By Romaric Bouveret, current student of the University of Sydney Business School MBA program
It can be difficult to balance my work and my personal life. Nevertheless, a demanding job and a growing family are definitely compatible; it just sometimes requires adjustments to fit it all into a normal day. However, it is possible to reach both personal and career goals. Similarly, it is possible to study an MBA and continue to care for my family. In my opinion, it is possible to achieve an MBA-family balance.
Last year, I enrolled in the MBA program at the University of Sydney Business School. I chose this program because it promised to deliver one of the best courses in Australia and importantly, it was designed for people who have a busy career and personal life. Before enrolling, I knew I wanted to do an MBA, but I also wondered whether I should actually engage in new studies. I had two young children, and had doubts whether I would be able to balance my work, my family and a new MBA student life.
Today, there are many reasons I am thrilled to have started an MBA. Essentially, it has exceeded my expectations as it has allowed me to develop new skills in business administration and it has allowed me to connect with many inspiring people. I am also very fortunate because I have help and support from my wife, family and friends. All of them have helped me look after my children so that I could go to lectures, complete assignments or attend special seminars before or after work. Modules are also currently repeated every year and this allows for breaks from the course when other commitments arise. The Business School MBA program has been challenging because of the course content and the extra deadlines. However, the course is designed for people with a full-time job and active personal life. While I have taken a couple of days off during the year to study, most lectures are actually scheduled at night or on weekends. And although it sometimes feels like it would be easier if I did not have kids, enrolling has proven to be very worth all the “sacrifices” and one of the best decisions I have made since having children.
In fact, having kids can present some advantages. For example, being a parent has taught me that time is extremely precious and I must optimize and prioritise my days to balance my work and family. As a parent, I also get a chance to practice my leadership skills and negotiating skills. (Although, I know that authority does not always work. I know that I cannot lay off a child to reduce our family costs or increase our benefits!)
Some of my peers in the MBA program travel a lot in their job; some are accomplished athletes, business owners or volunteers in a charity. For parents, it is definitely possible to achieve a work-life-MBA-family balance as well.