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Balancing family life and MBA commitments

By Yuxuan Gao, MBA class of 2025
Friday, December 1, 2023

MBA student Yuxuan Gao reflects on on navigating parenting while pursuing an advanced degree.

Yuxuan Gao holding a child and posing with Sparty outside on a sunny day

Yuxuan Gao with her daughter and Sparty

In the fast-paced world of business and academia, the pursuit of an MBA presents a unique set of challenges. For me and other MBA parents like me, the journey involves a delicate juggling act, balancing the demands of coursework, networking events and internships with the responsibilities of parenthood. We hope this journey will not only enrich our careers but also provide a better future for our families. Join me as we discuss MBA parents who have mastered the art of balancing family life and the pursuit of higher education.

The decision to pursue an MBA as a parent

Deciding to pursue an MBA as a parent is never taken lightly. MBA programs are notorious for their intensity, demanding a significant time commitment from students. For us, as parents, it means managing academic responsibilities while ensuring the well-being and happiness of our children.

I am the mother of a 3-year-old daughter, and I vividly remember the moment I chose to embark on my MBA journey. I knew it would be tough, but I wanted to set an example for my kid. I wanted to show her that education and self-improvement are lifelong pursuits. It wasn’t just about my career; it was about the values I wanted to instill in her.

Time management and sacrifices

One of the central challenges we face as MBA parents is time management. We must learn to prioritize effectively, often making sacrifices to balance academic and family commitments. Weekend family outings might be replaced with group study sessions, and bedtime stories occasionally get substituted with textbooks.

It’s not easy, and there have been sacrifices. But it’s a matter of finding the right balance. Sometimes, the kids have even joined me in my study, and we’ve made it a family learning experience.

Lessons in resilience and leadership

As MBA parents, we’re not just learning from textbooks; we’re gaining invaluable life experiences. The ability to manage a family while pursuing an advanced degree demonstrates resilience and leadership qualities that can greatly benefit our future careers.

MBA programs recognize the unique perspective that parents bring to the classroom. Our experiences, our perspectives and the skills we develop are highly valued, both by our peers and by the business world.

In conclusion

Balancing family life and MBA commitments is an extraordinary feat that showcases the dedication and determination of MBA parents. Our pursuit of higher education is an investment not only in our own future but also in the future of our families. May this serve as an inspiring reminder that with the right mindset, support and time management, one can achieve a harmonious balance between academic and family life, paving the way for a brighter tomorrow for all.

As MBA parents continue to navigate this unique journey, we exemplify unwavering commitment to education and personal growth, inspiring us all to reach for our dreams and set the bar even higher.

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