Executive MBA participant Sabrina Nemorin-Noel shares insights as to how she juggles a busy work schedule and motherhood alongside her studies.
One of the significant considerations I had when applying for and starting my Executive MBA with Warwick, was how I would fit the study around an already busy work schedule and being a mother in a fast-paced world where school holidays appear longer and terms shorter. Working in a programme environment I find that I always feel more comfortable when I am clear on the planning and next steps, albeit comfortable with the risks and replanning required as things change.
I have found organisation to be key for my navigation of this course, once the timetable for the modules was released, I blocked out time to study ahead of submission. This is true in both my home life and work life, finding time in a busy diary needs to be planned, or it simply may not happen.
I chose to undertake the weekend Executive MBA approach which includes learning on Friday and Saturday every few weeks. Having a young family, I was always clear that for this to work, I would need to prioritise the time with my children and study to ensure that I was present as a mother. This has been valuable, and I think I would have found it harder without the support provided by my family.
The first few modules were a shock to the system as the increased level of reading, assignment writing and group work began. I overcame this by focussing on the areas of prioritising mandated reading and then working through as much of this as possible prior to the teaching and assignment writing. I found this to be beneficial in the long run. Whilst some subjects will be more challenging than others this approach is now part of my planning and helps make things feel more manageable.
Another consideration is group work which also takes a lot of planning and coordination, and in truth can often be more time-consuming than writing your own assignments, so a tip I would offer is to allow time for this for both individual work as well as group sessions.
On reflection, the compartmentalising of the additional study and assignments has given me space in my diary for my own continuous professional development, which has in turn benefited my ability to be present and efficient in all aspects of my life. This was an unintended benefit and something we all want from professional development, plus it makes it more enjoyable as it reduces the stressors.