How to Keep Calm and Manage it all


Photo of Akshata Puri at LAUNCH“So what are you doing this weekend?”

“Oh I am traveling to Chicago. I go to Chicago every week”

“Wait WHAT? Every week? Why?”

“I am doing my part-time Weekend MBA at Chicago Booth so I travel every week on Friday nights and come back on Saturday nights. Sometimes, I travel Saturday morning to Saturday night”

“Wait, are you serious? That’s just crazy. How do you manage that!?”

Smile and silence...

That’s what conversations with my colleagues and friends sound like these days. Truth be told, I do not know how I am managing, but somehow I am and am loving every moment of it!

I am Akshata Puri and I am sharing this post to tell you that yes, it is crazy and yes, it is difficult, but if you are up for the challenge, it is doable and absolutely worth it!

Photo of Akshati PuriI work as a Senior Market Data Analyst at a financial brokerage firm based in New York. I launched at Chicago Booth in fall 2017 and am about to finish my second quarter here. An MBA was always a dream for me, but I had reservations about quitting my job and pursuing a full-time program. My short-term goal is to advance in my own firm and so a part-time MBA seemed like an ideal fit. Booth is the leader in MBA education so it was a no-brainer to apply here.

I was extremely excited when I was accepted, but what had seemed like just wishful thinking suddenly became a reality and I now had to consider the logistics. How was I going to manage a demanding full-time job, travel, studies, finances, family, pets, health, and a social life? After doing thorough research, talking to current students who travel, and having rather heated back-and-forths with my family and friends, I decided to follow my gut and just go for it!

It has been a rollercoaster ride and I will not deny it is far from easy. There have been many trade-offs and sacrifices already and I still have eight more quarters to go!

Here is what my week looks like typically:

Monday: Study, work, social night (I know, my friends are super
nice to consider Monday as the new Friday)
Tuesday - Thursday: Work, study group calls, assignments
Friday: Work, study, travel to Chicago
Saturday: Classes, sessions, networking at Booth events, travel back to NY
Sunday: Chores, sleep, disconnect, gym, meditate, and just breathe!

Photo of Akshata Puri in front of Chicago Booth's Gleacher CenterHowever, it is difficult to capture all of this because nothing ever goes as planned. So, I would also like to share some tips that might come in handy:

1. Learn to say no and not feel bad about it. There are a lot of
people (even more once you start at Booth) who would like to
   spend time with you and you might just not have the time.

2. Try not to get carried away and maintain the balance.
   Though it is very easy to lose track of time and spend more on
   any one aspect, you are on a thin thread to balance and taking
   from one area may cost you in another

Enjoy as much as you can. At the end of the day, you will
   only be left with memories of perhaps the most beautiful three
   years of your life, so better to make the most out of it.


Please feel free to reach out to me at with any questions or thoughts.