Time jugglers, working mothers, and ambitious entrepreneurs: How women on Hult’s Executive MBA do it all
In today’s increasingly complex world, time is something most people wish they had more of.
If we aren’t busy trying to excel at work, climb the corporate ladder, or expand our business, we are trying to see friends and family, squeeze in that gym session, or find time to better ourselves through hobbies or volunteer work.
The old saying that there are too few hours in the day rings true for almost everyone I know. So how can someone manage to earn a business degree on top of everything else?
Hult’s Global Executive MBA program gives candidates a flexible platform to help balance academic aspirations with personal and professional obligations. But it doesn’t pretend to be easy. The program is designed to challenge and stretch you—it’s tough as well as rewarding.
I had the pleasure of speaking to several women who have successfully completed their EMBA and, along with their enhanced professional credentials, they can add yet another skill to their already glowing resumes: “time juggler extraordinaire.”
Not for the fainthearted
All of the women I interviewed were looking for a program that would push them out of their comfort zones and get them to fundamentally reexamine their careers and ways of doing business. For them, the Hult EMBA certainly delivered on that promise.
“When I set foot in Hult for the very first time, I thought I had everything figured out,” Fatima Abdulrahman, Class of 2017, explains. “But I really had no idea.”
Embarking on a degree is a big commitment, especially as lots of the women who participate tend to be in established careers with busy home lives, often with young children. My interviewees certainly didn’t shy away from talking about the pressures that come along with this commitment. For Fatima, she also had to manage the personal challenge of working around Ramadan, often having to go straight into meetings with her team after breaking her fast.
“Nevertheless, what I got out of the program was far greater than what I envisioned for myself,” says Fatima.
“What I got out of the program was far greater than what I envisioned for myself.”
Fatima Abdulrahman, EMBA Class of 2017
The sense of enrichment and achievement became a common theme in my conversations. Olimpia Mascolo, Class of 2017, is an entrepreneur from a creative background. While pursuing her EMBA at Hult, she worked with engineers, consultants, and finance experts. This exposure to people from different walks of professional life ultimately helped to shape her leadership style and enrich her business knowledge.
“The EMBA has given me a new perspective, enhanced my analytical skills, and generally broadened my understanding of business,” Olimpia says.
Time is of the essence
As with most things in life, it transpires that forward planning goes a long way. The formal portion of the Hult EMBA is delivered over four days every month for two years. The consensus was that, with some careful diary management, this is very achievable, even if you do have to factor in international travel to and from campus.
EMBA candidates also need to do a reasonable amount of self-directed learning. This is where some serious time-management skills come in. Sacrifices inevitably have to be made to ensure deadlines are met.
This is something entrepreneur Monica Muriel, Class of 2016, certainly discovered. When she embarked on the course, she already had one young daughter and was pregnant with her second child. “It’s definitely tough juggling being a mum—a pregnant one at that—and doing the EMBA,” she admits.
“I didn’t realize that I would have to start quitting and re-prioritizing other things in my life and create new routines. It’s totally possible—it’s just about getting into good habits. After finishing the course, you truly realize how much free time you have!”
Although social time is often the first thing to disappear when we’re busy, there are ways to ensure that it isn’t all work and no play. Fatima would sometimes call her friends to check if they had anything to work on. If they did, she’d suggest meeting up to work together. Even if comfy sofas, restaurants, and bars were swapped for library desks, Fatima found a way to have company while she worked and make studying social.
“It’s totally possible—it’s just about getting into good habits.”
Monica Muriel, EMBA Class of 2016
Designed for busy professionals
For Fatima, her choice of business school was guided by two things. The first was global ranking and accreditation, both of which Hult scores highly in. The second was the flexibility and convenience of the teaching and learning schedule. She preferred Hult’s method of four high-intensity days on campus followed by a period of self-learning and reflection, rather than having to attend more evening classes after long days at work.
She felt the latter option would have inevitably meant she arrived on campus more tired and less motivated to learn. Plus, she would have missed out on the teamwork side of things. In fact, feeling part of an EMBA family was regularly cited as one of the program’s most invaluable features.
“I entered Hult alone and left with many friends,” Fatima explains.
A real sense of community develops among the participants during these long weekends, as they are all in the same boat, striving towards similar goals, and managing the conflicting pressures on their time. It’s clear that a huge amount of professional respect is engendered.
No pain, no gain
So it is clear that the Hult EMBA is no walk in the park. But the overriding message from speaking to female graduates is to take that leap and go for it. Don’t forget to focus on what you ultimately want to achieve from the program—the sacrifices are temporary but the benefits are long-lasting. An EMBA degree can come with a serious return on investment.
Both the hard and soft skills acquired on the course can be applied in the workplace immediately and for years and years after your last piece of coursework has been handed in. Olimpia credits her Hult journey for teaching her courage, humility, and discipline—all skills that have since helped improve her own business venture.
So, how can you do it all as an EMBA candidate? Manage your time, get into good working habits, and embrace those “marathon” four-day sessions with your peers. You will come away with much more than you could ever have imagined.
“The sacrifices are temporary but the benefits are long-lasting.”
Ready to learn more about Hult’s innovative and flexible Global Executive MBA program? Download a brochure.
Decided now is the time to invest in yourself and your career? Submit your application today.