Creating Community

With graduation approaching, MBA students Dr. Nandita Gupta and Dr. Jamie Cheshier started a non-traditional book club. They recognized that without doing something, they were about to lose the safe and confidential spaces created during their education. They wanted to continue to have a supportive group who recognized the specific challenges women in healthcare leadership face.

Their goal was to create a community that could support each other’s personal and professional development and growth. The book club idea was a way to do just that. But that does not mean that they limit themselves to the monthly topic. Sometimes, they focus on the selected article for the month. Other times, they come together around a particular issue that a person or the group is facing. Each person in the group has opportunity to select topics of interest.

Nearly a year later, the group meets regularly with strong attendance. With members scattered along the West Coast, and some now on the East Coast, the group meets virtually with a few in-person socials scattered in. A key to success is having a few folks who are willing to step up and own key elements. For example, one person is the communicator who coordinates hosting; another ensures that the meeting room is set-up and sent out. They added, that it needs “just enough” structure with a good dose of flexibility. 

The group continues to evolve. Through intentionality, they are co-creating rich experiences that lead to life-long bonds.