Skip to main content

Balancing Act

January 26, 2024 Erica Hulse
MBA Alumnae Sarah Bhatia smiling and holding her infant son in front of a white background.

“Moms are out here killing it!” shared Principal Product Owner for Slingshot and College of Business graduate Sarah Bhatia. “We’re successfully running meetings and pumping breastmilk off camera; we’re leading teams, planning meals, growing humans, and hitting professional goals.” An alumna of the 2020 Professional MBA (PMBA) cohort, Bhatia believes in advocating for women who balance the grueling schedule of both a parent and professional and is committed to giving a voice to a rapidly growing population in the world of technology. Her recent article featured on the Slinghot website, “Why Moms are Tech’s Secret Weapon,” drives home the skillset moms bring to the table and how many of those skills are serving to fill a gap not just in the tech world but across multiple industries. “Nobody talks about the professional soft skills that parenting provides you and how those are such a huge asset. My article explored some of the unique strengths parents possess and how they’re quite attuned to being an asset in the tech space.” 

The M(om)BA Experience

Bhatia decided to pursue an MBA at the University of Louisville because “I hit a point in my career where I knew I needed more formal business training if I wanted to be able to take on more elevated roles. I enjoy working in strategy, but I lacked a lot of the business knowledge I needed to have a seat at the table. I chose UofL because…it was important for me to get the actual education, not just the degree, and the…in-person classes ensured that I was absorbing the material and could take that education and apply it to my real-world career.”

While enrolled in her MBA program, Bhatia learned she was pregnant, which presented a unique challenge. However, committed to furthering her education, she decided to continue to move forward with her courses. “I was undergoing infertility treatments when I started the program and finally got pregnant a few months in. Balancing a full-time job with a demanding MBA program is enough of a challenge on its own – I really had no idea how I’d be able to throw in pregnancy and newborn on top of that.”

Diapers and Degrees

Speaking about the connection of her cohort members to one another, Bhatia shared the most impactful points of her PMBA program, both of which occurred during her pregnancy with her first child, which left a lasting, powerful memory. “Towards the end of my pregnancy, my cohort surprised me with a diaper shower – almost everyone in the cohort showed up to class one night with a box of diapers. It was my first real lesson in parenthood: surround yourself with people who will support you as not just a friend or colleague but as your whole self – kids included.”

Along with the strong bonds formed between Bhatia and her cohort members, she also acknowledged Richard Germain, PhD, Stephen Gohmann, PhD, and Ryan Quinn, PhD – faculty members whose content, innovation, and support made a difference in her experience in the College and her professional roles. However, one faculty member provided her encouragement and support beyond measure. “During the time I was enrolled in Dr. Manikas’ course, I had my first child. I had so much anxiety leading up to that moment, trying to plan for how I’d navigate missing classes and just learning what life is like juggling a newborn with other commitments. Dr. Manikas approached the situation with so much kindness, grace, and understanding, and I just had such a sense of relief and support during what could have been a much more challenging time.”

Turning the Tables

Today, Bhatia utilizes her MBA in new and innovative ways at Slingshot, a Louisville-based software and app development company specializing in strategizing, designing, and creating technology to best help their clients achieve their mission. While she feels fortunate to be raising her three children, Zane, Miles, and Beck, with her husband, Ravi, while working in a company culture that supports women tackling multiple full-time roles with resilience and perseverance, Bhatia believes that more tech companies will follow suit with this mindset, increasing their hiring and promotion practices to accommodate a population of highly skilled and educated women bringing a wealth of practical skills gained by navigating the unique challenges associated with motherhood. “The biggest prediction I have is an increase in representation. I think we’re finally seeing women enter the industry who were raised in a post ‘STEM is for boys’ world, and that’s incredibly exciting to me. Not only do [moms] deserve a seat at every table, but those tables should actively want us there for the unique and beneficial perspective we bring to product development.”

Are you a working professional interested in earning your MBA in person? Visit to learn how to get started.

About the UofL College of Business:

Founded in 1953, The UofL College of Business fosters intellectual and economic vitality in our city, region, and the global business landscape. Our academic programs, research, community outreach initiatives, and commitment to student success inspire lives and businesses to flourish through entrepreneurship, innovation, critical thinking, diversity, and the power of people.

Connect with the CoB by following us on LinkedInFacebookInstagramTwitter, and TikTok, or by visiting our website.