Greg’s boyfriend is a current student here at Foster, and is a member of the ‘Blue Dots’ – the network of spouses and significant others whose loved ones are in the Foster MBA program. The name comes from the blue dot stickers that were put on their name tags during welcome weekends, to indicate that they were the spouse/significant other of an admitted student.
How did you feel about your significant other choosing the Foster School for his/her MBA studies?
The thought of becoming part of the Foster community was exciting! Though I was hesitant about moving to Seattle, I found comfort knowing that there would be a group of students and Blue Dots that would welcome us once we moved. During preview weekend I saw just how involved and close-knit the MBA community is and that buoyed my spirits. I knew that my boyfriend was going to be leaving business school having been a part of an environment that thrived on collaboration instead of competition.
Moving across the country is a big deal. Did you have any hesitations about moving to Seattle? Did anything help you feel better about the decision?
To be perfectly honest, the idea of moving to Seattle caused a huge amount of tension in our relationship. There were a lot of places I pictured myself living and Seattle had never been one of them. The city didn’t feel like a fit for my life or the career I wanted, but after a lot of thought and many long talks with friends, I decided what I had with my boyfriend was just too much to give up.
I’m happy to say that after eight months of being here in Seattle, my attitude towards the city has completely changed and I’m constantly finding new things I love about the city. When I made the decision to move, the assurance that there would be a community of significant others just like me was a huge comfort. I knew no one in the city and I work from home, so having a built in social network was a total blessing.
How did you adjust to life when your significant other started the MBA program?
My boyfriend and I spent two weeks road tripping to Seattle and then a month getting our apartment together and furniture shopping, so it came as a bit of a shock when he actually started school full time. I think it’s important to keep yourself busy in the beginning. Join a gym or enroll in art classes, come to all the social events and make plans with friends for drinks. Your student is going to be spending the next two years focusing a lot of their time on themselves, so it’s important for you to do the same. Nights spent alone on the couch watching Netflix can get old really fast.
Τhe MBA program demands a lot of time for students: how have you and your significant other found balance?
When you first come to welcome weekend you sit through a lot of student panels and hear horror stories about how intense the program is and how you’ll never see your student again. In reality, things are far less grim. Yes, it is a very demanding program, but there are plenty of chances to be together if you make them. Something as simple as going grocery shopping together can be a great way to spend time together. Sharing a Google calendar might seem a bit absurd, but it makes scheduling dates or drinks really convenient.
How have you been involved with the Foster Blue Dots? What type of activities do you do?
When it comes right down to it, being a Blue Dot is great. You get to enjoy all the perks of the MBA without having to do any of the actual work. There’s Pub Club every Thursday and then big themed parties (commonly known as TGs) that happen the first Friday of every month. Besides that, I usually find myself getting together with a few other blue dots for drinks or dinner once a week. The Whistler trip in December is a great way to celebrate making it through the first quarter and Challenge for Charity’s Sports Weekend at Stanford in the spring is a MUST. Competing against other business schools and celebrating your win with drinks afterwards makes you feel like a true Husky.
Any advice for future Blue Dots?
Two things every future Blue Dot should know:
- Come to every event you can! The Foster community is a small but welcoming one, and almost every single happy hour or social event is open to Blue Dots too. Take advantage of the free drinks and get to know the students and significant others you’ll be spending the next two years with. Forming friendships and bonds with those people will enrich the MBA experience more than you can imagine.
- Ask for advice! Moving across the country with your student can be an incredibly intimidating prospect and you’re not the first one to do it. Students and Blue Dots can be a wealth of information on everything from which neighborhoods are nice to where you should grab a bite to eat. Everyone is more than happy to answer any questions you have, so don’t be afraid to ask.
~ Guest post by Greg, 2016 Blue Dot
For more on the Blue Dots, see their MBAA website at: https://depts.washington.edu/mbaclub/mba-clubs/blue-dot/ or read their blog posts here: https://depts.washington.edu/mbablog/tag/blue-dot/