievers -- students are expected to already have an MBA or MBA-equivalent experience, and to have worked in high-potential careers.

Fact Box

FT MBA Rankings
1. Wharton, U.S.
2. Columbia, U.S.
3. Harvard, U.S.
4. Stanford GSB, U.S.
5. London Business School, UK
6. Chicago GSB, U.S.
7. Insead, France/Singapore
8. Stern, NYU, U.S.
9. Tuck, Dartmouth, U.S.
10. Yale, U.S.
Source: Financial Times 2007

"We'll help participants step forward with confidence and build a new career in line with their experience and aspirations," said Professor Constance Helfat, one of the academic directors of the program.

"We expect it will be particularly attractive to women who left the business world and are now eager to re-enter the formal workforce."

Other schools offer similar programs, among them New Path, a week-long course offered by Harvard Business School, the next installment of which takes place in March 2008.

Originally offered as part of the school's executive education program, New Path is intended for professional women, usually with MBAs from Harvard or a similar school, seeking to return to work, usually after motherhood.

The course, according to the course leaders, came about after female alumni began asking for a program which could "update them on the latest and greatest innovations in their fields, refresh their professional vocabularies, and provide a quick brush up on fundamental skills in finance, marketing, information technology, and strategy." E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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