Stanford GSB | Mr. Rocket Scientist Lawyer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.65 Cumulative
Darden | Mr. Federal Consultant
GMAT 780, GPA 3.26
INSEAD | Mr. Consulting Fin
GMAT 730, GPA 4.0
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Enlisted Undergrad
GRE 315, GPA 3.75
INSEAD | Ms. Hope & Goodwill
GMAT 740, GPA 3.5
Stanford GSB | Mr. Navy Officer
GMAT 770, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. Milk Before Cereals
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3 (16/20 Portuguese scale)
Chicago Booth | Mr. Guy From Taiwan
GRE 326, GPA 3.3
Darden | Mr. Leading Petty Officer
GRE (MCAT) 501, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. Sales To Consulting
GMAT 760, GPA 3.49
Tuck | Mr. Consulting To Tech
GMAT 750, GPA 3.2
Columbia | Mr. NYC Native
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Tepper | Mr. Leadership Developement
GMAT 740, GPA 3.77
Harvard | Ms. Athlete Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.3
Darden | Mr. Stock Up
GMAT 700, GPA 3.3
Darden | Mr. Education Consulting
GRE 326, GPA 3.58
Harvard | Ms. Ambitious Hippie
GRE 329, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Classic Candidate
GMAT 760, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Unrealistic Ambitions
GMAT 710, GPA 2.0
Stanford GSB | Mr. Equal Opportunity
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Tuck | Mr. Over-Experienced
GRE 330, GPA 3.0
HEC Paris | Mr. Indian Entrepreneur
GMAT 690, GPA 2.1
Chicago Booth | Mr. Community Uplift
GMAT 780, GPA 2.6
UCLA Anderson | Mr. Worldwide
GMAT 730, GPA 3.1
Wharton | Mr. LatAm Indian Trader
GMAT 720, GPA 3.5
Wharton | Mr. MBB to PE
GMAT 740, GPA 3.98
Harvard | Mr. MBB Aspirant
GMAT 780, GPA 3.7

An MBA Mom’s Survival Guide

Nivedita Candade and her family

Nivedita Candade and her family

What’s it like for a mom with two kids and a management consultant husband to decide to go to business school?

The short answer: it’s not very easy.

I should certainly know. As I complete my first year as a full-time MBA student juggling work, personal life and business school, I now seem to have settled into a new normal.

Pursuing an MBA is a big decision for anyone, let alone a mom. Perhaps, it’s an even bigger decision for a dad, who once a major breadwinner, has to now forgo his salary for a couple of years. As moms, we have different concerns and priorities. If you’re like me, you would have gone through several iterations over several years of “Should I or shouldn’t I?”. A few moms take the plunge and this article is a little survival guide for those bravos.

Survival tip #1: Hire help. Don’t try to be the be-all and end-all for your kids. And stop feeling guilty. As long as your kids are in safe and loving hands, you’re in good shape. In fact your kids will learn to get along with other people and be more independent. By delegating chores, you’ll be a happier person and might find more time with your kids too.

Survival tip #2: Un-mom yourself for a bit. You’re probably one of three moms in your class of 100, so most of your classmates really don’t know what you’re going through. They have different social lives and if you don’t make an effort to connect with them, you’re not going to be remembered. Find every chance to network with your classmates. Swing by happy hours or go out to lunch. Basically have a good time and discover new friendships. Weak ties have to be nurtured – relationships won’t happen overnight.

Survival tip #3: Workout. The biggest thing that you will need to get you through business school is physical and mental stamina. Sleep deprivation is common and so are times when a dozen projects are due at the same time as your exams. Add parental responsibilities to the mix and you’re putting your body through an intense boot camp. Setting aside 30 minutes to rev up your system is totally worth it. It’s not only physically rejuvenating but gives you a period of mental void which really helps avoid burnout.

Survival tip #4: Focus. Keep a time limit on assignments and group meetings. Get to the heart of the matter and get out. Technology is a huge time sink. When you’re in real working mode, switch off all devices and sit down with a pen and paper. Most of our work is brain work – translating to slides and documents is a secondary task.

Survival tip #5: Be strategic with your job search. Job searches take up an enormous amount of time. Work on refining and adding skills to your resume. Nobody ever reads cover letters, so please save yourself some time (this is from personal experience). Moms have very little time – you don’t have to attend every information session or career fair. Most of the time, they don’t matter. Go digital and leverage social media to maximize your time.

For those moms still deciding whether B-school is right for them, I say “go for it”. It’s an excellent investment in yourself with significant intellectual and professional payoffs. Infact, an MBA is not nearly as challenging as motherhood – it’s just the MBA word that is more daunting that the actual experience.

Nivedita Candade is a first year student at Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business. She’s a mom to a four-and-one-half-year-old  boy and a three-year-old girl. She hopes to see more moms pursuing their dreams and finding fulfillment in their personal and professional lives.