Christine Bataille was tense as she waited in line Monday to receive her master's degree from the Sloan School of Management.
More than eight months pregnant and anticipating an early delivery of her second child, the 28-year-old woman had been provided a front-row wheelchair seat. She was determined to walk across the stage and receive her diploma, despite the labor contractions that were coming every eight to nine minutes.
Emergency help unobtrusively surrounded her during the ceremony on Killian Court, including two student EMTs, two MIT police officers, two Cambridge firefighters and David Barber, assistant safety officer. Two doctors and two nurses manned the medical tent.
Fortunately, the contractions subsided and the help wasn't needed.
When Bataille entered Sloan two years ago, she and her husband, Olivier, a mechanical engineer, already had a two-year-old daughter, Emmy. "One of the reasons I came to MIT is that Sloan is very family-supportive," she said, noting that the school lived up to expectations. "People at Sloan have been very understanding. People are just very friendly. The professors, when I have to leave, have been very helpful."
After receiving her bachelor's degree in finance from Simmons College, Bataille was a consultant for Bain and Co. "At Bain, you could see that the Sloan graduates were different," she said. "They were more collegial, less competitive."
Bataille will join a management leadership program at Lucent Technologies in September.
The Batailles will name the baby Benoit. He is due on July 5.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 12, 2003.