Attending Business School As A Mother

Talk to current MBA students about life in MBA programs (not for app advice/discussion)
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The Work-Life Balance of Mothers Who Attend Business School

Being a mother is a job in itself and having to do your MBA as a mother is also a task in itself. If you are reading this, you may be a mother curious to know what it is like to go to business school whilst you are taking care of your children. Very few women can say they can afford children without having to worry about a day of work.
The issue of mothers in business school is a critical one if business schools are going to reach their goal of increasing the number of women earning MBAs. According to a report by Forte Foundation, Female enrollment at business school hovers around 30% and a good number of schools are working to increase the number of women pursuing MBAs. About 35% of full-time graduate business programs and 22% of part-time programs have special outreach efforts to attract female applicants, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). So what can you expect when you are mother and also a student?
You will not have a lot of time and therefore ought to properly allocate your time. Sarri Kaganoff is an MBA Student at Chicago Booth and the co-chair of the Mothers at Booth student group. She was a portfolio manager for a trading firm in Israel and has plans to move into a consulting role. Moreover, she has two children. She devotes her mornings to classes, afternoons to her daughters, and evenings and Sundays to school work. When Ms. Kaganoff is asked about her experience, she says, "Most of the men I know, my husband included, don't have as much of the need, or the guilt, that we have. It's important for me to be with my kids during the week." She also added that this allows her to focus on her children when she is with them.
A babysitter is also quite necessary. Some women feel guilty when they hire a babysitter as they feel they are neglecting their child. Elizabeth Bramson-Boudreau, an MBA graduate at London Business School this summer, wrote of the au pair she hired: "Although you will feel sad and even jealous watching your children cuddle her when you head out the door for an early-morning class, your children will learn that more people than their parents find them lovable and fascinating and maddening. They will learn to be flexible and accommodate differences."
However, John Beeson, blogging for Harvard Business Review said that a work-life balance is a myth. It is quite hard to imagine the ambitious mothers, currently devoting significant time and energy to their children and also their careers to be fully satisfied.
You may also have a chance to bring your child to school as some business schools have taken measures to aid mothers and soon-to-be mothers. Whether it's a lactation room on campus for breast pumping or a club where mothers can meet to hash out parenting concerns, there is a growing demand for these types of offerings on business campuses such as Colombia University.
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by Knitgeek » Thu Jul 28, 2016 12:33 pm
Thank you for this post. As a mother currently applying for a part-time MBA which will mean balancing home, work and school it is good to see steps being taken to increase the viability of pursuing an education as a mom.

I will add though that helping to promote the normalcy of more egalitarian parenting styles would go a long way in getting more women in to school. I realize that is a bit of a chicken and egg argument, but I know personally I wouldn't be chasing an MBA if my husband wasn't ready to roll up his sleeves and take on a more active role at home. While I grew up in a family that adhered to the traditional gender roles, I was also raised to believe that you can make the choice to conform to those traditional roles as little or as much as you like (obviously you should probably be with a partner that shares your view on what role each partner will play) and it is encouraging to see society as a whole moving towards a more egalitarian viewpoint on gender roles not matter how slow that process may be.

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by [email protected] » Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:14 am
Knitgeek wrote:Thank you for this post. As a mother currently applying for a part-time MBA which will mean balancing home, work and school it is good to see steps being taken to increase the viability of pursuing an education as a mom.
Just want to add my congrats to you for seeking an MBA and balancing roles. It is becoming more common to have mothers in MBA programs and I encourage you to help move this issue forward at the school you join for your MBA. We can't have enough voices to help make the pathway clearer for women and there is a lot schools can do to signal they are welcoming of mothers seeking an MBA.

I will add though that helping to promote the normalcy of more egalitarian parenting styles would go a long way in getting more women in to school. I realize that is a bit of a chicken and egg argument, but I know personally I wouldn't be chasing an MBA if my husband wasn't ready to roll up his sleeves and take on a more active role at home. While I grew up in a family that adhered to the traditional gender roles, I was also raised to believe that you can make the choice to conform to those traditional roles as little or as much as you like (obviously you should probably be with a partner that shares your view on what role each partner will play) and it is encouraging to see society as a whole moving towards a more egalitarian viewpoint on gender roles not matter how slow that process may be.

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by Knitgeek » Tue Aug 16, 2016 10:58 am
Very good point Donna. I had my interview with my target school on Friday and I have to say I was very pleased with enthusiasm they demonstrated to having no only a strong cohort of female students but working mothers. I hope that I am able to further strengthen that culture and perhaps help the university set an example for other schools and community as whole.

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by Pratap-S » Fri Nov 11, 2016 2:14 am
That was such a lovely read!
As a mother, even when you are making excellent alternate arrangements
for your baby care, like baby sitter or nurseries,
you still feel the guilt..thats a mommy :)
But I guess ladies are blessed with these beautifull day to day worries
and they take care of all thier responsibilities elegantly.
Kudos to all working ladies!

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by Sowmya2709 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:25 pm
Beautifully Written, enjoyed reading it. As someone who is in early 30's and planning for MBA!!

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by MikeAustin » Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:29 am
It's a very serious decision. I applaud you!) Good luck)
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