In this Parent Spotlight, incoming second-year evening MBA student, Lindsey Hoeft shares with us what it is like to be a parent in the program. Parent Spotlights are a continuing series on the Foster MBA Blog highlighting the stories, experiences, tips, and recommendations from parents in the Evening MBA Program. Their stories, outlook, and work ethic is inspiring. Enjoy!
Program Manager, The Boeing Company, Industrial Athlete: Fabrication
Sr. Staff Analyst, 737 Wings, The Boeing Company
Thank you so much for sharing with us what it’s like to be a parent and an Evening MBA student at Foster. Tell us a bit about yourself and your family?
My husband Peter and I moved to Seattle 5 years ago with our then 1-year old daughter Eleanor. Eleanor, now 6, started kindergarten the same year I started the Evening MBA program at Foster! Prior to Foster, I worked at Boeing for nearly 3 years. I am trained as a dietitian and have a Masters of Public Health degree, and worked in the public sector for 8 years before joining Boeing 3 ½ years ago. Since starting my MBA I have transitioned into an analyst role with Boeing, broadening my experience, and hope to merge my new skills and knowledge back into a health or food-related leadership role in the future.
What have been your goals as a parent through this experience? How do you prioritize?
The biggest consideration for me in going back to school was having enough time to spend with my family and ensuring that the time spent was worth the career acceleration gains. My husband has taken on a lot in getting our daughter to school and activities when I am at school for class or group work. The biggest challenge for me is fitting in time for individual homework on top of that. Breaking up the work into small chunks across the week, leaning on my team, and recognizing that my goal is not to get a 4.0 have been successful strategies so far. Lastly, it takes a village to raise a child, and I’ve definitely needed to ask for help from friends! Even after one year, I have seen payoffs in my career from the skills I gained. I’ve recently transitioned into a new role that will help me long term and that would not have been possible without my Foster experience.
What is your advice to other parents who go back to school?
The biggest piece of advice I can offer is encouragement – this is doable! However, it will most likely require some help. Identify who your main support people will be, and talk to them about what help they will be willing to provide. I’ve found that as a parent, I am already used to surviving on less than ideal amounts of sleep, quickly scraping together meals, and prioritizing. These are all useful skills in tackling another big challenge and time commitment. I would also advise other parents to think about how they will still make time for themselves to stay healthy and sane.
Whether that’s a workout routine, healthy meal planning for the week, or an occasional weekend getaway, it’s important to make time to de-stress and regroup. Lastly, once you start the program there are bound to be others who are parents. I’ve enjoyed connecting with them, and sharing strategies for successfully navigating our workload.