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Work Life Balance with a PT MBA

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Work Life Balance with a PT MBA [#permalink] New post 06 Feb 2010, 20:32
Am considering going back to school for a PT MBA from Ross.

I'm 31 years old, with a wife and a 2-month old baby.

I would love to hear from others about their course load and work - life - school balance in a PT program.

I would intend to finish in 5 years with a maximum course load of 6 credits in a semester.

I have no problems reading and doing school work for 90 minutes a day before going to my job 6 days a week.
The mornings would be the ideal time to do coursework before going to my job.

But I wonder how much I am going to have to sacrifice in addition, in order to get my MBA.
Of course I'll have class at night during the week.

But are others opinions or comments regarding the stresses that a PT MBA program puts on a person and their family?
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Re: Work Life Balance with a PT MBA [#permalink] New post 07 Feb 2010, 11:35
Don't forget about study group meetings, which probably can't be held in the early morning.

Every school differs in how much group work is required, and of course, some groups are flexible about working together remotely. But you should probably assume that this type of thing will require some additional time.
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Re: Work Life Balance with a PT MBA [#permalink] New post 10 Feb 2010, 08:03
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First of all, it's NOT EASY to work full-time, go to school part-time and take care of things around the house, especially with a baby. Like the earlier post said, it does depend on school, courses, and the team members you're collaborating with. More relaxed and flexible MBA program it is, easier for you to do the work. Also, being in a team with classmates that can work with each other's schedule is quite important too. It will be difficult at first, but as the time passes by and you find a way to deal with school, work, family in a more effective way, it will get easier.

In my personal experience, I've had a hell of a time in my first semester. I was taking 4 core courses and studied pretty much everyday including weekends. When the midterms and finals came around, it got even crazier. I actually had to take a vacation day or two to study for the exams. All in all, it worked out and I was able to complete my first semester successfully. In my opinion, what was and still is the MOST IMPORTANT matter is my wife's understanding and cooperation with my schooling. She understood that during the exam weeks I wouldn't be able to help around the house a lot and so she did a lot of the things around the house on her own. Since you have a baby that needs a lot of care from both you and your wife, you will probably need a lot of your wife's help to go through the program. If she's willing to help you out and be understanding and cooperative, you can do it. Just try to manage your time more effectively than before and work hard to get the best out of your limited time everyday. If you focus and really dig into each subject matter in a short one hour of study, you can get more out of it than studying for 2-3 hours without much effort.

Hope this helps and good luck with your decision!
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Re: Work Life Balance with a PT MBA [#permalink] New post 15 Feb 2010, 10:14
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I have to echo what the pp said about having the full support of your wife. Granted, I just started my part time MBA (at Stern) but I'm in a similar situation - married and have a seven month old. My husband has his MBA already and he is completely behind me getting mine, and understands that that means he will be parenting solo a lot of the time. I wouldn't even begin to attempt this without him being completely on board.

With that said, everyone I've talked to has said that after the first couple of semesters you'll get into a groove of some sort and the time management thing will fall into place. Also, it sounds like you have realistic expectations about timelines - giving yourself a full 5 years to complete the program will allow you to have some breathing room with regard to your scheduling. I think it's important to build some slack into your calendar, as family commitments will most likely come up at some point.

I'm already planning on using my PTO to study and attend school events - my husband and I are having fun planning our next big vacation which won't happen until I graduate. Yeah it's a sacrifice but it will be worth it in the end.

One last thing - the baby will get easier as he/she gets a little older. By six months he/she will be sleeping 12+ hours at a time - ours goes to sleep at 6:30 PM and gets up at 7:00 AM. The sleep deprivation I felt during the first few months has lifted and I'm able to stay up until 10:00 or 11:00 most nights - a good thing as school is ramping up now. It will happen for you too. Good luck!
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Re: Work Life Balance with a PT MBA [#permalink] New post 11 Mar 2010, 17:28
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I am doing my second semester in part-time MBA at GWU.
Our program is flexible, so I can choose the work load. Since you are planning to take 6 credits a semester, I would assume that Ross is also offering flexible pt MBA. This flexibility would not be possible in part-time programs that offer only cohort settings.
I have two kids, but they are already 10 and 15, so it seems like much easier than having a baby around, even if only one. I will rub it again to you, that spousal support (and in my case kids too) is paramount. They know I am not much accessible during the semester, and during the finals and a week leading to it I just announce that I am on a virtual leave of absense, even if they see me around the house :). My wife is working full-time, just like myself, so she has to take almost a double of house responsibilities. That said, I still have some of my share of duties in the house: taking kids on extracurricular activities, parties, "manly" chores around the house, etc.
At GWSB we have modular curriculum, which means 7 weeks for a course, each 1.5 credits. In my second module of fall semester I had three classes, i.e. three nights a week out at school, plus homework, plus it was my first semester in graduate program after many years from my last formal education at undegraduate level. All in all, between Thanksgiving and the last final on December 17 I felt like a little kid whose Christmas was stolen by Grinch, err.. MBA studies :)
I am keeping a blog about my part-time MBA experience, so you can get a bit more insight on what it's like: http://parttimembadegree.com/
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Re: Work Life Balance with a PT MBA [#permalink] New post 10 May 2010, 05:59
Echo all comments above.

Its going to be a load, but you should also consider your current career -- is there a trajectory, am I satisfied, etc? If the answer is no, an MBA starts to look like a better (if not necessary) option. Time management will be key if you pursue.

Best of luck,
Aveek Guha, President, www.mbadaycamp.com
Re: Work Life Balance with a PT MBA   [#permalink] 10 May 2010, 05:59
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