During my first year going through the Smith MBA Part-Time program, I quickly learned the vital role that consistency played in enabling me achieve and sustain a good work/life balance. Each semester presented its own unique challenges from taking a few dreaded core classes to joggling life outside of school. To face these challenges, there were three actions that I took to realize the consistency necessary to achieve and sustain a good work/life balance.
First, establish a steady routine. Determine the most ideal time for you to study, play, sleep, run errands, work out, visit family, and so on. Be realistic with yourself. For example, I was not a morning person and greatly valued my weekends so I did not take weekend classes which started at 8:30 am on Saturdays and Sundays. I also preferred to be done with classes earlier in the week so I generally took classes on Monday and Wednesday nights.
Second, set clear expectations with those that really matter. The reality is that a good portion of your week will be dedicated to work and school work including time for group meetings, studying, classes, homework, etc. So it is unrealistic to assume that you will have as much as time to commit to social and other activities. As a result, proactively communicate your routine to your family, close friends, and managers so they are aware of what to expect from you based on your commitments.
Third, don’t forget to keep living life. Life goes on even while you are in school. So don’t miss out on it. Maintain your hobbies. Get a DVR to record and watch your shows on your schedule. Make time for special occasions (e.g. weddings, baby showers, graduations, etc.). Participate in diverse school events to meet new people which grow and expand your network. Plan a getaway. If you are too overwhelmed to coordinate one, take advantage of the study abroad programs offered at Smith.
In summary, while in the Smith Part-Time MBA program, you can realize the consistency necessary to achieve and sustain a good work/life balance by establishing a steady routine, setting clear expectations with those that really matter, and not forgetting to keep living life even while in school.
Though born in the United States, Chinedum Nwaneri grew up in Nigeria for his first 15 years. He returned to the U.S. in 1998, where he graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications. Chinedum later returned to the Smith Schooled of Business where he earned his Masters of Business Administration, which focused on Strategy and Entrepreneurship. He has over nine years of professional experience in both the private and public business sectors including Healthcare, Consumer Products, Medical Devices and Diagnostics, Defense, Federal/Civil Government, and Financial Services. Currently, he works in Consulting with Booz Allen Hamilton where he leverages his expertise in Business Process Improvement and Organizational Efficiency to positively influence strategy planning and implementation. Chinedum is one of seven siblings, and enjoys poetry, sports, music, and travel.