(Left to right) Meghan Peterson Fenn ’94 and Heidi Mulligan Walker ’94 have teamed up to publish a new book.
In her early 20s, Heidi Mulligan Walker ’94 waited tables for minimum wage. Completely bored by high school, she had decided not to pursue college. All that changed when her two younger sisters began sharing their experiences at R-MWC with her.
“One night I was working in the restaurant, and I got this overwhelming feeling that I was not living up to my potential,” Heidi said. “I thought R-MWC was a place where I could do that.”
A few months later, she became one of her sisters’ classmates. “R-MWC was my absolute saving grace. It allowed me to totally turn my life around,” she said.
Today, Heidi is working with Meghan Peterson Fenn ’94 to write Inspiring Global Entrepreneurs, a book designed to help individuals run foreign businesses. The friends have a lot in common: both quickly moved abroad after graduation, earned graduate degrees overseas, married British men, and have become international entrepreneurs.
Meghan, who lives in Worthing, England, owns White Ochre Design, a web design firm that has served clients in six countries. She started the company after the birth of her second child. “It was the best decision of my professional career to not seek other employment and just do it on my own,” Meghan said. “It’s been a huge part of my life.”
Meghan’s experiences inspired Heidi after she quit a human resources director job to seek work-life balance. Meghan invited her to a conference organized by Mumpreneur UK, a group providing resources for mothers in business. “Seeing Meghan as an entrepreneur gave me the confidence to start my own business,” Heidi said.
Heidi started a life coaching firm which has followed her to China and to North Carolina as the family has moved for her husband’s job. She also teaches courses on effective parenting.
Heidi was motivated by Meghan’s first book, Bringing up Brits, which provides insights for parents raising children in British culture. When Heidi learned that Meghan was seeking a co- author on another book, she quickly offered her pen.
They interviewed more than 20 entrepreneurs who started companies outside their home countries and collaborate via Skype and e-mail to write the book.
Inspiring Global Entrepreneurs will reveal much about the thought process that leads people to start their own companies overseas, Heidi said.
The book has given the authors an opportunity to reflect on how their educational experiences prepared them to be international business owners and authors. Like Heidi, Meghan also views her R-MWC experience as life changing because it helped her develop confidence and a strong sense of self. “That has helped me achieve in my personal life and in my professional career as well. It is something I am passing down to my children and feel very proud of,” she said.