The Modern Woman: Balancing Career and Family
Talk by Admiral Maragaret Klein
Adapted from an article by LT. Donnel Evans
As part of the U.S. Navy’s community relations program, Rear Admiral Margaret Klein spent a few hours speaking to, and fielding questions from a diverse group of students at the ASC.
The student group, led by John Hillis, director, American Studies Center, was comprised of students ranging from freshman to juniors, and included students from a variety of majors at the university.
The goal of the center and engagements with speakers like Klein is to, “Make students aware of the important aspects of American culture such as literature, politics government and history, in addition to improving their English because English is a very important factor in terms of employment and many other things,” said Hillis.
In line with the group’s themes of leadership, bridging the gap between American and Bahraini culture, and womens empowerment, the conversation with Klein ranged from how to be successful in college, choosing a career, leadership, and Klein’s personal and professional challenges of being a naval officer, wife and mother.
“Studying what interested me was very important, as I wanted to balance my professional and personal life,” said Klein. “I studied something I was passionate about.”
According to Sahresh Shahzad, president, ASC Activity, the true value of the program is the personal interaction. “She [Klein] talked about it from a very personal perspective and she talked a lot about her experience,” said Shahzad. “It will help us because it comes from a person directly rather than reading a magazine or getting the information from online.”
Klein also shared advice on balancing career and family. “What caused me to want to balance my Navy career with my family is the fact that they have much in common. The Navy is all about teamwork and relationships, and in my personal life, I very much value teamwork and relationships.”
The conversation concluded with the group and Klein commenting on the mutual benefit of such engagements.
“The Navy has had significant input into the program in terms of making students aware of American culture,” said Hillis. “And I have had many Navy personnel tell me that some of the most significant experiences they have had while serving on Bahrain is the opportunity to interact with Bahraini students.”
“As I head back to the United States, I can tell them what my experiences were in this region and that we have much more in common than not,” said Klein.