Communication, structure, and flexibility
The Executive MBA requires a commitment of time and effort to reap its benefits, but EMBA students learn how to maximize their time, balance their work, studies, and life, and keep it all in perspective.
The following tips may prove helpful in preparing for the challenge of returning to the classroom while working:
- Stay flexible – you may not always know how it will all work
- Talk to your family early and make sure they are on board
- Invite your significant other to visit class
- Communicate with your boss and business team
- Take it easy on yourself as you are making the adjustment the first semester
- Get to know your team members and set ground rules for your team
- Look at every aspect of your life to figure out how your studies will fit
- Establish dedicated family time that is protected and doesn’t change
- Be completely honest with yourself
- Have fun and remember – it’s only more or less two years
Daniel Dower is an example of more than making it all work: He faced some unusual challenges in his life during his EMBA career. He became the father of triplets, who joined four other siblings.
As president of Texas Business Strategies, which provides consulting services in investment management, Dower was able to take some time off temporarily and worked about 20 hours per week for several months.
“In the first few weeks after the babies came home, people I had never met would show up at our house and offer to help with dishes or laundry, people who had heard from the friend of a friend that knew we needed help,” he says. “When I was in Chile [for an international EMBA trip], the local Albertson’s manager delivered groceries and put them away.”
He continued to shift his schedule after the babies came home. An average day started at 6 a.m., when he cared for the babies until about 9 a.m. He then worked from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., spent 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. with his family, and studied from 10 p.m. to midnight.
Post-program, he has a different perspective on time. “Now, I find myself wondering why I needed so much down time before,” he says. “My life’s always been very busy, but I used to complain about getting less than eight hours of sleep or not having recreational weekends. Certainly, our yard needs some work, but the EMBA was very rewarding.”