TMMBA Moms on Balancing Family, Work & Studies

On March 12th the Technology Management MBA (TMMBA) Program celebrated National Working Mom’s Day. In recognition of the amazing multi-tasking moms who are students and alumni of the program, we wanted to highlight several of the exceptional women in our network.

It is no small feat to manage a career and motherhood while undertaking a rigorous MBA program. We want to acknowledge and celebrate the mothers in our program who successfully did all three.

We hope this inspires prospective students with children to consider undertaking the TMMBA program. It is possible to manage your family, your career, and an MBA, and we’re here to support you along the way.

Check out what our current students and alumnae had to say about their experiences below.

Ketki Zaveri, TMMBA Class of 2020

What is your top advice for moms who are thinking about pursuing an MBA?
My MBA journey and pregnancy/parenthood are closely tied to each other. I was a mom-to-be while I was pursuing my MBA. I won’t lie, doing an MBA while pregnant is a very hard task. But, we don’t really know our limits unless we are thrown into deep waters.

Funnily, doing an MBA while being pregnant would actually distract you from the fact that you are pregnant. I really didn’t have the time to sit and think about all the crazy pregnancy symptoms.

So, if you’ve decided to do an MBA, the logical next step is to do it! Nothing beats the joy of having your own kiddo attend your graduation ceremony. I believe that has been one of the proudest moments of my life.

I’ve got two pieces of advice:

  1. Early on, have a candid discussion with EVERYONE around you. Set the right expectations and priorities. Be it your MBA faculty on what is achievable and what is not; your teammates on the days that you can “truly” attend meetings; work colleagues on project deadlines and your share of involvement; and most important of all – talk (A LOT) with your partner/family on time management and expectations.
  2. Do not shy away from asking for help. There are a lot of incredible people around you, who might have walked in your shoes and are willing to lean in to support and help.

What were you most worried about when it came to being a parent and getting your MBA?

Almost halfway through the TMMBA program, I found out I was pregnant. My family and I could not have been happier, but it was followed by a lot of anxiety. My due date was towards the middle of the last quarter. Mid-way through my program, I thought maybe I should put the second half of the MBA on hold and jump back in when life slows down. I kept wondering how I would “do it all” and doubted my ability.

I was worried about not doing justice to either school, work, and/or my personal life. But the support I got from the entire TMMBA program (Erin Aselas Duran, TMMBA Director, the TMMBA team, my TMMBA peers, and all the professors) was incredible. TMMBA allowed me to front-load a lot of my work prior to my delivery. With the support of the school, my spouse, and my family, I was able to (successfully) graduate on time.

How did you pursue balancing your family life with your professional and academic commitments during the TMMBA program?

I learned that if you survived the first 6 months of the TMMBA program, you can survive anything your career throws at you.

Being pregnant and balancing it with professional and academic commitments was actually not that bad. In fact, looking back, I feel being pregnant during my TMMBA program was the best thing to happen. I pushed myself to study harder; whenever possible, I tried to be fully present and focused.

I used to work in the mornings, go to school in the evenings and weekends, read my business papers during lunch hours or while waiting at the doctor’s office, and try to get some form of workout in the week. Knowing that I had so much to do in very little time, taught me how to prioritize, be efficient and ask for help when needed.

Shaili Guru, TMMBA Class of 2018

What is your top advice for moms who are thinking about pursuing an MBA?

Having started UW’s TMMBA program when my kids were 2.5 and 5 months old, I can tell you a few things about how I made it happen. First, set up the correct support system with your family and friends when you apply. Going through the program without your significant other’s support and buy-in won’t be easy, but you can do it!

Second, make a plan and manage your time: Use time management techniques like setting priorities, delegating tasks, and avoiding procrastination to ensure that you can balance your work, school, and family life effectively.

Last but not least, take care of yourself. Taking care of your physical and emotional well-being while juggling work, school, and family life is essential. Incorporate self-care activities into your routine to manage stress and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

What were you most worried about when it came to being a parent and getting your MBA?

I was most worried about how I was going to manage everything. The last time I was in school was almost a decade ago, and that was without kids and a full-time job, but I am glad I went through the program when I did. Going through it now would be a lot harder now that the kids are much older and need more time and driving around.

How did you pursue balancing your family life with your professional and academic commitments during the TMMBA program?

I was lucky that my mom and mother-in-law stayed with us during that first year and supported our whole family so I could pursue my education further. I also time-managed and put boundaries around certain nights of the week (Fridays and Sundays) when I spent time with my family and caught a break from the usual studying.

Michelle Godwin, TMMBA Class of 2022

What is your top advice for moms who are thinking about pursuing an MBA?

It will be intense, but it will be short-term. The time and hard work you are putting into the program will benefit you and that will in turn benefit your family.

What were you most worried about when it came to being a parent and getting your MBA?
The mom-guilt was so real! There were days when I knew I would be missing something, but I (and my husband) reminded myself that my hard work was short term, it would end, and it would benefit everyone.

I missed almost every soccer and baseball game for one season, but my kids knew why I was missing and were excited to tell me the highlights when I got home from class. We made it a point to emphasize that my school was demanding, but only for a little while and I joined family activities every chance I could.

When I was in late elementary school, my mom went to night school as well. She asked me one day if I remembered the things she missed for class. I didn’t remember any of them. I only remembered special dinners out with my dad and the few times I went to school with her and worked on my homework in her classroom while my dad was out of town.

How did you pursue balancing your family life with your professional and academic commitments during the TMMBA program?

I made sure to time-box my work. My learning team met most evenings from 7-9 pm and that allowed those of us with kids to have dinner with our families. We had grace for each other to drop off for 10-15 minutes at bedtime and then rejoin the meeting.

For exams and individual assignments, set a limit for how long you want to work on that task. Break it down into sections or time limits to allow yourself breaks and balance with your family.

The academic work is the responsibility of the individual parent in the program, but the TMMBA journey is definitely a family effort. My most valuable advice to any student, especially a parent, is to work ahead as much as you can. You never know when something will come up, whether it be a sick child, a sick parent, or an urgent work assignment. If you’ve worked ahead then you will be at an advantage to manage those conflicting responsibilities. I would work long hours on most non-class weekends so that I could participate in evening kid activities or be ahead knowing there was a busy kid activity weekend coming up.

For my professional life balance, I would time-box that as well. Organize your work to tackle the hardest tasks during the day when you’re at your mental prime. I’m a morning person, so I would get up and work on school for 2-3 hours before shifting to my job tasks. I didn’t necessarily get up earlier, I had the flexibility to start my workday later and most of my meetings were later in the morning, so I could use that mental prime time for school when needed.

This tactic ties back into the time boxing of tasks. I would allow myself to work for 2 hours on school with a hard stop to shift gears into my job. The same applies to the end of the workday. I would put a recurring OOO meeting in the time block when I would leave for class. For me, I liked to leave at 4-4:30 pm on Wednesdays. I blocked Wednesday from 4-5 pm as an OOO meeting so no one would schedule me for that time or have an expectation of an answered email or Teams message.

Bhavna Chauhan, TMMBA Class of 2023

What is your top advice for moms who are thinking about pursuing an MBA?

For moms-to-be, this is a huge undertaking. As we’ve seen in our own cohort, one of the members from the previous cohort joined our cohort because it was too much to take care of a newborn and try to juggle school.

For moms, having your kid over a year old is better than the child’s first year of life when demands from motherhood are so high in terms of time and physical energy.

It is definitely a little bit easier the older your child is. I have a 10-year-old and there are a lot of evenings where we both are sitting next to each other and working on our homework so it works well that way.

It would be very necessary to get your partner/spouse on board for committing as well. Because of the demands of the program, you will be spending a lot of time doing assignments, etc. They would need to step up and help out with a lot of kid duties such as picking up from school, activities, etc., or you will need to optimize reading during their activities.

What were you most worried about when it came to being a parent and getting your MBA?
I earned my Master of Science in Computer Science while working before so I knew I would be able to do it. However, I was single at that time. Since my son is in 4th grade now, I was not too worried as he’s relatively independent in terms of taking care of his needs.

Parents of young babies and toddlers should plan for taking additional help (for cooking, cleaning, etc) when needed so that they are not overwhelmed as well as prioritize what really needs to get done and what is okay to push out.

How did you pursue balancing your family life with your professional and academic commitments during the TMMBA program?
For me, some things went on hold, such as cooking. I have not been cooking much, getting takeout meals from PCC (so that it’s not too unhealthy). For some things, I did not compromise and continued those activities such as exercising, teaching skiing, volunteering on trails, and of course work priorities.

The topmost priority being my 10-year-old son and my 5-year-old golden retriever. Having my husband take on more responsibilities did help, such as managing when I am out the whole day Saturday.


Alyssa Tucker, TMMBA Class of 2021

What is your top advice for moms or who are thinking about pursuing an MBA?

My top advice to moms is to identify and communicate with their support system (including children) in advance and throughout the duration of the program. There are many responsibilities to balance and prioritize where moms are stretched thin. It is important not to neglect themselves in the process, however.



To learn more about the TMMBA Program and class experience, we invite you to connect with us at an upcoming Admissions Event. We’re also happy to connect with you on a 1:1 Admissions Consult.

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