Things to consider when your partner is applying to MBA programs

Your husband (or wife, fiancé, partner) has decided that a full time MBA program is in his future. It’s kind of a scary prospect that involves quitting jobs, moving far away, and spending lots of money. Throw kids in the mix and things get downright crazy.

Here are some things to consider and questions to ask when your partner is applying to MBA programs.

Location

Two years is a long time to live in a climate that you find uncomfortable and business school applications are not cheap (most are in the $200-$250 range). Talk about your geographical preferences before deciding where to apply. Be honest with yourselves.

If you’ve lived on the West Coast your whole lives how well will you adjust to business school life in New England. Will the dark, cold, and long winters away from your friends and family depress you? Do you thrive in a busy metropolis like New York City? Is heading to the Midwest a good idea? Don’t get seduced by the sexy school branding. In order to make the most of your investment (and business school is a huge investment) you have to prepare yourselves for success. How successful can you be if you absolutely hate where you live?

Another consideration is your post MBA goals. If your partner attends an east coast school the recruiting events will usually be held in east coast cities. The firms that visit your school will also be from east coast cities.

Are you planning on moving back to the west coast? Have you factored in the cost of your spouse flying to the west coast for recruiting & networking events and interviews? Are you ready for this additional challenge?

Services 

School admissions offices are super helpful and can give you lots of information about community religious organizations, healthcare providers, preschools, and more. However you should still conduct your own research.

Are you planning on becoming pregnant while your spouse is enrolled. Awesome. Were you hoping for a home birth with a fabulous doula? Plan ahead. Make sure that your potential future communities have facilities to support you and your family’s unique needs.

You don’t want to spend hours driving to healthcare specialists, temples, or dominican hairdressers (don’t judge me, I hate doing my own hair). Business school is hard make this part easy on yourself. Make sure your future communities has the amenities that are important to your family.

Community 

Every school has its own unique feel and vibe. If you can fit a pre application visit into your budget then I highly recommend it. It’s great to meet new people but it’s also nice to be around people who speak the same language or have a similar background to you. It can help make your new surroundings feel a bit more like home. I know I’m always ecstatic when I meet a Spanish speaking family in the student housing community we live in.

Check out the statistics on the school websites as well. If you’re applying to schools outside of your home country check out the percentage of international students. If you’re bringing children with you make sure that the school and community are kid friendly. You get the idea.

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Do the research. Supporting your spouse during their time as a business school student is stressful. Make things as easy for yourselves as you can.

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