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# Dealing with Family (and Friends)

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Senior Manager
Joined: 23 Jan 2008
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Dealing with Family (and Friends) [#permalink]

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13 Mar 2008, 12:12
13
KUDOS
(Edited Topic to include "and friends") - K

Has anyone else had issues in describing to their family that they are doing b-school, regardless of how many uninformed insults are hurled? I've tried calmly explaining the whole thing to my own mother on a number of occasions, but to no avail. I have started calling her less often, as every time I speak to her she attempts to make some witty/insulting remark about the whole thing. Thing is, the remarks aren't all that witty - which is sad as she really tends to be brilliant and hilarious most of the time. She doesn't have any college degree, while I have BS/MS in engineering, and will go back for MBA. She seems to suggest that if I absolutely *MUST* go that the best choice would be to go to the cheapest part-time program available. Since, after all the whole thing is a waste and that way it will cost the least. It is as if she miraculously doesn't understand return on investment all of the sudden

I'm not really looking for advice on talking to my mother - large parts of the above rant was just to get it off my chest.
Am I alone in dealing with annoying/meddling family members in this process?
Intern
Joined: 11 Mar 2008
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13 Mar 2008, 12:35
You are not alone. When I first started the process my parents looked at me like I'd decided to join a cult, saying, "Why would you do something like that?" I even got a, "I don't understand. Would you get a degree out of it?" I also got a lot of "This doesn't sound like a very good idea. You know those guys from Enron had gone to business school."

Of course, my parents have no point, and maybe yours does. But in the end I'll regret if I don't go. Once they realized I was going through with it and they could either be with me or by the wayside, they started going along with it a little more (especially after they saw the gender ratios...).
Current Student
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13 Mar 2008, 12:49
If you aren't afraid of being vulnerable about it, offer her your goals/why MBA essay and ask for her feedback. Maybe reading it will give her confidence in your conviction. I daresay it may even strengthen the trust between you two.

Career goals were never something I sought to share with my parents. (I tend to think of them as old-fashioned, and their advice about as relevant today as disco hotpants and platform shoes. :D) But I surprised myself by sending my essays to my father. It wasn't to get useful feedback, but moreso for his benefit to understand the motivating forces that are driving me to give up a well-paying job with upward mobility, and uprooting myself in order to move to part of the world where I have no experience in... to pursue an MBA.

Your essays will inevitably be very personal. And it would be very difficult for anyone, especially a parent, to stomp on your career aspirations after reading such an exposition. If you aren't afraid to share, maybe this is the way to go. It's also much easier to have someone read a complete development of your thoughts on paper, instead of communicating by conversation where you risk being interrupted or having the subject derailed.
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13 Mar 2008, 12:51
Glad to hear I am not alone. As for dealing with my mother -thanks for the advice - but no thanks =) We don't want to open that can of worms.
GMAT Club Legend
Joined: 10 Apr 2007
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Location: Back in Chicago, IL
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13 Mar 2008, 13:46
My mother told me I had no shot at the schools I was applying to. She kept telling me to apply to Babson or some local school PT. My wife's mother and grandmother think its terrible that I am going to quit my job and go back to school, while she has to work to support us. They are very old school and think my wife who turns 28 shortly should be having babies now not supporting me as I go to school.

My mother now brags about my going to Kellogg. My dad was fairly supportive but I dont think he really believed I would pull it off. My father in-law thinks its awesome, he is a total blue-collar guy and I think he realizes had he been able to afford college and gone he woudl be much better off.
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Kellogg Class of 2010...still active and willing to help. However, I do not do profile reviews, don't offer predictions on chances and am far to busy to review essays, so save the energy of writing me a PM seeking help for these. If I don't respond to a PM that is not one of the previously mentioned trash can destined messages, please don't take it personally I get so many messages I have a hard to responding to most. The more interesting, compelling, or humorous you message the more likely I am to respond.
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Director
Joined: 20 Feb 2008
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Location: Texas
Schools: Kellogg Class of 2011
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13 Mar 2008, 14:22
I'm in a similar situation except my significant other is the problem and not my parents. They know that I've wanted to do this for years and fully support me, it's my girlfriend that is not as keen on the idea. Currently, she lives in another state, and if that was the only problem i'd probably say adios!, but we have a son together and she is planning on moving to be with me very soon. I really have no idea how this will affect our relationship, but suffice to say, probably not good. She never went to college and she would be perfectly content just to be a mother and work part time. She lacks the quality that burns so strongly in all of us, and that is ambition. No one here could go through the year long process and 2 years of business school without it. Some people don't understand.

With that being said, I have no idea how things are going to be by the time I matriculate somewhere. But you know what really bugs me about her is she tried to veto Chicago if i got into Kellogg or Chicago. I told her she must have lost her mind!!! That is exactly where I AM going if I get into either of those schools.
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13 Mar 2008, 14:25
Funny, my wife and her family (who immigrated to the US about 7 years ago) all think my going to school is a brilliant idea. My family (lived in the US for 150 years) think I am a fool.=) Go America~
GMAT Club Legend
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13 Mar 2008, 14:33
My parents both have advanced degrees too, but since my mother is a teacher and my father is a retired school administrator they didnt understand the importance of the name. My uncle who was an IB had to explain to my mother he wouldnt even consider hiring someone from outside of half a dozen schools...name means everything.

My wife has been amazingly supportive about the whole thing. She was great, she dealt with my obsession with applying (and this site), visited schools, and everything I could ask of her. I think after DAK she is more excited about the whole thing than I am...she met a ton of other women in the same position as her and really got along with them. She is probably going to have more fun than I will.

JB, your gf will probably love Evanston and Kellogg if you end up there. The JV group is super supportive and very tight knit. Everyone lives in a very tight area and the wives seem to be very involved in the school and with each other. Much more so than any other school I visited or researched, well Tuck is very close but there are a lot less for significant others to do for jobs and fun up there.
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Kellogg Class of 2010...still active and willing to help. However, I do not do profile reviews, don't offer predictions on chances and am far to busy to review essays, so save the energy of writing me a PM seeking help for these. If I don't respond to a PM that is not one of the previously mentioned trash can destined messages, please don't take it personally I get so many messages I have a hard to responding to most. The more interesting, compelling, or humorous you message the more likely I am to respond.
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Director
Joined: 20 Feb 2008
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Schools: Kellogg Class of 2011
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13 Mar 2008, 14:41
It's not Chicago, Evanston or anywhere specific for those reasons, it's the cold first and foremost. She's trying to veto anywhere above a line that is at about the 33rd parallel. I couldn't even go to Emory or McCombs if that's the case! Most of the best schools are in the frozen north!
Senior Manager
Joined: 23 Jan 2008
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13 Mar 2008, 14:56
Senior Manager
Joined: 12 Aug 2007
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13 Mar 2008, 14:57
My mom was freaked about finding me a husband if i do a MBA (am an Indian) and whether we can afford it. I explained the whole financial aid thingie. She kinda realized i wasnt about to give up and finally let me do my thing.
GMAT Club Legend
Joined: 10 Apr 2007
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13 Mar 2008, 15:50
toDoorNot wrote:
My mom was freaked about finding me a husband if i do a MBA (am an Indian) and whether we can afford it. I explained the whole financial aid thingie. She kinda realized i wasnt about to give up and finally let me do my thing.

Just tell your mom there are lots of single guys at B-school who will be making very good livings in a few years.
_________________

Kellogg Class of 2010...still active and willing to help. However, I do not do profile reviews, don't offer predictions on chances and am far to busy to review essays, so save the energy of writing me a PM seeking help for these. If I don't respond to a PM that is not one of the previously mentioned trash can destined messages, please don't take it personally I get so many messages I have a hard to responding to most. The more interesting, compelling, or humorous you message the more likely I am to respond.
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GMAT Club Legend
Status: Um... what do you want to know?
Joined: 04 Jun 2007
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Location: SF, CA, USA
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13 Mar 2008, 16:00
I guess I'm one of the lucky ones. My mom has been nothing but supportive in my quest, telling me to "relax" and "what's destined to happen will happen, no need to stress about it." Maybe she had the same crystal ball that NC gazed into?

My dad has an MBA and always thought I should get an MBA, so no problem with him either.

I think pretty much all of the people around me have been supportive, especially after I explain my reasoning to them. My only advice to those who have loved ones presenting resistance is to just go and do what your heart tells you to do. Life's too short to live for someone else.
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Director
Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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13 Mar 2008, 16:13
Both my parents have no qualifications. They started work at 15. However they live in a different country to me so havent been able to support or disapprove. When i told them my plans, they just said its up to you! When i told them one of the places i was applying to is HKUST, they started rooting for me to go there because of family connections. But they still said it was up to me where i went because i`m paying for it :D
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13 Mar 2008, 16:13
Luckily, my parents stopped having any say in those kinds of decisions long ago. They trust I know what I am doing and am just happy to see how excited I am. Of course, the fact that I long outstripped them in income (they are both public school teachers) has something to do with it.
Senior Manager
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13 Mar 2008, 16:16
Yeah, I am hoping she will "fall in line" as it will make life much easier. But, since I've been living on my own since i graduated high school, she hasn't got much (ok, ANY) say in the matter =)
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13 Mar 2008, 16:16
Spoke to my mom recently- and she wants me to REAPPLY if I dont get into W or K (which most probably I wont anyways). She knows just a few schools (HSWK) and has not heard of either Michigan or Duke. And she recently saw the FT rankings which were splashed across all the newspapers in India as ISB was ranked #20 and to think that Ross is #26 did not help either. Just amused...but then I am obviously not going through this hellish process again...

On a side note: the % salary increase from one of the top Indian b-schools is ridiculous- about 100-200%, if not more. So a lot of my family who are not very well aware of the reality, expect the same here...if only it were true...
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13 Mar 2008, 16:30
I've been really lucky so far. My parents are the blue collar (think John Mellancamp and a beat-up chevy truck in the background) and they have always pushed my siblings and I to get as much education as possible and to see the world vs the living the "tough" life. In-laws are immigrants and all for me going back for more education (as long as we don't put having kids on hold for too long )
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13 Mar 2008, 17:25
this is a gr8 thread and its gr8 to listen to all the different ways people think bout their families. My family had been very supportive. My mom doesent have an idea bout the MBA but she is just happy that m goin to get another degree. She has always been very keen on me gettin education n she will not stop until I get that Dr. title in front of my name. My wife has been ultra supportive but she has no idea bout how busy m gonna get in school. I sometimes tell her bout it n I sometimes let her read bout it n she gets worried a little but she is cool. I know she will get really mad once she has to actually go thru it esp with her pregnancy. Here's hoping we all come out intact with our families after all this MBA thing n I hope we r all still on this gmatclub to post bout it all.
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13 Mar 2008, 17:32
I have not been so lucky. My father was against me going to law school...I went...he was right. I don't regret going because it was the right choice at the time, but I ended up hating my work. Now, I am going to get an MBA, which is a waste in his mind. It has been very tough to deal with.

In response to others, the ROI argument does not always apply. I cannot know whether I will make more money (probably similar money) and I cannot be sure that I will like my job more (I just started a new job in my effort to get OUT of my last position). How do you justify going to school when you can't make those arguments?
Re: Dealing with Family   [#permalink] 13 Mar 2008, 17:32

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