How Couples Make It Through B-School

Mark Flickinger, a member of UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School’s class of 2011, met the woman who would become his fiancé at the school’s admitted students’ weekend. Like the Giedgowd’s, the first challenge that Flickinger had to confront was a way to consciously balance his time so that he maintain good grades while building a new and healthy relationship.

As graduation neared, the next problem was where both of them would eventually work. Flickinger limited his own job search to the Atlanta area after his fiancé landed a coveted Goldman Sachs job there. Overall, he believes business school is a good place to find a spouse because it brings together intelligent, like-minded, motivated people who are likely to seek the similar attributes in a life partner.

Paul Lysko, Kenan-Flagler ’11, also met his fiancé at the school’s admitted students’ weekend. “I came back to the south [Lysko did his undergraduate studies at Duke] to chase southern girls, and it worked,” he jokes. Lysko stressed the importance of having the relationship thrive not just on its own, but also within the larger social scene of the school, which for UNC he described as “an infinite amount of people to party with.”

Another route some students take is to apply to and attend business school with their significant other. That’s what Julie Reimer and her boyfriend, Will, did; both of them are members of Dartmouth’s Tuck Business School Class of 2012. After meeting at Wachovia, where he worked in leverage finance and she worked in investment banking, the couple applied to Tuck and a few other schools, asking each school to consider them a package deal. “We ended up liking and disliking the exact same schools, so the process was pretty easy,” Reimer recalls.

The biggest challenge of dating a classmate, she says, is to be seen in the school community as an individual, rather than just a part of a couple. According to her, there are many couples at Tuck and there can sometimes be a social divide between the school’s couples and single community. “I think I had a harder time developing relationships with other women in the class because I came in as a couple.” Nevertheless, she adds, “we are having a really positive experience all the way around.”


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