Work-life Balance Strategies from Foster MBA Moms and Dads

Parenting while in school comes with its own set of challenges, but careful planning and supportive team members make all the difference. Business school is often described as one of the most fun and challenging two years one can experience during their career. Between team meetings, assignments, exams and even the weekly happy hour fun; there is always a lot going on to keep students on their toes. Throw in an additional diaper change routine, and you are now living the dual life of B-school student and full-time parent. The class of 2019 has its fair share of parents who crunch balance sheet numbers in the classroom and go home to be real-life superheroes for their kids.

As Bryan Young says “Being a parent in business school is tough, but so worth it!  Throughout my time at Foster, I have had to prioritize my family over social events, but it has never felt like I am missing out. We have developed a parent and kids’ room during our monthly TG (big party) where parents can hang out together and have a drink while their kids watch a movie or work on a craft. It will all be more than worth it to have my kids cheer for me when I get to go across the stage during graduation. “

Bryan Young and his family

Priya Gupta says” Living the life of a fulltime B-school student and parent is always challenging. However, in this journey, I have been able to identify a few key strategies that have helped me get the most out of my MBA and fulfill my duties as a parent. One of the most important things I did at the start of the year was to set my priorities and decide not to have any regrets. At B-school, there are always more things to do than humanly possible, and therefore, it is important to prioritize things and manage time effectively. Finally, I was pleasantly surprised by the cooperation I received from my peers. I have received help and support, sometimes even before I asked for it, and I am really grateful to my peers for that.”

Priya Gupta and her daughter Tanya

The kids’ room at the TG is definitely a hit with kids and parents alike, and it’s common for fellow Foster students to volunteer to spend time with their classmates’ kids by conducting activities.One of the new entrants to the parent circle is first-time parent Graham Bullis who became a father at the end of the first year of his MBA.

Graham Bullis says” Since school has started back up, the balance lies between being home and social life. During the first year of the MBA I was able to say yes to all kinds of events that the program offered, but now I trade those experiences for time at home. Sometimes the FOMO hits hard, so I delete Instagram from my phone, so I can’t see the fun being had. Other times I remember there are way too many opportunities for us and you’ll always miss out on something.

Being the newest parent of our class, I am extremely impressed with the other parents that are able to manage and balance all the priorities. It is a steep learning curve for me right now, but I’m loving the process. The truth is, none of my MBA experiences are possible without my wife supporting me and putting forth tremendous effort to raise our son while I attempt to learn finance and big data.”

Graham Bullis’s son Charlie

Yasar Ammar says ”Managing first year of B-School with our five-year-old daughter was not easy. Life was tough. But thanks to my wife’s support and my classmates’ understanding, I was able to manage both my responsibilities as a student and as a parent. My team-mates were always happy to accommodate my request for joining meetings remotely, whenever possible. That enabled me to devote more time to my family while also contributing to team deliverables.  Values like empathy, understanding, support, and compassion are at the core of Foster’s culture – values which distinguish us as a great school and as a community of friends.”

With meticulous calendar planning, supportive classmates and timely hugs and kisses from their little ones; parents at Foster can maximize their MBA experience. They get to prepare for their post MBA career with confidence and honestly believe that they will be able to succeed in a new role while prioritizing their most precious responsibilities.

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