McCombs School of Business | Mr. Marine Executive Officer
GRE 322, GPA 3.28
Tuck | Mr. Liberal Arts Military
GMAT 680, GPA 2.9
Harvard | Ms. Developing Markets
GMAT 780, GPA 3.63
Harvard | Mr. Policy Player
GMAT 750, GPA 3.4
Wharton | Mr. Future Non-Profit
GMAT 720, GPA 8/10
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Tough Guy
GMAT 680, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. CPPIB Strategy
GRE 329 (Q169 V160), GPA 3.6
Harvard | Mr. Defense Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Chicago Booth | Mr. Unilever To MBB
GRE 308, GPA 3.8
Chicago Booth | Mr. Bank AVP
GRE 322, GPA 3.22
Kellogg | Mr. Double Whammy
GMAT 730, GPA 7.1/10
Stanford GSB | Mr. Infantry Officer
GRE 320, GPA 3.7
McCombs School of Business | Mr. Ernst & Young
GMAT 600 (hopeful estimate), GPA 3.86
Kellogg | Mr. Engineer Volunteer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Kellogg | Mr. Operations Analyst
GMAT Waived, GPA 3.3
Kellogg | Mr. Defense Engineer
GMAT 760, GPA 3.15
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Indian Dreamer
GRE 331, GPA 8.5/10
Kellogg | Mr. Innovator
GRE 300, GPA 3.75
London Business School | Ms. Private Equity Angel
GMAT 660, GPA 3.4
Chicago Booth | Ms. Indian Banker
GMAT 740, GPA 9.18/10
Yale | Ms. Biotech
GMAT 740, GPA 3.29
Stanford GSB | Ms. Global Empowerment
GMAT 740, GPA 3.66
Harvard | Mr. Renewables Athlete
GMAT 710 (1st take), GPA 3.63
UCLA Anderson | Ms. Apparel Entrepreneur
GMAT 690, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Mr. Armenian Geneticist
GRE 331, GPA 3.7
Berkeley Haas | Mr. 1st Gen Grad
GMAT 740, GPA 3.1
Ross | Mr. Travelpreneur
GMAT 730, GPA 2.68

How Couples Make It Through B-School

If you’re surfing the net for horror stories on MBAs whose relationships have crashed while in B-school, you won’t have to look very hard. There are plenty of blog posts detailing the pressures a tough MBA program puts on marriages and partnerships.

There’s the story about the wife who decided to get her own MBA after her husband just spent two years completing his. He returned home expecting to start a family; she had other plans. Then, there’s the story about an ambitious wife who ventures off to a top B-school program, only to realize that her own husband failed to measure up to the A-types in her MBA study groups. In both cases, divorces soon followed.

But in the vast majority of couples have not only “survived” business school—their relationships have been enriched by the experience. They’ve come up with ways to combat the inevitable pressures and challenges an MBA program presents. And many singles, of course, have found business school a great place to meet a potential spouse.

A year ago, Tom Giedgowd moved his wife, Lauren, and young child to Charlottesville so that he could attend the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. They quickly discovered that Giedgowd was consumed by the first-year workload, among the toughest of any MBA program in the world. The school’s case study method and focus on group work often kept him away from home. Time management became his biggest hurdle as a husband and MBA candidate.

“We have learning teams who we do our case studies with,” says Giedgowd. “I had to convince my learning team to meet a little later so that I could eat with my family and put my son to bed.” The Giedgowds agree that increased communication is crucial for business school couples. Lauren Giedgowd recalls her husband texting her throughout his days at Darden last year so she always knew when he would return home. “My biggest piece of advice is to manage your expectations,” she advises other spouses. “As long as I knew he would be unavailable all day, it made it much easier.”

Philipp Triebel, Harvard Business School class of 2010 and founder of the web site IvyDate, echoed their advice. “It’s a matter of prioritizing,” says Triebel. He says married MBA candidates often wind up having to sacrifice much of the social life of business school. The result: many married couples in MBA programs feel on the outside of the mainstream community. In many cases, says Triebel, it’s a necessary sacrifice to maintain a strong relationship.

For singles in school, it’s an entirely different issue. Triebel believes that newly formed relationships between two classmates are easier to maintain than an existing marriage or partnership because both partners have a deeper understanding of what each is going through. One spouse isn’t sitting home while the other is out all night with her study group. “I think I’ve been invited to five weddings alone of couples that met at business school,” says Triebel.