Juggling Family, Work, and an MBA Is Possible—Here’s How:
Grad school is never easy—and when you’re juggling the responsibilities of family life and a full-time job, too, the challenges of finishing an MBA can seem insurmountable. It may be daunting, but it’s definitely possible to complete an MBA while working full-time and caring for a family. Plenty of students do it all the time! You just have to manage your time wisely, and be willing to work hard, and with the support of family and friends, you’ll soon be walking across that graduation stage. Let’s take a look at some strategies to help you juggle work, family, and graduate studies.
Technology Is Your Friend
These days, it’s all about going to school online. The stigma of online education is rapidly disappearing, as more and more great schools are offering online programs. Typically, online degree programs are taught by the same faculty that teaches on-campus courses. Online degree programs should be just as rigorous as their on-campus counterparts, and you’ll enjoy the same student support resources, as well as having many of the same opportunities for networking in your program.
Enrolling in a university online MBA program is the best thing you can do in terms of time management. An online program allows you to go through the material at your own pace, when your schedule allows, so you don’t have to worry about making time in your schedule to sit in a classroom several times a week. Instead, you’ll be able to complete your coursework at any time of the day or night.
Technology can also help you network with classmates and work on group projects. Discussion forums, email, teleconferencing, and video conferencing applications can bring you all together, even when you’re located around the country or the world.
Manage Your Time Wisely
Going to grad school shouldn’t be taken lightly, and you’ll need to stay on top of things if you want to succeed. Block out time each day to study, in the way that works best for you. Expect to spend at least six hours a week on each of your courses. Finding this time may mean getting up earlier in the morning, studying during lunch breaks and coffee breaks at work, sitting down to homework during your children’s nap or TV time, and blocking out time in the evenings and on weekends to study. Consider doing your MBA on a part-time basis to ease the burden.
Make Time for Yourself—And Those You Love
No matter how much work you have to do, it’s still important to make time for yourself and for those you’re closest too. If you have children, make sure you set aside some time each day to spend just having fun with them. Your relationships with your children are worth working on, and you don’t want to miss out on these years of your children’s lives because of grad school.
It’s also important to set aside time for yourself and time to spend with your significant other. Set aside two blocks of free time each week—one to relax doing something you love, and one to spend with your partner. Though you may not have time to see friends every week, it’s also important to make time for them as often as you can. This down time is essential for your well-being.
Take Care of Yourself
When you’re juggling grad school, family, and a full-time job, taking time to exercise, get plenty of sleep, and eat right can seen counterintuitive. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that skipping your yoga class, skimping on sleep, and grabbing some fast food would be the easiest ways to free up time in your schedule for your studies. Think of it this way—if you don’t have time to exercise, sleep, and prepare healthy meals, then you’d better make time to get sick! Take good care of yourself to maintain your health, manage stress, and stay energized and focused through the long days ahead.
Managing the responsibilities of family and a full-time job while going to grad school takes focus, self-discipline, and determination—but just remember that all of your hard work will soon pay off. Whenever you start to feel overwhelmed, just remember: Grad school is only a couple of years. It’ll be over before you know it.