Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Helping Your Family Support You in the MBA

With the rush of GMATs and applications it’s very easy to lose sight of how the move towards an MBA programme affects those around you. This is a very sensitive subject and one which is not often discussed openly.

During my first week at the Babson MBA programme I was lucky enough to get advice on this topic from an alumnus. Her suggestion was to be clear about my priorities during my MBA. A lot of money and time was invested in the programme. In my case, I had to leave my loved ones abroad to complete the programme. For others, their loved ones accompany the students and this can be just as hard, particularly for the partner who is not studying as they may not have the same distractions as the MBA student in their new environment. In fact, this sacrifice is a motivator for me to make sure I make the most of the programme and take advantage the amazing resources available to me while I’m here.

When I first heard the alumnus’ advice it sounded quite harsh, but as she explained, it was important that my family be clear about my MBA priorities. After all, they want what is best for us as a family and being clear that I may not be able to communicate with them because of a major project or interviews helps them to understand how best to support me.

Doing an MBA is not easy but it’s an amazing opportunity to learn, network and enhance your career path. My advice to those of you who have family and loved ones to consider is to keep them involved in the decision-making process, but be honest about your MBA priorities. They want to support you, and by being realistic about the programme will help them do this and give you the strength to do your best.

Leslie Wanderley Wanick
Forte Fellow, Class of 2012
Babson Graduate School of Business

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