Finding Work-Life Balance In An EMBA Program

Shanmei Yu

Shanmei Yu

Just Jump In 

“I’d say there is no “best” advice because everyone’s situation is different. However, if you want to take an MBA course, don’t wait until you have everything prepared. Just jump in, because it’s just like having a baby. The right time never comes. There’s always something slightly out of control and you have to struggle to rein it back in. If people like me can survive this battle, please believe that you, too, can succeed.” – Shanmei Yu, ESADE

Follow A Schedule

“First, hire help to do housecleaning, the lawn, or other chores if you need it. Second, be organized and disciplined to make every moment count towards productivity. Keep your head down during the semester and make sure you don’t get behind in the work because you will never catch up. Third, schedule an evening during the week or part of the weekend for family time, and use the summer and time in between semesters to recharge with family vacations. Lastly, keep the lines of communications open with your family and co-workers. Ask for help when you need it and beg for forgiveness when you have made a mistake!” – Patti Fitzpatrick, Texas A&M University, Mays Business School

“This is tricky and most demanding. I charted out a calendar every 15 days and had time-slots after work for my EMBA studies and family. Ninety times out of hundred, I followed the schedule and it worked well for me. Don’t work in an ad-hoc manner as the course demands time for personification and self-reflections. Stay disciplined, thoughtful, aware and patient.” – Satakarni Makkapati, IMD Business School 

Accept Certain Limitations

“You have to understand going in it will require sacrifice and that your family and employer must see the value in what you’re doing and support you throughout. In addition, sometimes being a “B” student in order to make your family a priority is worth it. In my situation, I had to miss some baseball games and other events, but did my best to ensure my family never felt they didn’t remain my priority. In the end, it really requires time management skills, and planning as best you can to limit surprises!” – Lars E. Carlson, Michigan State University, Broad College of Business 

Erin Dady

Erin Dady

Remember the Big Picture

“Put a post it note where ever you do your homework that says, “I enjoy learning.” That was an important reminder to me while I was missing friends, workouts, and family. The time will go very quickly and you’ll feel so proud of your work when you’re done.” – Erin Dady, University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management  

“Take things one day at a time and be grateful for each day.  If you get caught up in all that needs to be done, things become overwhelming very quickly.  Further, remember why you are making this commitment.  There will be times when there are struggles, but always remember why you chose this path and be willing to sacrifice on its behalf.” – Father Pete McCormick, University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business

DON’T MISS: CLASS of 2015: THE BEST EXECUTIVE MBAs

POETS & QUANTS’ RANKING OF THE WORLD’S BEST EMBA PROGRAMS

HOW TO GET YOUR EMPLOYER TO FOOT THE EMBA BILL