What advice do you have for prospective students with families?
Communication, coordination, and time allocation are the most important things. You have to have really good communication with your spouse and set clear and appropriate expectations before you start an MBA. You need to discuss how much time and effort you will need to put into the program.
Coordination is really important. We talk about our schedules and make sure to communicate clearly as I have many calls related to coursework, clubs, or projects, sometimes on a daily basis. Make sure to allocate time for the MBA, your job, and also be sure to allocate time for your family. If I have evening calls, I don’t get to spend that much time with my kids, but then I will make sure to spend a few hours with them the next day and push my MBA-related work later in the day after their bedtime. I try to set expectations with my older daughter so she knows when she will have time with me. Attempting to strike a balance is really important to me.
Family time is essential. If I am stressed from work or the MBA, being with my kids helps alleviate that stress. Two years ago I wouldn’t have believed I could manage my MBA and take care of two children. I can confidently say that if I have learned to do it—as long as folks out there get the right support from their family—they can do it, too. As humans, we underestimate our capabilities, but you can do it. During this journey, I‘d lie if I said that there were no stressful times, but I kept moving forward telling myself that I was finally doing what I love. Pursuing an MBA from a top school and becoming a father to two beautiful little girls have truly been the best experiences of my life. If I have to do it all over again, I wouldn’t do it in any other way.
Are you able to allocate time to yourself?
That’s been really difficult. I try to spend all my free time with my kids and spouse because they have given up quite a bit in this process, so I try to devote my extra time to them.
What is your favorite part of being a father?
Playing with my children, spending time with them and making them happy. If I’m a part of their happiness, I’m happy. I truly believe that they have made me a better person and they have shown me how to appreciate the little things in life.
What are you looking forward to most once you graduate?
Spending time with my family. My older daughter now takes classes in piano and I’d love to sit with her and learn as well. When I graduate, my younger daughter will likely be walking, so I’m looking forward to that. My wife and I enjoy traveling so we plan to resume this as well.
Chicago Booth has been an amazing experience. The way I think and the way I approach problems is different. Chicago Booth has played a major role in my career transition and I’m confident my MBA will help me achieve larger goals in my life.