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Category Archives: Partners & Sig-O’s
Guest Blogger Ben Meek, MBA 2012, gives some insights into being a parent while pursuing his MBA. If you’re a parent (or soon-to-be parent) thinking about coming to Owen and want to ask Ben or his wife Katie more about parenting as a student send an e-mail to: email@example.com or reach out to the Owen Partners Association: OPA@owen.vanderbilt.edu
My wife Katie and I took a leap and moved from San Diego to Nashville despite knowing very little about the city. From a family perspective, we could hardly have made a better choice. I can’t weigh in too much on day care and schooling, but here’s what I can tell you about.
Kids – When we arrived, Katie was 6 months pregnant with our second son. We thought we’d be the only couple crazy enough to have a child during business school, but at least a couple of other Owen families did it as well this past year. (Tell you one thing that made that easier—the hospital is about a 5 minute walk from campus.) Our kids have really thrived here. There are plenty of good outdoorsy things to do, including some great hiking trails in Brentwood and elsewhere, and my 3-year old loved his first camping trip. If that’s not your cup of tea, there are plenty of good places to take the kids, play groups and the like. We’ve found Nashville to be a stellar family environment with plenty of young families.
Upon becoming the partner of a new business school student, you will lose spending time with one another. It is imperative that you lay down the ground rules before school actually begins. For instance, my partner and I decided that sharing meals was important to us, so we aim to eat at least 1 meal per day together. We also decided that one day each weekend was just for us, so he had to pick a day he would not schedule group meetings, etc. Of course, there was some flexibility. I, in return, attended every social event that he had to/wanted to go to so we could spend time together. It was the best thing I ever did. I made friends with some of my partner’s fellow students and their partners. These people are my friends in Nashville now. So I guess the message is: 1. Set ground rules and 2. Get involved.
So, should you relocate to Owen for your MBA and leave your Sig-O behind? Ideally, the best program for you would be in the city your Sig-O was in, or they would be willing to relocate to Nashville for two years as you go to Owen. Unfortunately, life doesn’t always work out that way. So, is a long-distance relationship possible? Of course, but it all depends on what you put into it.
For the first 3 mods of b-school, it will probably be pretty tough. Most weekends you will need to be here or working on your job search. If your sig-o has a more flexible schedule they should be prepared to be doing most of the travelling for the first part of b-school. If this is going to be a huge problem, well…that doesn’t bode well. But if you both are comitted to the relationship and don’t have to see each other a certain amount of times per month or what have you, then go for it. Plus, Nashville is a Southwest city so depending on where you are coming from it won’t be that expensive.
Such a simple thing, balance. Yet I don’t feel like I’ve had that much of it lately. I didn’t realize how much I need a break until I sat down a couple of minutes ago. I don’t know if I’m trying to convince myself of the two statements below, or if they’re the truth.
No matter where you go to school, you’re going to be pushing yourself hard academically.
No matter where you go to school, the job hunt is going to be stressful.
I’m sitting here realizing how much time I’ve spent on those two things, negleting other things. I’m watching Vandy play G. Tech right now and thinking how much I’d like to be there right now. But I need to spend some more time with the fiance, especially with the fact she’s been working night shifts lately. There doesn’t seem to be a balance with my personal life in comparison to my school and “professional” life. That’ll change soon, hopefully.
I’m going to watch the game, crack a beer, and relax until tomorrow. Tomorrow morning I’ll be chopping down a Christmas tree while the better half directs me. I’ll then start studying for operations while watching the Giants whip on Carolina (its a stone cold lock baby) and clear my head a little bit. That should refresh the batteries and let me finish exams strong.