Photo: Jared Stratton
Jared Stratton
Class of 2009
Concentrations:  Finance, Human Resource Management

For those individuals who are married, are you or your spouse considering a full-time MBA degree? Here are a few things to be mindful of and/or be prepared for:

1) The schedule of an MBA student is not particularly friendly or compatible with the schedule of a non full-time student. So if your spouse will be working full time while you’re attending school you will have challenges above and beyond what you’ll find in the classroom. Most notably, some of the free time you and your spouse are currently accustomed to sharing together during the evenings and/or weekends, will not exist as it does now. You will have to find creative ways to juggle your studying and group/teamwork responsibilities so that you can carve out time to spend with your spouse. Your ability to do this will improve over time, but be prepared for this type of adjustment. (It’s NOT as easy as you think it might be!!). Just because you are a full-time MBA student does not mean you are exempt from your spousal duties and/or responsibilities.

2) Soon after starting (and in fact even before starting) the MBA program, you will need to start thinking about where you’d like your internship to be for the summer in-between your first and second years. Be mindful to vigorously seek out spouse’s opinions on this since they will either be making the move with you or if they can’t move due to job circumstances then they will be visiting you as often as possible over the summer.

3) From time to time it will be advantageous for the full-time MBA student to encourage their spouse to attend the social events planned for the MBA students. Some of these events include International potluck dinners (where students bring authentic foods from their home countries), MSU Football tailgates, happy hours, and other social event opportunities you’ll encounter during your time in East Lansing. My wife has met a number of wonderful people, both fellow students and their spouses, and has on numerous occasions gone out to dinner with the spouses of some of my friends in school; some of them have even started a book club.

One unique aspect about the Broad community is that there is an organization called S3 (Spartan Spouses and Significant Others) that successfully helps stress the importance of having your spouse involved as much as possible in the MBA community. We are big fans of this organization and are grateful that MSU places such a high importance on this aspect of a student’s life and their experience here.