Being a mom while doing an MBA is not for the faint hearted. But that shouldn’t put you off because many women do. However, it’s always good to know what to expect and learn from the experiences of others.
Marta Durany, MBA 21 at IESE Business School in Barcelona, ââis in this boat. She was entering her third year at Amazon when she decided to pursue an MBA, and she did so with a 4 month old son.
Here, she gives 5 tips for women like her:
Don’t underestimate how exciting this dual role can be
âDealing with two huge life changes in a short period of time, while in a fast-paced environment, is ultimately a challenge,â she says.
âHowever, it’s super exciting to be both a mom and a student. I’m surrounded by amazing teammates and peers who see the world from different angles.
âIn addition, being a mother has changed and completed my way of perceiving the world. My priorities, time allocation, interests and concerns all changed from the minute I knew I was pregnant. I suddenly saw the world in a different way.
Think of it as the couple’s MBA
âKnow that it’s not just the mom or dad’s MBA, it’s the couple’s MBA. You both need to know very clearly from the start that this is a project for both parents, regardless of who is enrolled in the MBA program, âsays Durany.
âI always say that when I graduate my MBA degree should have both my husband Marcos’ name and mine. I would not successfully complete the MBA without his generous and unwavering support.
âIt won’t be easy. You will need military-style discipline, endure little sleep, and have no time to relax for the first 12 months. At some point the tensions will rise, and when they do, it is important that you both have a very clear idea of ââwhy you are doing the MBA and, most importantly, that you remember that you are a unbreakable team.
Don’t assume that you are doing worse than others
âIf I could talk to myself a year ago, I would tell myself to stress less during the first trimester. Going straight from maternity leave to my first day in the MBA program was a shock. I had the feeling that my brain was sleeping, âexplains Durany.
âI remember breastfeeding my son early in the morning and late at night reading the first few cases and having to reread them later to really understand them.
âBeing around such smart people with my brain still on maternity leave was a huge blow to my self-esteem. It wasn’t until after the Christmas break with my first trimester grades in one hand and the internship offer I wanted in the other that I realized I wasn’t doing that bad and I should. maybe stop being so hard on myself.
âMarcos and I have grown and learned a lot as a couple,â says Durany. “The experience made our marriage stronger and we saw our little baby grow into a little boy.”
âDuring this time, I was able to learn every day from peers, teachers, cases and projects. I enjoyed the lively conversations over lunch or dinner and played games on Tuesday nights with my new friends. It was the trip of a lifetime, just as demanding and exciting.