If I could distill the Wellesley Effect into one word, it would be "confidence." A Wellesley corridor-mate and I both took several decades away from the workplace to raise children. When she was widowed early and her children grown, she could no longer ignore her life-long dream of being a counselor. So at age 60 she applied to university, was accepted, and reverted to student-mode until she earned a master's degree. Then she hung a shingle and started a private practice as a therapist. That was eight years ago, and her practice is flourishing. Similarly, at age 50 I took the plunge and tried my hand at freelance writing -- a career-choice I had flirted with in my mind for decades. I had held several office jobs (one as a Wellesley career counselor) before motherhood, but the idea of being my own boss appealed to me. I learned to cope with the many rejection letters in my inbox. Now, after 100 published features, I can credit the Wellesley Effect. Both my classmate and I had been given that most precious of gifts by attending an all-female college with the motto "women who will;" it was the gift of confidence in our abilities, confidence to start anew and stay the course when others might be sliding towards retirement.
Wellesley instills the confidence to embark on a new career later in life.