Q&A with the spouse and parent of a Goizueta Evening MBA student

It is likely no surprise that being in graduate school at night while working full-time is a lot to take on. Succeeding in this type of environment requires hard work for a couple of years (don’t worry — it’s completely worth it). That said, it’s also likely no surprise that the student is not the only one affected; close friends and family will notice some changes and adapt in ways to help out. With the hope of demystifying what this will be like for the support system of prospective and newly admitted students, I interviewed my mom and husband. Their answers are summarized below.

1. Name something that changed about me after I entered the MBA program. 

Spouse: Your interest in workplace satisfaction grew into a fascination with leadership, and I saw how it affected your approach to your new position as a manager.

Parent: You found a new passion and joy, and your enthusiasm level for it is off the charts. You have renewed confidence in yourself, your abilities and your worth to your employer.

2. What surprised you most after I started the program? 

Spouse: Just how busy you got. I knew it would be intense, but it was more than I expected.

Parent: That you had such a level of ambition and drive, and that you were willing to commit to a rigorous program when you also had a very demanding full-time job.

3. What is the biggest difference in our relationship since then?

Both: The amount of time we spend together decreased, and although those moments are few and precious, we know you are there for us if we really need you.

4. How has me being in Goizueta’s Evening MBA program benefitted you? 

Spouse: I’ve met some of your interesting classmates and gotten to do a few things as a “plus-one” that I never would have otherwise.
Parent: It has given me peace of mind that you will always be able to take care of yourself in that you should always be able to find meaningful employment.

5. What has been the best part of the past two years? The most challenging?  

Spouse: Best part is seeing you grow in new and unforeseen ways, especially as a manager.

Parent: Best part is seeing you happy, pursuing something you enjoy and gaining a healthy, visible confidence level made possible by the skills and knowledge you are obtaining.
Both: Most challenging part is seeing how hard you are working with less time off, and the occasional stress levels it takes to juggle work, classes and homework.

6. What advice would you give to close family members of new students entering the program? 

Both: Pitch in as much as you possibly can with household chores, grocery shopping, etc., so that they can devote more time to schoolwork.

7. Anything to add?

Parent: I AM SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO PROUD!

Aw, shucks.

Ashley Freeman

Ashley Freeman

Ashley Freeman is an 18EvMBA student and full-time manager in Emory’s Department of Orthopaedics under the School of Medicine. She is a leadership coaching, talent development and employee engagement enthusiast. In her free time, she loves crocheting, painting, traveling, playing cello, teaching French and music, and spending time with her husband and pet bird. Connect with Ashley on Twitter (@AshleySFreeman) or on LinkedIn.

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