Have a partner or spouse who’s going to a top business school program? Expect a lot of stress, pressure, and anxiety over the move. Here’s a glimpse at the kinds of things that student-led groups of partners do to help significant others to deal with the transition:
Harvard Business School Partners’ Club: “I realized that the pressure was double-folded: not only I was facing the crossing, but also my husband was confronting the most dramatic challenge in his life – studying under intensive stress in an alien culture,” writes Ying Shen, who accompanied her husband to Boston so he could enroll in Harvard’s MBA program. “I could read the yearning for my company from his eyes. At that moment, I heard the vow we made on our wedding ceremony: nothing breaks us apart. I am one half of a new family, a once-in-a-lifetime “career” for me. Against all odds, I jumped into the uncharted water hand-in-hand with my husband.” Such observations from partners who have made the journey from Japan, the Netherlands, Canada, and Mexico are in an international section of this partners’ website that offers special guidance for international spouses. The Harvard Club organizes ice cream socials, happy hours, welcome clambakes, sushi classes, and apple picking excursions to ease the transition.
Stanford BizPartners: Sponsors small group dinners, a welcome event, holiday party, and a San Francisco outing. Website has photos of partner gatherings and a group of Bay Area Top Ten lists, ranging from the best “treats and eats” to “quick trips” from the Stanford campus.
Chicago Partners: As editor of the Chicago Partners’ Newsletter, Nicole Bowman introduces herself this way: “I used to edit children’s books; now I write monotonous articles about cleaning supplies. I used to live in a tiny, mouse-infested NYC apartment; now I share a gigantic, rodent-free Chicago style condo with room for cartwheels and laundry (!) with my “student,” Simon Bowman, class of 2011. Hey, you win some, you lose some as a Booth Partner. I’m so excited to be The Voice of our little group, and hope I can help keep us all a little bit more informed and connected during this unique time in our lives.” She publishes a lively digital newsletter on a website that also features resources for international partners as well as partners with children.
Wharton Partners Club: Offers a “survival guide” to Philly newcomers, links to stories on what to do in Philadelphia, and resources galore for partners with or without children at Wharton.
Tuck Partners Club: Has a social network for partners of Dartmouth Tuck MBA candidates on Ning. Organizes welcome gatherings, parties, and dinners for partners. The club offers practical advice of all kinds. Relocating partners receive help in continuing their careers and finding new jobs in the area. Partners can audit classes at Dartmouth and Tuck at no charge. While interviewing at Tuck, the Tuck Partners Club offers partners a chance to visit with a current partner.
Columbia’s Better Halves: This group creates venues for significant others, fiancées/fiancés, spouses and families of students to meet one another. They help those who recently moved to New York develop a social network and help locals expand their circle of friends. Activities include family-friendly events such as Halloween Family Day, playground events, dinners, cultural excursions and an important orientation initiative to better prepare partners for the demands of an MBA education.
Kellogg Joint Ventures: Offers up fairly basic information to help partners make the transition at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Significant Others of Sloan: Has a Google group and a Facebook page, plus a directory of resources to help you become acquainted with the Boston area.
Stern Partners Committee: New York University’s Stern School of Business club for partners and spouses.
Fuqua Partners: Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business club for partners and spouses.
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