Making it Work
Earning an MBA while continuing to work, requires both personal stamina and corporate support. It can sometimes be a balancing act to juggle your personal and professional time and priorities. One of our recent graduates, Lauren Byars, managed her family, career, and education while earning her MBA for Executives and related the following story:
One key question that Lauren asks herself when charting her road map—the calendar she creates every two weeks to plot study time, work time, and family time—who needs to win today? The road map lays out the coming weeks’ schedules; the question guides her priorities. “It changes sometimes,” she says with a laugh. “It’s time management squared.” But this MBA for Executives student has never let getting off course derail her focus.
A 20-year veteran of the oil and gas industry , Lauren has performed several operational support roles and has grown with her large company. Once she mastered the nuts and bolts, however, her professional goals expanded. “Some people have the vision, but don’t know how to make it happen. I wanted to have a better understanding of that big picture perspective,” she explains. She needed an MBA to learn the strategic levels of business, and, after researching all the possibilities, she applied to one school: Rice.
The demanding curriculum and schedule, Byars admits, isn’t easy. Even support from a proud husband who grocery shops, a mother-in-law who picks up the kids from school, and children who keep the promise to read with her every night doesn’t change the assignments or exams recorded on her calendar each week. But the rewards are worth it.
“You may be going crazy trying to keep everything in balance, but then you’re in a class discussion and it feels just like being in the boardroom…you’ve got to remember your purpose for doing this.”
And when she asks herself, who needs to win today? She already knows the answer: everybody.