What do you get when you mix a Spartan and a partner? You get a Spartner. When you have a Spartner, well, you need to have an organization that can support them. Enter Spartners, an organization created by the Broad College of Business and the partners of current students in the Broad Full-Time MBA program.
Before Spartners was developed, there was an organization called S3 (Students, Spouses and Significant Others). S3 was the first of its kind and did the best it could do to support the partners/families of Broad MBA students. However, S3 needed an overhaul to reach everyone in the MBA program. After building on the work that S3 had done, the Full-Time MBA program staff and the partners/families of current students created Spartners, which evokes a new sense of support for the partners of Broad MBA students.
What does Spartners even do? This student organization, co-directed by a student and their partner, is focused on supporting and helping Broad MBA students’ partners/families go through the demanding two years of the program. Spartners is here to answer any and all questions future Broad MBA students and their partners/families may have. The organization also hosts and co-hosts events to further engage the partners/families with the Broad MBA student body and to show them a good time. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Spartners had to adapt, and adapt we did. Spartners plans on hosting virtual and socially distanced events this year.
Sounds pretty great — but what is it like to be a Spartner? I am here to answer that question as I am one of the first Spartners. Being a Spartner is a great experience and provides grounding for partners/families who feel a bit overwhelmed with the demanding structure of the MBA program. I can tell you that your world will revolve around this program for two years, and the first year there is going to be a lot, and I mean a lot, of sowing with minimal reaping. There are many events, outings, conferences and lectures your partner (the student) will have to attend. My advice is to attend as many as you can with them. Not only will this give you (the Spartner) much-desired time with your partner, but you also could learn valuable information from these events. This program tests everything about your relationship with your partner. It is time consuming, requires constant communication and demands patience.
My experience as a Broad MBA Spartner has helped me grow in a multitude of ways and helped me realize that I have not nearly reached my full potential. I have learned better time management skills as well as communication skills. Some pointers I can give you to make this an easier transition: be patient with one another, try and formulate a schedule that works for you both to make time for each other (I know scheduling time together may seem ridiculous now, but you will thank me later) and just communicate 100% openly about feelings you may have.
Another thing I would encourage partners to do is to get involved as much as possible. Volunteer at events, join organizations (such as Spartners) and join and participate in any group chats you get invited to. Making friends with other spouses/partners will help you a great deal in getting through this demanding program. Joining Spartners will not be a mistake for the partners or the students. Spartners is a support network and a family that ties us together.