Life as an Executive MBA student: the first quarter

Jaine Solan Executive MBA student
Executive MBA programs often emphasize that they’re designed for working professionals with busy lives, but what is life really like as an Executive MBA student? We asked a few students in their first year of the EMBA program at Foster to share their impressions of the experience so far.

Back to school

Lauren executive mba student“The first quarter of the EMBA experience was truly a whirlwind rollercoaster—extreme highs of new learning and stretching the way you think, new friendships and Husky pride—and lows of feeling overworked and overwhelmed as a full-time student and full-time employee.” – Jessica Maus

“My expectations coming into the program were high, and I was not disappointed. The instructors were excellent, my colleagues were engaged and supportive, and in just a few months, my world-view has been altered significantly—and for the better.” – Rob Wells

“These past few months an unexpected question has made its way back into my life: ‘how is school going?’ My answer is always the same: ‘It’s a lot…but it’s fun…but it’s a lot.’ We all received fair warning coming into the program that going to school full-time and working full-time would be time consuming, and it was! Workouts fell to the wayside. Social engagements were skipped. Family gatherings were cut short. But all in all, we survived the first term.” – Lauren Blair

Classes and coursework

Rob, executive MBA student“The coursework was indeed intense. Don’t let the 2 credits for microeconomics fool you. In order to feel you’re learning something, you’ll end up spending just as much time on microeconomics as you will in financial accounting, which is 5 credits!” – Jaine Solan

“The coursework has been rigorous and the schedule has been demanding. But the payoff has been substantial and well worth the effort. UW’s EMBA program is providing me with tools, skills, knowledge and insights that will help take my career to the next level.” – Rob Wells

Teams and classmates

“I didn’t realize I’d form such deep connections so quickly with my classmates—that my team would feel like a family, that we’d all support each other in ways we didn’t know we needed—almost from day one.” – Jessica Maus

“Along with all of these new business skills, I have amassed an impressive arsenal of new friends. Nothing helps you bond with strangers like being under a constant, incessant siege of new information. This first term was a lot. A lot, a lot. But it was also amazing, and I wouldn’t change a thing about it.” – Lauren Blair

Work-life balance

Jessica, EMBA student“I think the single biggest key to my first quarter success was being disciplined about scheduling and prioritizing time to study, read, and stay caught up homework. I struggled to find my new work-school-life balance (I know, not shocking) for a few months, but once I settled into the new rhythm, it became second nature. Organization and planning ahead is key!” – Jessica Maus

“Take time to ‘release the pressure’ with your team, fellow cohorts (don’t be afraid to co-mingle with your weekly/monthly cohort across the hall), family and friends. You need to sustain the fire and not burnout.” – Jaine Solan