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Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water

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Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water [#permalink] New post 17 Aug 2008, 18:53
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It seems a consensus on this board that the majority of jobs post-MBA are not family friendly. I would greatly appreciate some assistance in thinking through some coming decisions for applications. I have decided that IB, MC, and VE/PC (even if the switch w/o experience was even possible) is likely to create so much stress on the family life that I do not believe the benefits will outweight the burden in my situation. I look at General Management, and it appears to be more in line with what I would like to do. Now I realize, that 90% of my decision is very personal, and I do not expect someone to come in and make the decision for me. What I am looking for is additional questions, perspectives, and in general, other ideas, that I may not have considered which could be very helpful in analyzing my current situation and just what is available post-MBA. At this point in my search, I'm sure I don't have a completely accurate perspective of what is available post-MBA. It is horribly difficult to attempt to make a decision with the little information I currently possess that will set me on a path that I cannot see fully at this point. Personal considerations:

1) Law school debt + MBA Debt will require a substantial income in order to pay off those loans and have the quality of life I want to give my family.
2) Family. I want to be able to spend as much time with my family as possible. This makes me very torn because I believe that when I set out to do something, I want to do/be the very best. This is why I've always gone above and beyond in the things I do. EC's during UG, Law school. Volunteering for the Chamber of Commerce. Like everyone else on here, I do not settle for mediocrity. I see value in being there to coach a baseball team, or be that dad that takes my daughter to gymnastics practice. I also see the value of setting and example to my children that you go for your dreams and you work like mad to make those dreams become reality. It's great to teach your kids that there is truly nothing impossible for them.
3) Friends are in Oklahoma. I realize I can always make new friends and do quite easily, but no matter how you look at it, when you make friends that you are very close to, it's not easy to leave those friends and go to a new place regardless of how awesome the opportunity is.
4) How much more "upside" is there to a top MBA? (This question implies that there IS more upside.) I have looked at attending the University of Oklahoma and because I'm really interested in General Management, I've already ruled out the main career choices that require the top-tier MBA programs. You're not going to go to a BBB with an OU MBA, and you're not going to get hired by Bain or McKinsey (technically possible, but I wouldn't bet anything of value on it happening). Since I've already decided that working for one of the Consulting groups is not #1 on my list of desired careers, I probably can get a job I would enjoy with an OU MBA, but then there's falling into the stereotype of "just a guy that got a regional law degree and regional MBA". The screening companies count on of the top b-schools isn't done at OU. There are outstanding students at OU and these outstanding students could do just as great of a job as students at top schools, but the outstanding students at OU have to work so much harder to show just how outstanding they are. Employers don't give the student the benefit of the doubt such as "_____ got into Wharton, so we know she's got to be one of the best." It's more like "_______ went to OU. It's a good school. What makes this person special that we should take a look at her?" It's not a foot in the door, it's more of at least having the opportunity to ring the door bell and make a first (and maybe last/only) impression.

I guess I could strip my questions/concerns down to the following question: If I do apply to a top b-school, attend, and graduate, am I going to be disappointed with the number of opportunities for jobs that I would like and that fit what I want for my family? Will I have to sacrifice time spent with family to take a job that will pay what I need in order to pay loans and support my family in other ways?

These are not simple questions, and I believe it is nearly impossible for someone to be able to state one simple answer to the questions and concerns I have posed because I'm not able to fully communicate everything about my life that I must consider. What I am asking for is different perspectives. What I am not asking for is "Do this because it's better to make a ton of money and let your kids go to the best schools. They'll understand when they're older." Yes, I know they'll understand, but I've met some people, one in particular, that never did forgive his father for never being home. When I say never, I mean never. I've actually never met his dad. I was at his house for a 4th of July party and his dad was flying to Brazil for business. The guy was 22 when I met him, and he said he could count on one hand the number of birthday parties his dad actually attended for him, and as for Christmas, it was about 50% chance he'd actually be at home on Christmas. He chose work first, but the guy's house and material possesions are unbelievable. He lives in the Pacific Palisades.

I really appreciate anyone that gets through this long post. I hope any discussion this generates will be beneficial to me and to others.
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Re: Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2008, 07:20
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I have no experience in the matter but my thoughts on this:

Make the big consulting/IB salary for 2 years, pay off your loans, and then get into GM where the hours are bearable. Therefore you have your degree paid for, you have a top MBA, and you have a GM job. 2 years of stress on your family life shouldn't be too bad if you have a supporting wife and she understands its only for 2 years.
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Re: Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2008, 07:34
That's a great idea. I think it would definitely work (provided I could land one of the coveted IB jobs of course). My only hesitation with that is she's already endured 4 years of part-time law school where she saw me hardly at all. No kids the first 2.5 years of law school which helped, but she said she felt like a widow most of the year and then the 2 weeks of finals came and she never saw me so she really did feel like a widow then. It would be hard for me to ask that of her for another 4 years (2 in school and 2 out of school).

It also makes sense that the GM jobs would like me to have that IB experience if I can get it. If we lived frugally, I think an IB job could pay off every single education loan we have in about 2 -3 years, or at least make them manageable after 2 years so the GM salary would go much further. Plus, if we didn't live like we had tons of money, the pay cut from IB to GM wouldn't sting as badly.

terp - that's a great idea.
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Re: Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2008, 08:21
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I think it's a situation a lot of people are faced with. Some of the analysts and summer analysts (college-level folks) I worked with over the summer piled up over $100k of debt in college (one person had $120k after just 3 years!). Most of them will eventually go on to business school and tack on another $100k or more. $100k here, $100k there and pretty soon your talking about real money.

I think they key points you hit on will be important to most people, to varying degrees. You want to be able to spend time with your family. You want to make enough money so that you can pay down your loans and provide your family with a good quality of live.

I think the strategy that terp26 suggested is very common and very sound. It's not surprise that big-time consulting and banking are popular with MBA students year-after-year; students each year are faced with many of the same questions jallenmorris is contemplating (stakes are higher when you have a family to think about). A lot of people decide that the best course of action is to put their noses to the grindstone for 2-3 years, pay down debt and juice their career tracks by adding a blue-chip name to their resumes.

For jallenmorris, IB for 2 years will certainly allow for the quickest repayment of debt (assuming that the economy recovers at some point here); however with your interest in transitioning to GM soon afterward, consulting seems to be a lot better fit. The pipeline from a top consulting firm into GM is free-flowing and well-traveled; they expect that some portion of people will want to leave after 2-3 years, and big corporations are ready to accept people at an elevated level. Pay isn't quite as high in consulting as it is in banking during a normal year, but with tuition reimbursement it's still pretty good; good enough to make a serious dent in loans and to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Of course, travel can be tough on a family, but might be more bearable if you plan for a goal in advance.

If you decide to build a career in consulting or banking, your family life will definitely suffer. If you do it as part of a five-year plan (2 years of b-school and 2-3 years of really hard work), you can really give yourself and your family a lot of options in life. With a reduced the school loan burden, pumped up resume and accelerated career track, you'll really have a lot of doors open to you a few years out of school.
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Re: Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2008, 09:14
riverripper wrote:
If you look at what some of the big name GM companies pay its in the low 100s, vs 120ish for consulting so its not the hugest of difference. Yes the sign on bonuses may not be as large and year end bonuses at both GM and consulting will be far less than IB...depending on who you work for GM and MC bonuses could be similar. However, GM and marketing jobs are commonly located in areas where the cost of living is far far less. So a 100k salary in a medium sized city in the midwest is definitely going to go a lot further than 120k+ in NYC, Boston, SF, Chicago, LA etc.


When considering the above statement, please make sure you look at the whole track - 5 years, 10 years out rather than just starting salaries. This will vary wildly among GM and Marketing positions, and even Consulting positions outside of M/B/B. $20,000 and cost of living differentials are both peanuts if you have the potential to be making $500K-$1M within 5-10 years. Everyone may not want or need that compensation level, but the career track is certainly something to consider if that is what you desire down the line.

Where will you be in your career 3-5 years after a top consulting job? What level will you exit to industry at after 3 years at McKinsey? Where will you be 3 years out if you decide to hop right into a GM role? Please consider all of these things. Hint: People don't join McKinsey because they love $120K/year and a brutal travel schedule.
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Re: Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2008, 09:18
riverripper wrote:
How much do you owe now...will your wife be working while you are in school. If you owe 100k and your wife wont be working then you are talking 250k work of loans which is A LOT.

Without stating publicly exactly how much I owe, lets say it will be in the A LOT category. I have no problem living on next to nothing. We're essentially doing that now. It's tough, but it's not unbearable. We don't (or want to) dine at Cut. The Hollywood club scene is not enticing. I'm a simple grill my own steak kind of guy. I have no doubt that with an IB job, I could have zero school debt after 2 -3 years. Even if after 2 years I did have some debt, it would ne so small that I wouldn't think twice about it. I've done the math and if I can make $120k a year, even in a large city with higher cost of living, I'll be able to pay all bills and live comfortably. Not much margin for error, but comfortably.

riverripper wrote:
GM and Marketing areas hours are going to be more like lawyer hours (judging by people I know on both sides)....There are a lot more options than you probably realize, many of them just are very uncommon on a few percent of students choose to go for them a year.


In a prior thread pelihu stated that he liked the idea of working mad hours, but at least being in the same city each night and in his own bed (when not working all night). I like that too. I don't like the idea of just not being at home like MC would require. If the work like crazy options works out, then I would have to kill myself to get an IB job. Scary thing is, what will the economy be like in 2 years? There are many things that must go well to get an IB internship, then an offer. 1) Get accepted to great school with good IB placement. 2) Network like crazy to get IB internship 3) Impress the IB so I get a job offer 4) If no job offer, network like crazy 2nd year to get job with IB post-MBA. 5) Handle the stress and all that goes with an IB job for 2 -3 years. 6) Leave IB for a more family-friendly job and reintroduce myself to my family.

I am not scared to do the work, I just don't want to be debt free and single with Child Support payments.

riverripper wrote:
You will make more friends than you can imagine as soon as you arrive at school. I have been here for only two weeks and trust me we have met more great people than we thought we would during the two whole years. Talking to alums everyone says they made their closest friends during their MBA, much more so than even undergrad. Based on my immediate experiences, your wife will also find her fit and if you go to the right school for the two you, she will love it as much as you. I actually think my wife is having more fun than I am at this point.

I think this too. And it's not like my friends here in Oklahoma are going to never speak to us again.
riverripper wrote:
Dont be so sure about not needing a top tier MBA in some of the GM level positions. Judging by what I am looking at the top companies in their fields hire relatively few new fulltime MBAs compared to medium size banks and consulting companies. Outside of some mega companies like GE they dont bring many in. If you look at where they recruit and hire its they still only at top schools and top regional schools (McCombs, UNC, Emory etc.)

What I mean by GM and the regional MBA is not for a huge company. I"m talking about Devon Energy here in OKC, or Chesapeake Energy also in OKC. Or OG&E (power company for Oklahoma), or any number of other smaller energy/oil companies here. If I go regional here, I would even love to work for the new NBA team. Some would say I would have to set my sights lower, and I agree with that to a certain extent, but I characterize it more as setting my sights differently rather than lower. Sure, I wouldn't know if I could get the IB jobs, or MC or all the other very highly competitive jobs, but in the end it would have been my choice to not try for them. I have to decide if telling myself it was my choice will keep me from resenting the fact that I never did actually try.

riverripper wrote:
In my opinion only a few things would really work for you. 1. FT to a top school. 2. FT to a top 10-20 but full or significant ride 3. PT especially if your company pays...maybe moving towards one of the big name programs like Chicago or Kellogg either doing weekends or getting a job in that area.

A full ride from Ross or Duke might make more sense to you than paying your way to Kellogg or Wharton.

I agree a full-ride to a top 10-20 would certainly make it easier. My wife will not be working. She's a teacher with 3 years of experience and now designs, sews, and sells girls clothing from newborn to about 7 years old. We've looked at her potential income as a teacher and it hardly offsets the price we'd pay for quality childcare in a big city. There is a lot of value in her being the one to raise our kids with our values. Especially considering the income would be very small after we took out childcare expenses. We've thought about homeschooling until like 3rd or 4th grade since she is a teacher. Better than most public schools, but cheaper than quality private.

riverripper wrote:
If you look at what some of the big name GM companies pay its in the low 100s, vs 120ish for consulting so its not the hugest of difference. Yes the sign on bonuses may not be as large and year end bonuses at both GM and consulting will be far less than IB...depending on who you work for GM and MC bonuses could be similar. However, GM and marketing jobs are commonly located in areas where the cost of living is far far less. So a 100k salary in a medium sized city in the midwest is definitely going to go a lot further than 120k+ in NYC, Boston, SF, Chicago, LA etc.

Just make sure you lay your cards on the table with your wife and let her have her vote. Remember its not just about making tons of money its about enjoying what you do...if you hate what you do now then that will cause just as many problems as money being a little tight because you went to school and started a job that you absolutely love.


We are definitely doing that. It's not been an easy process, but it's been one that has helped us grow as a couple. I discussed with her terp26's idea of doing I-banking out of school for a few years and living like paupers in order to be debt free with a 5-year plan. She liked the idea of debt-free, she didn't like the idea of 80-90 hour weeks.

As for cost of living, I've found some online calculators. I found that Boston compared to Oklahoma City is about 55% higher (meaning $100k in OKC = $155k in Boston). I'm sure NYC, Chicago, LA, SF are not going to be far off.

What we'd do for GM is live on the salary using it to pay all bills + monthly loan debt and use bonuses to pay down debt. We woudn't need to be debt free, just make it where it was more manageable and I could take a lower pay job if necessary.
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Re: Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2008, 09:33
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A friend of mine who finished his MBA from Chicago GSB in 2007 has been working at McKinsey in NYC for local customers only. He/his wife had twins in the fall of 2007 and he negotiated for something with no (or absolute minimal) travel so he could spend more time with the kids. He still worked long hours (8a-9p) but came home at night. Not sure how easy that is to do, not sure what impact it has on salary but just throwing it out there as another idea to explore...

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Re: Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2008, 09:41
That would probably be a good idea to try it if I was already employed with them and had to go negotiate with my boss or leave, but from a year before ever setting foot on a b-school campus, I don't think it's a solid plan for me. I'm more likely to work the 6a - 7pm. I'm ready to do what I have to do, but I don't want to just blindly run into something and then think of the consequences later. I want this very badly, but I must make a wise decision or I could regret it for the rest of my life. Also, saying your friend is likely the expection that proves the rule is an understatement.

ac8706 wrote:
A friend of mine who finished his MBA from Chicago GSB in 2007 has been working at McKinsey in NYC for local customers only. He/his wife had twins in the fall of 2007 and he negotiated for something with no (or absolute minimal) travel so he could spend more time with the kids. He still worked long hours (8a-9p) but came home at night. Not sure how easy that is to do, not sure what impact it has on salary but just throwing it out there as another idea to explore...

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Re: Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2008, 09:48
good point - just making sure the idea was out there :)

jallenmorris wrote:
That would probably be a good idea to try it if I was already employed with them and had to go negotiate with my boss or leave, but from a year before ever setting foot on a b-school campus, I don't think it's a solid plan for me. I'm more likely to work the 6a - 7pm. I'm ready to do what I have to do, but I don't want to just blindly run into something and then think of the consequences later. I want this very badly, but I must make a wise decision or I could regret it for the rest of my life. Also, saying your friend is likely the expection that proves the rule is an understatement.

ac8706 wrote:
A friend of mine who finished his MBA from Chicago GSB in 2007 has been working at McKinsey in NYC for local customers only. He/his wife had twins in the fall of 2007 and he negotiated for something with no (or absolute minimal) travel so he could spend more time with the kids. He still worked long hours (8a-9p) but came home at night. Not sure how easy that is to do, not sure what impact it has on salary but just throwing it out there as another idea to explore...

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Re: Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2008, 10:10
jallenmorris wrote:
That would probably be a good idea to try it if I was already employed with them and had to go negotiate with my boss or leave, but from a year before ever setting foot on a b-school campus, I don't think it's a solid plan for me. I'm more likely to work the 6a - 7pm. I'm ready to do what I have to do, but I don't want to just blindly run into something and then think of the consequences later. I want this very badly, but I must make a wise decision or I could regret it for the rest of my life. Also, saying your friend is likely the expection that proves the rule is an understatement.


6am - 7pm sounds like Sales & Trading hours to me. From the perspective of family life, you'll be at home every night, and you'll rarely work weekends. Not an unreasonable workload for compensation levels roughly equal to investment banking. Generally, the biggest downside of the S&T career path is the risk involved. It's easy to lose your job if you don't perform in S&T, although quick promotions and fat bonuses are also common for those that do well. This differs from IB, where if you keep your head down and work hard, you're reasonably safe for at least 3-4 years through the associate levels (and perhaps 6-7 years through the VP years). Of course, every now and then the economy takes a bite out of investment banking (like right now) and sends people to the bread lines in droves.

That set-up with McKinsey sounds like a real rarity - they are known to be mad travelers and their consultants jump from one assignment to the next in rapid succession (no more than 6 weeks I think). That's even more challenging than traveling to the same city over a longer period of time, because in that case you can at least develop a routine. I do think that Bain claims to ask their consultants to travel less - perhaps only 1-2 days per week. I'm definitely planning to ask my friends when I get back to school what their experiences were like. I'm surprised that nobody here at GMATclub has posted about summer experiences as consultants.
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Re: Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2008, 10:26
Sometimes I get very frustrated with my wife because I feel like i'm bending over backwards to make it where she can be the stay at home mom that we both want her to be. Sometimes what she says seems simply like lip service. "I know you need to make all the money to pay all the bills if I'm going to stay home." And then she says "I don't want you gone at night and I want you home earlier than 7 pm so you'll actually have time to spend with the kids." It's like she thinks I'm looking for any chance to stay away. She wants to have the benefit of being at home with the kids but doesn't want to make the sacrifices it will take. And I mean SACRIFICES that it will take. The benefits are worth all the hassle in my eyes (I realize it's not like that for some, and in NO WAY am I judging those that choose daycare. I grew up in day care while my mom and dad worked and I turned out great! :lol:).

Has anyone else had to deal with a spouse that seemed to have unrealistic expectations? I'm not going to be able to work 40-45 hours / week and give my family the life I want to give them. I don't want to be focused on material things, but to an extent you do have to buy food and shelter!
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Re: Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2008, 11:09
It is hard these days for lots of family to have the life they aspire to with only one income. It really depends what you want to do. I mean saving for retirement and college, all while trying to provide the life you want for your kids is tough. Obviously if you want to spend the time with your family it may negatively affect your career growth or at least your earning power because of the careers you will choose.

Thankfully my wife wants to have a career...I think its much more common these days for college educated women to want to have a career. I would bet when we have kids she will take a year off or so then we will hire a nanny. We may choose to have kids right after graduation because we will be used to having one income. Life is super expensive these days if you want the american dream (wife and kids, w/ a house, cars, a dog, vacations, and all the other trappings).

I hate to be judgemental about the idea of home schooling but based on the kids I know growing up and guys I worked with who home schooled their kids...you are much better off having your kids go to school. If you have a decent income you can live in a town where the education system is good, the houses will be more expensive but its cheaper than spending 50k a year for private school for two kids. The home schooled children I knew seemed lacked some social skills or were from super religious families which made for some huge culture shock come high school or college. One of my former co-workers daughters dropped out of college because she couldnt handle it.

Once your kids are school age then I dont see the point in having a stay at home mom, especially if your wife was a teacher the hours for that match with the kids perfectly. My wife's mother was a stay at home mom until they were out of elementary school and she said it got boring cleaning and cooking all day to fill up your time. My mother was a teacher and I really dont remember her not being around much. I mean she was around every weekend, holiday, and all summer...not many careers allow that and still pay decent. In my opinion these days people want the mothers and fathers to both be involved, its not like 50 years ago where the man's just supposed to pay the bills and punish the kids. When I do have kids I want to be involved in their lives, I dont want to have to work 90 hours a week to bring home an income large enough so that my wife doesnt have to work at all.
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Re: Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2008, 11:33
Great thread here. If you aren't gunning for the HUGE comp package (and the hours/travel associated with it) I think it is a very good idea to aim for a lower-tier (defined subjectively of course) school where you can get a scholarship. Alternatively, if you want the expensive top-flight MBA and want to work it off quickly, definitely look into living/working in Houston--I know you can save a lot of $$$ living there and the opportunities are plentiful.

I'm constantly thinking over how I can best balance my career aspirations w/ how I want my family life to be. One thing I've learned at my current firm is that if you're the boss, you get to decide how much time to spend w/ your family. Maybe you'll have just as much if not more demands on your time at work, but the key is that you have the ultimate freedom to decide. That is how I'm hoping to end up but in my industry you have to put in some solid time to get to that point, unless you're a super-star.
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Re: Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2008, 11:43
jallenmorris wrote:
Sometimes I get very frustrated with my wife because I feel like i'm bending over backwards to make it where she can be the stay at home mom that we both want her to be. Sometimes what she says seems simply like lip service. "I know you need to make all the money to pay all the bills if I'm going to stay home." And then she says "I don't want you gone at night and I want you home earlier than 7 pm so you'll actually have time to spend with the kids." It's like she thinks I'm looking for any chance to stay away. She wants to have the benefit of being at home with the kids but doesn't want to make the sacrifices it will take. And I mean SACRIFICES that it will take. The benefits are worth all the hassle in my eyes (I realize it's not like that for some, and in NO WAY am I judging those that choose daycare. I grew up in day care while my mom and dad worked and I turned out great! :lol:).

Has anyone else had to deal with a spouse that seemed to have unrealistic expectations? I'm not going to be able to work 40-45 hours / week and give my family the life I want to give them. I don't want to be focused on material things, but to an extent you do have to buy food and shelter!


I can't say I'm in the exact same situation as you, but I have had the same debate with myself and my wife over what career path I should pursue following my MBA. I'm doing a 1-year program, in Europe, as an American, so I'm operating under a whole different set of parameters than you are. My wife works full-time and will only take time off from work after our next kid.

I left the Army in order to escape the deployments and being away from my family (we have a 2-year old and plan another soon), but it seems all the "awesome" and lucrative jobs are the ones in which you really "work for the money", i.e. sacrifice your personal and family life for the firm. I totally understand the logic here. It's all business. But, I didn't leave the Army in order to go into another career which keeps me away from my family the majority of the time. Then again, like others have said here, if you (AND YOUR FAMILY) can "suck it up" for 2-3 years while doing an IB or MC stint, then you can almost guarantee a good future for your family in terms of opportunity and quality of life. It sounds good and perhaps it does work out, but you only really know until you're actually going through it. And then again, my wife always tells me the money doesn't matter! I happen to agree with her in principle....

I'm not sure if you feel the same way I do, but I think the reason why I debate this issue so much is due to the idea of wasted potential. We all know we can achieve "greatness" when we put 110% effort into any endeavor. Whether or not I'm wasting my potential is actually true (that's another debate!), but I believe that it is often hard to settle for a career option that pays less, when we think we can be quite successful (and also fulfilled) in another career that pays more. Also, we often struggle with the idea of settling for less than the best, i.e. going to a non-top 10 MBA or god forbid a regional school!!!

Ultimately, it comes down to circumstance. You and I could have wives that don't care about us pursuing the "demanding" career routes post-MBA, and that would change each of our destinies. The hard thing to accept (maybe not so hard) is that is simply not the present case, and so we are "forced" to choose careers that offer the best compromise between family time and still offer good pay and professional development. When I say "forced", I don't mean that in a negative sense. It is what it is. Our environment often pushes us down certain paths, and sometimes we may question the outcome at the end of said path. Alright, I need to stop getting too philosophical here!!!

This has become a complete stream of consciousness, and I can't even remember the point I was trying to make. Or, did I even have a point to begin with?!

Well, I can say though, that you're not alone!!!
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Re: Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2008, 12:27
I'll write my response in the same way we all think when reading them. We read a little and think about it. I'll intersperse your post with my own thoughts on what you say. What I think is in red.

riverripper wrote:
It is hard these days for lots of family to have the life they aspire to with only one income. People have unrealistic expectations. I could think we could live on one income, but then go out and buy a brand new car and eat out everyday at lunch and then wonder why my bank account goes red at the end of every month! My wife and I have been realistic with what we do with the income we do have. Plus, I'm working full time while also doing some legal work on the side as well as programming websites for 2nd (or 3rd?) income.It really depends what you want to do. I mean saving for retirement and college Call me horrible, but I doubt that I'll pay for my kid's entire college. I believe you cherish the things you get on your own. I would like to have the money to pay for their college, but if that's the case, what we plan on doing is saying "We have $X towards your school. You can get scholarships, loans, whatever. When you're done, if we have $200k for your school and you got a full ride, but it would have cost $200k to go, you have $200k cash in your pocket. If you got $200k in loans, you're loans are paid off. Or any scenario in between. The point is they get a degree, they then get the money. If they want to take 6 years to get it, that's fine. But I'm only going to reimburse them for 4 (or 5 if they earn a degree that typically takes 5 like engineering), all while trying to provide the life you want for your kids is tough. Obviously if you want to spend the time with your family it may negatively affect your career growth or at least your earning power because of the careers you will choose.Amen!

Thankfully my wife wants to have a careermine does want a career too, but she's ready to be at home for the kids until school age and then may go back to work, or something else if her business takes off....I think its much more common these days for college educated women to want to have a career. I would bet when we have kids she will take a year off or so then we will hire a nanny. We may choose to have kids right after graduation because we will be used to having one income. Life is super expensive these days if you want the american dream Far too many people want what they won't work to attain and if they do attain it from the work, they resent it because the sacrifices they had to make in order to get it. This is human nature and I think we're not new to the game.(wife and kids, w/ a house, cars, a dog, vacationswhats this? Will we even be able to say the word once we're in our post-mba careers?, and all the other trappings).

I hate to be judgemental about the idea of home schooling but based on the kids I know growing up and guys I worked with who home schooled their kids...you are much better off having your kids go to school. I've seen the stereotypical homeschool kids too. And while our decision is only slightly based on faith and religion, it's mainly that we believe my wife can provide a better foundation for learning than the majority of school in America. There are many more options for homeschoolers now than there were in the past. We've met people that homeschool their kids that we want nothing to do with. We've met others that homeschool and are very normal. Parents that have unsocial homeschool children don't understand what is truly an education. Education is not simply the books that teach kids 1+1=2 and apple begins with A. For the first 2 or 3 years, preschool to about 2nd grade, the 95% of what the kids learn is social interaction. My wife is the type that will either seek out the social interraction or start groups for other parents doing homeschool so the kids can get the social interraction. No one wants to raise kids that can't hack it in reality, but too many parents don't have a broad view of what education their kids really need. Learning at the age of 5 that it's not nice to hit or bite is actually more important than learning that a^2 + b^2 = c^2 at the age of 5. If you have a decent income you can live in a town where the education system is good, the houses will be more expensive but its cheaper than spending 50k a year for private school for two kids. The home schooled children I knew seemed lacked some social skills or were from super religious families which made for some huge culture shock come high school or college. We are Christians, but frankly, there are many "Christians" that embarrass me to death. This is not the motivation for us to homeschool. It's purely about my daughter's personality and her ability to learn in an effective manner. If we homeschool, we probably won't homeschool beyond 4th or 5th grade at the oldest. One of my former co-workers daughters dropped out of college because she couldnt handle it. Homeschooling is not bad. Bad homeschooling is bad. Make sense? Probably not, i'm going on stream of consciousness too.

Once your kids are school age then I dont see the point in having a stay at home mom, especially if your wife was a teacher the hours for that match with the kids perfectly. We think this too. We'll constantly assess what is right. Our kids' development may change to where being in school is the best for them. Too many people that homeschool think that what they decided for their kid when their kid was 6 is the same thing their kid needs when the kid is 12. This isn't true! Kids change so much from 6 to 7 let alone 6 to 12. You have to constantly asses what the kid needs and the parent's ability to provide that in a school setting. Too many of them view sending their kids "to" school as a failure once they've started homeschooling and that's just not true. If people claim it's a failure because you saw what your child needed and realized the best place was in a school and not at homeschool, that person is a moron. Keep doing the best for your child and don't listen to anyone else. My wife's mother was a stay at home mom until they were out of elementary school and she said it got boring cleaning and cooking all day to fill up your time. I don't expect her to be the wife that doesn't need a watch because there's a clock on the oven. In fact she's starting a business that I would be so happy to help her build. She's a very talented children's clothing designer and I would even let her hire met post-MBA if her business started taking off. My mother was a teacher so was mine, and my grandmother, and my grandmother's sister. Any wonder I married one too?and I really dont remember her not being around much. I mean she was around every weekend, holiday, and all summer...not many careers allow that and still pay decent. Since when did teachers start getting decent pay? lol. In my opinion these days people want the mothers and fathers to both be involved, its not like 50 years ago where the man's just supposed to pay the bills and punish the kids. When I do have kids I want to be involved in their lives, I dont want to have to work 90 hours a week to bring home an income large enough so that my wife doesnt have to work at all.I agree. This is one reason I'm considering doing the demanding job for 2 - 3 years so that I can take a lot lower salary in a job that offers the intangible benefits of work schedule and family-friendliness.

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Re: Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2008, 13:36
I don't know why you guys are psyching yourselves out like this...

Six years ago, I had a general idea of where I wanted my life and career to be. Now, where I am, and what I do, is about 60% of what I anticipated - for the most part, I over achieved my ambitions. And if there was one thing I learned, its that nothing went EXACTLY as planned.

With that said, I don't know how you guys can theorize on how your work schedule, jobs, etc. will be like 3 years from now. I mean, most of us haven't even applied yet! Business school might change our minds about career options several times through.

On another note, I don't know where people here get the idea that general management would not be as demanding as consulting or IB. Where are you getting your information from? We live in a global economy... GM is not about managing your Mom and Pop shop.

I have a general idea of where I want to be 1, 5, and 10 years from now. But there is no way I can tell which city, company, sector, etc. I'll end up. I have lived in 5 countries in the last 10 years, moved 8 times in the last 7 years, changed 2 jobs, made money in the stock market, lost money in the stock market, flipped a house, and now I might get engaged. I HOPE I get into my top choice business school next year, and for that, the only things I can control are my essays and GMAT scores. The rest is left to the gods!
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Re: Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2008, 13:42
My basis for saying GM is not as demanding as IB or MC is from my conversation this afteroon with a woman that works in the Kellogg Career Management Center. She took about 5 minutes and answered my questions and told me that GM is definitely not as demanding as I-Banking. MC's do spend a lot of time on the road, some firms and locations more than others. That GM is definitely the most family friendly of them all. She took 5 minutes out of her day to talk to me and I haven't even applied to Kellogg yet, who knows if I'll get in if I do apply, and she still took the time to talk to me. If they treat prospective applicants (not even applicants with submitted application), just think of the level of service they'll provide for graduating students?! I'm sold.

sarzan wrote:
I don't know why you guys are psyching yourselves out like this...

Six years ago, I had a general idea of where I wanted my life and career to be. Now, where I am, and what I do, is about 60% of what I anticipated - for the most part, I over achieved my ambitions. And if there was one thing I learned, its that nothing went EXACTLY as planned.

With that said, I don't know how you guys can theorize on how your work schedule, jobs, etc. will be like 3 years from now. I mean, most of us haven't even applied yet! Business school might change our minds about career options several times through.

On another note, I don't know where people here get the idea that general management would not be as demanding as consulting or IB. Where are you getting your information from? We live in a global economy... GM is not about managing your Mom and Pop shop.

I have a general idea of where I want to be 1, 5, and 10 years from now. But there is no way I can tell which city, company, sector, etc. I'll end up. I have lived in 5 countries in the last 10 years, moved 8 times in the last 7 years, changed 2 jobs, made money in the stock market, lost money in the stock market, flipped a house, and now I might get engaged. I HOPE I get into my top choice business school next year, and for that, the only things I can control are my essays and GMAT scores. The rest is left to the gods!

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Re: Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water [#permalink] New post 19 Aug 2008, 06:27
This is a very scary thread for a single 26-year old :shock:

While commitment to your family is indeed a very noble sentiment worthy of respect, you are your own individual still. Why not think about what it is that you would enjoy doing most?

An MBA is going to open doors to a variety of careers, and if you pass on this opportunity once, it maybe very hard for you to return to it later on. If you want to do IB but decide on GM simply because it allows you more time to spend with your family, then you're not ever getting an opportunity to do IB again. If a bigger paycheck, some semblance of career growth, and lots of family time is really what you want, why bother with the Ultra Elite at all? Take away access to the choicest IB/MC/PE jobs and the alumni network, there's very little to distinguish the Ultra Elite from the other schools academically.

Given your profile, it seems entirely plausible a Near Elite or Trans Elite will offer you some kind of financial incentive to attend their program and still offer lucrative post-MBA career opportunities outside of IB/MC/PE. Someone mentioned Houston earlier on this thread, very smart suggestion, look at Rice as a safety perhaps?

And I highly doubt any 30 year olds in GM positions with the largest "blue chip" companies work anything less than 60 hours a week. I know folks at IBM and PepsiCo don't.

But then again maybe I'm just naive and selfish.
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Re: Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water [#permalink] New post 19 Aug 2008, 06:28
This is a very scare thread for a 28-year old with a wife and 2 kids :shock:
solaris1 wrote:
This is a very scary thread for a single 26-year old :shock:

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Re: Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water [#permalink] New post 19 Aug 2008, 06:39
You're too fast jallenmorris! Now go back and read my entire post. :P

jallenmorris wrote:
This is a very scare thread for a 28-year old with a wife and 2 kids :shock:
solaris1 wrote:
This is a very scary thread for a single 26-year old :shock:
Re: Family + Post-MBA Career = Oil + Water   [#permalink] 19 Aug 2008, 06:39
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