An MBA With a Family? 6 Tips to Make It Possible

MBA with a family

You want to get your MBA, but family obligations seem to be in conflict?

Some advice on getting your MBA AND being a great mom or dad. Here is some food for thought.

If you have a family, a Full-Time MBA is actually a BETTER option (and may be more do-able than you think).

It seems pretty natural to think, I have a mortgage, kids, etc. – being gone weekends and evenings is your only option. But consider this:

Evening and weekend programs have very little scholarship money. With work experience and good scores, your chances of getting a really good scholarship and maybe even a full-ride, are pretty attainable – depending on the program.

An evening or weekend program (while working) means you are away from your family during the day for work, generally at least 2-3 nights per week and often some of your weekend for team projects. Leaving less time for your family!

Our students have told us if you consider school to be a job, it is possible to “work” a regular 40 hour week. Although you need flexibility for project meetings, case competitions, etc., these students come to campus at 8:00 AM to start their school work, regardless of when classes start, and at 6:00 PM, they wrap up their day. Like in a job, exceptions apply, but it is manageable to get your MBA and not spend any more time away from your family than you do now.

6 Tips to Make an MBA With a Family Possible

Time management is key when enrolling in a working professional MBA program.

It seems pretty natural to think, “I have a mortgage, kids, etc. – being gone weekends and evenings is my only option.” But consider these suggestions that have worked for MBA students:

  1. Get your boss/team on board. Remind them of the value your education adds to the company and remember that value is immediate. The tools you will use in class can be applied to your job as you go and, in some cases, be formalized into a work project for credit.
  2. Evening cohort students often take their electives on the same nights when they have core classes. By stacking classes on one night, it reduces commute times and evenings away from friends and family.
  3. If you have a class right after work, leave that afternoon meeting free. This way you can ensure a meeting won’t run over and make you late for class.
  4. Partner with other students who live in the same geographic area. This will allow for study groups on evenings and weekends that can be quick and easy.
  5. Look into your company’s tuition reimbursement plan. At a state school, this can often cover a good portion, if not all, of your tuition.
  6. Don’t make the decision whether to go full-time or part-time until you know the cost.

Joe was a student who was sure his only option was a working professional program. With a little convincing, he applied to a full-time just to see what happened. As it turned out, he was able to get a full scholarship plus a small additional supplement for living expenses. He got an internship with AT&T in the summer which continued through the fall. He was only out of work for two semesters! This allowed him to get the additional career development he needed and finish in 18 months.

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