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Finding Work-Life Balance in a MBA Program and Throughout Your Career

  • MBA Alvernia

The best way to combine career goals with parenthood is to plan in advance and look for flexibility.

Shawn Hinkle, a project manager/business analyst at Trifecta Technologies, was studying for his MBA, while his son was a toddler. He kept his sanity and juggled his job, his classes, and his family responsibilities by reducing his course load to just one class per semester.

He was grateful that his wife helped as much as she could and recommends that students, “be realistic about how long it may take you to complete the program. You may think you can complete an MBA in two to three years but a working parent will probably find it difficult to do that.”

Finding support from spouses, relatives, friends and other parents is one strategy to get through graduate school. But, what happens after you graduate? Can you achieve work-life balance and still advance your career? The answer is yes, if you pick the right job.

The headline of this article says it all; “Target MBA Jobs That Pay Well, Require Fewer Hours.” According to this article, the average MBA graduate in 2012 worked nine hours a day while other people work on average 7.7 hours a day.

For those MBA graduates looking for a career with less demanding hours – a key factor in achieving work-life balance – this article recommends gravitating towards jobs in sales, consulting or marketing since all usually offer a manageable work day.

Another strategy is to look for an employer that offers flexible working arrangements (FWA). Businessweek surveyed 726 MBA graduates who worked full-time jobs in a variety of industries in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Canada. They found that, “MBA graduates are significantly more likely to aspire to CEO or senior executive-level jobs if FWAs are an option: Some 90 percent of respondents were eyeing the corner office at companies making FWAs available, but only 77 percent were similarly ambitious at organizations in which these programs did not exist. Overall, 81 percent of the MBAs surveyed indicated that they currently have access to FWAs of some kind.”

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