Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Let the Juggling Act Begin

by Gina Katzmark (MBA ’13)

The word “relief” best describes my initial feeling after diving into graduate business student orientation at Wake Forest University Schools of Business. Taking the plunge and pursuing an MBA degree while working full-time and having a family is a huge commitment. Like any other commitment, I have gone into this adventure with plenty of concerns.

The Concerns
Let’s start with can I achieve an acceptable score on the GMAT? Nearly two decades had passed since I looked at a quadratic equation, so I knew that test was a hurdle I needed to get over. After surviving the GMAT with minimal emotional scars, my next concern elevated…Can I handle the rigorous coursework? Just hearing the words “quantitative methods” makes me break out in hives. While we are on the topic of work, how can I handle the housework and the yard work? Being part of a family takes work, too. Am I putting too much of a burden on my husband while taking classes and studying? Will he grow to resent the fact that my time will be dominated with the selfish pursuit of my desire to earn an MBA? Yet another concern arises, will I fit in with the rest of the class? Will there be others with an educational background in liberal arts? Am I going to be significantly older than my peers? Will there be many other women? How am I going to find time to eat and sleep?

The Relief
Guess what, I can chill the heck out because I am not alone. I am surrounded by intelligent, caring individuals who want me to succeed. Many conversations with classmates involve shared concerns. All of the concerns haven’t gone away, but I feel tremendous support. I am also encouraged and inspired. After hearing messages from such accomplished leaders as Dean Reinemund and Dr. Christopher Howard, I am reminded of what a privilege it is to be a student at Wake Forest University Schools of Business. As my dad would be quick to advise, I “better not screw this up.”

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