When Lisa Bateman Quist graduated with a bachelor's degree in accounting from BYU Marriott in 1984, she was one of the few women in the program. Now having graduated from BYU Marriott’s Executive MBA program in 2019, Quist wants to teach other women how empowering an education can be.
“I'm a huge proponent of education for women because it puts women in a more powerful position to make choices for themselves rather than have choices forced upon them,” says Quist.
Education has always been important to Quist. After receiving her undergrad, Quist wanted to pursue her MAcc, but with two toddlers at home and twins on the way, she decided to wait.
Quist became a stay-at-home mother, but when her husband was diagnosed with a medical condition where his doctor estimated he most likely wouldn’t live past forty-five, Quist quickly realized she needed to be prepared to support her family. Thankfully, she had her accounting degree. “Having a degree in such a marketable field was incredibly comforting to me,” says Quist. “I appreciated knowing I could step up and take care of my family if things went badly.”
With her degree and CPA license in hand, Quist started an accounting business where she could work from home. Advanced medical procedures eventually saved her husband’s life, but her educational safety net was pivotal during the difficult time. Once her children were in school, she started transitioning into a full-time job. She currently works as controller for VidAngel, a Utah-based company that allows customers to filter objectionable content from movies and TV shows and is the home of Dry Bar Comedy.
As she raised her six children, Quist taught them the value of an education. As a result, five of her children have received their graduate degrees and the sixth is currently working on his graduate degree. With her children’s education taken care of, Quist thought to herself, “It’s my turn.”
When Quist entered BYU Marriott’s Executive MBA program in 2017, she initially felt inadequate and uncomfortable. “I’m an introvert by nature, so it took a lot of courage for me to walk up to someone in my cohort or a professional and strike up a conversation, but I’ve been glad that I did,” says Quist. “Having the courage to make the plunge has provided me multiple opportunities to grow personally and professionally.”
During her time in the EMBA program, Quist and the other women in her cohort created the Empowering Women in Business organization, which focuses on helping women flourish in their personal and professional lives. One piece of advice Quist stresses to those she mentors is to apply for jobs even when they may feel underqualified. “Women often need to be reminded that if they want to grow, they can't only apply for jobs they can already do,” says Quist. “They should apply for jobs that are a little bit of a stretch because it's by stretching and trying new things that you learn and grow.”
Quist wants women to understand that everyone’s career and life path are different and that they should find their own balance between pursuing an education and raising a family. “What is best for me and my career may not be best for the next person,” says Quist. “None of us are wrong. We're just different. I hope we can all support and applaud each other as we make choices that are best for ourselves, our families, and our careers.”
Writer: Natasha Ramirez